The Pegasus Project Newsletter
MAY 2016

The Rescue of Phoenix's Herd

Pegasus supporters, we need you more than ever. 

Phoenix is an Appaloosa yearling foal we tried to save in Wood County, Texas the first week of April. Despite our best efforts, she died from malnutrition, parasite overload, and a horrible, untreated, necrotic facial wound. In the course of the investigation, we learned that Phoenix came from a large herd of about twenty abandoned equine. In addition to Phoenix, at least four other horses had died on this property. We found their skeletons in various stages of decomposition. The owner moved away two years prior, leaving a herd of mares and miniature jennies with an Appaloosa stallion and a miniature jack donkey to breed at will. Three of the dead horses were yearlings or younger. One of the dead is presumed to be the Appaloosa stallion since he cannot be located. Many members of the herd have been born since the abandonment, and therefore have never been touched by a human or received any medical care whatsoever. Evidence indicates that the horses are dying from parasite overload and untreated injuries inflicted by a young jack mule in the herd.  

At a hearing on April 14, the court found that the owner cruelly treated Phoenix and assessed civil penalties. Since Wood County has no equine holding facility and no resources for an animal seizure of this size, the court awarded the entire remaining herd of fourteen to The Pegasus Project. An agreed order was entered that the herd could remain on the owner's property until we could safely catch and relocate them. With the help of Pegasus volunteers Cecelia Corl-Uber and Sue Ann Thomas, we implemented a plan of creating feed/catch pens to draw the herd in. Unfortunately before we could move them, Willie (the charming and friendly jack donkey) died, presumably of parasite overload. Willie's passing brought the death toll to six. Six counts of animal cruelty charges are now pending against the owner. 

Wood County deputy Jeremy Ragsdale was able to catch and transport an injured filly (Abbey) to veterinarian Dr. David Howton on April 15. Cecelia agreed to serve as a foster home for all four remaining donkeys, two of whom appear to be pregnant. On April 22, Cecelia successfully transported the donkeys to her ranch, leaving just seven horses and Ernest, the jack mule, on the property. We have potential adopters lined up for the donkeys and will begin placing them once they are vetted and healthy.

It is our understanding that, with the possible exception of just one mare, none of these horses are even halter broke. For the safety of the horses and all people involved, we need them professionally handled before we can entrust them to foster homes or permanent placement. With this in mind, on April 28, we picked up Abbey from the vet and successfully caught, loaded and transported the remaining herd to renowned horseman Bruce Logan's ranch in Loving, Texas. Bruce will provide the initial evaluation, handling, and training and will schedule veterinary treatment once they are manageable. 

With 40 horses currently on the Pegasus ranch, we do not have room for nine more. Once the horses are gentled, we will need to place them in skilled foster homes until we can start bringing them one-by-one to the ranch for training. This process will likely take years. We applied for and received a $5000 grant from The Humane Society of the United States to help with initial costs of care. But these funds will not even cover the first month of expenses. Our costs will be monumental, easily exceeding $5000/month for the first few months. 

Please consider making a donation to support the care of this herd of thirteen. Or, become a Pegasus Partner and provide an ongoing monthly donation to help these horses longterm. Your support is essential. Click here to make a one time donation or to become a Pegasus Partner:  Donate for Phoenix's Herd

If you are willing to foster any of these horses after Bruce Logan gets them manageable, please contact Allyson DeCanio ( for details. If you are interested in adopting a horse, please refer to our adoption process by clicking here: Adoption Process

We want to thank the many of you who have already contributed to Phoenix and her herd. Your kindness and generosity are overwhelming. To view the full photo album of Phoenix's Herd and to get to know each individual horse, click here: Phoenix's Herd

If you'd like to read Bruce Logan's bio, click here: Bruce Logan

Horsemanship Clinic Offered at Pegasus
Bruce Logan at his ranch in Loving, Texas
The Pegasus Project proudly announces that we will be hosting horseman Bruce Logan on June 18th and 19th at the Pegasus ranch in Murchison, Texas. Bruce will be offering horsemanship instruction in private lesson format. Participants may book one-hour time slots at the cost of $200/slot. Each student is limited to no more than two slots per day. You can book just one slot, or up to four slots over the course of the weekend. Auditors are welcome to attend at a cost of $30/person/day. The clinic will run from 8am until 5pm each day with a one hour lunch break at noon. Those riding with Bruce are welcome to audit the remaining clinic at no additional charge. Outdoor pens for your horses will also be provided at no added cost.  

Bruce Logan is an exceptional horseman with a lifetime of experiences starting colts in the United States and abroad and developing performance horses in Cutting and Working Cow Horse disciplines. He credits his success to putting the horse first and adjusting to fit each individual horse's needs. In his clinic, you will learn fundamentals to help you communicate more effectively with your horse, and Bruce will encourage you to give your horsemanship purpose. To review Bruce's bio, click here: Bruce Logan

The DeCanios have a long-term relationship with Bruce and are thrilled to host him at the Pegasus ranch. Bruce has trained several of the Pegasus rescue horses including Elvis, Sundance, Dooley, Susie, Georgia, Geronimo and Hannah. Bruce also trained Allyson's personal horse Gaits. Doc, Allyson's superstar Quarter Horse was a gift from Bruce. Doc served as a once-in-a-lifetime horse for Bruce before Bruce graciously retired him to Allyson's care. We firmly believe that Bruce is one of the best colt starters and horse developers around, which is why we have entrusted Phoenix's herd to him. 

Don't miss your chance to ride with this great horseman. For more information or to sign up for the clinic, contact Allyson at  

The Sensitive Siren
Bruce Logan started Susie and did her initial training

Susie came to Pegasus in February 2012 as a five year old Quarter Horse mare. Prior to Pegasus' involvement, Susie was one of nine horses being monitored by the SPCA of East Texas. She and several other mares had babies on their sides. Susie, who was in the worst shape of all, was removed from the owner's property to receive veterinary care. We do not know what became of her baby.

Once the owner relinquished custody of Susie, Pegasus agreed to accept her into our program. She was in very bad shape, and her rehabilitation was extensive. Susie was severely emaciated, wormy, covered in rain rot, and had a large wound on her chest. But more than anything, Susie was very distrustful of humans. She was one of the most reactive horses we've ever encountered. It took years to bring her around to being the beautiful and sweet mare she is today. 

Once Susie became healthy, her nasty coat shed off and she turned out to be a beautiful liver chestnut color. She is athletic, sensitive and sweet. After more than a year in rehabilitation, Susie went into training for three months with world-class horseman, Bruce Logan. Bruce showcased Susie at our Open House event in June of 2013. Following that event, Susie returned to the Pegasus ranch where her training continued, first with Don Knapp and now with Dale Kahl. She has come along beautifully and is ready for adoption. 

Now, at the age of nine with more than three years of training on her, Susie is going to make an experienced rider one heck of a horse! She is kind, willing and agreeable. Keep your eye on this sensitve beauty!

To view Susie's full photo album, click here: Susie

If you are interested in applying to adopt Susie, we would love to hear from you. Start by reviewing our adoption process by clicking Adopt, and submit your application today!

A Note from Allyson

Help A Horse Day
~We Rocked It~

On April 23rd, we opened the ranch gates for our annual Wings Over Pegasus equine and aviation extravaganza! For the past two years, we have paired this event with the ASPCA's "Help a Horse Day" contest to compete with horse rescues from around the country to win up to $25,000 in grant money. This month-long celebration provides us an opportunity to promote the work we do, raise money, and heighten awareness of the plight of at-risk horses in our community. Because of you, our Help A Horse Day campaign succeeded beyond our wildest dreams!

Skydiver soars during National Anthem at Wings Over Pegasus

With six hundred and thirty-eight people in attendance, we raised more than $20,000 at Wings Over Pegasus alone. Total funds raised throughout the month of April exceeded $56,000! This figure includes event sponsors, designated donations, the Phoenix herd fund, a grant from HSUS for the Phoenix herd, raffle ticket sales, and our Microchip Madness campaign. In addition, a supporter donated a horse trailer, we gained dozens of new volunteers, and three horses had adoption applications submitted for them after the event! 

We attribute much of this success to our media blitz and our focus on youth education and community outreach. I spoke to more than six hundred local high school FFA and animal science students about Pegasus throughout the month of April. I was thrilled to see many of them at Wings Over Pegasus, along with their families. Also, despite the challenges of putting on an event of this magnitude, we continued to do what we do. Working with Wood County officials, we rescued a large herd of abandoned horses (read about the Phoenix Herd in this newsletter) and are seeking prosecution of their owner. This story went viral and brought much needed attention to the work we do every day.

We love "Help A Horse Day." This contest pushes us to be braver . . . to reach higher . . . and dream bigger. If we are fortunate enough to win that $25,000 grant from the ASPCA, every penny shall go to support the thirteen surviving members of Phoenix's Herd. It was a bold move to take on so many equine all at once, and we have a long road ahead with them. But, they had nowhere else to go, and we knew you would expect nothing less from us. The support we felt from all of you as we raised funds for "Help A Horse Day" gave us the courage to step up for Phoenix and her herd. We promise we will not let you, or them, down. 

Rescue. Rehab. Retrain. Rehome. Repeat.

To view all the fabulous photos from this event, click here: Wings Over Pegasus

Allyson DeCanio
President, The Pegasus Project

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May 19 - Pegasus Partner Happy Hour at The Pegasus Ranch

June 5 - Open House

June 18 & 19 - Bruce Logan Horsemanship Clinic

 September 22 - North Texas Giving Day

October 8 & 9 - Mike Corcoran Cowboy Dressage Clinic

October 16 - Open House

 October 29 - Ride for a Rescue

December 18 - Open House


Thursday, May 19th 
5:30 pm
DeCanios' Front Porch
Pegasus Ranch

Monthly, fun, information-packed meetings for Pegasus supporters at various locations throughout the year. All Pegasus Partners at the $25/month level and higher are Happy Hour members. Membership includes a car decal, a Pegasus hat or t-shirt, a Pegasus logo wine glass and an open invitation to every meeting! Discuss the latest Pegasus news and connect with other like-minded horse fans. (Your wine glass is free, but the wine isn't! We know how much you drink!)

 Click here to join:  







Did you know Pegasus relies entirely on private donations? Our regular monthly donors, known as Pegasus Partners, are our most treasured assets. For as little as $10/month you can help provide us with a predictable source of income at a much lower cost than any other fundraising method.

While we are very appreciative of one-time donations, the monthly donations of our Pegasus Partners allow us to plan ahead.


Our ability to save these helpless horses, donkeys and mules depends on YOUR donations!


We cannot do this without you! Please consider making a monthly donation so we may continue to rescue horses that have no future without us.


Click here to join:



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