In Memory of “Chance”

“Chance” was rescued a week ago by George Leavitt and his new large animal rescue group called Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Program (J.E.E.P.). Chance was a 4-year-old Appaloosa who was literally starving when Donna Brownfield discovered him and the six others in their herd a few weeks back. The seven horses had no food or water, and were literally fighting for their lives. Sadly, eight in their herd had already starved to death before being discovered.

Photo by Dan Cormier

As you can see, Chance was basically skin and bones. He was weak and his liver was failing because of months, or maybe even years, of malnutrition. Each day, Dr. Eladio Tello visited Chance to give him his daily IVs, vitamins and medication. The first few days were a challenge, but Chance now had access to good food and water, and was getting the medical attention he deserved and so desperately needed. Equally important was that he experienced loving and caring hands for the first time in his life.

On January 10, five days after being rescued, Chance passed quietly with George and Loretta by his side. He was a special horse with a sweet and gentle spirit.

Chance did his job by saving the rest of his herd. And in those five short days he touched so many lives, and I would be remiss if we didn’t honor him here. Chance is a real hero and he did not die in vain. A cemetery at Hilltop Refugio will be built in his name.

Rest in peace Chance.

This story contains a few of my favorite photos of Chance and some of the wonderful people who cared for him (shown both above and below)…

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 23rd and join us for some fun and fundraising to help give the other six rescue horses a chance at survival. There will be games, live music, a silent auction and some good old fashioned “horsing around.” You can read about the “Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser” here.

If you cannot attend, please stop by Los Compadres Restaurant in person or make a donation via PayPal (see the link below). Funds are needed to pay for the ongoing cost of food, vaccinations and medication for the remaining six horses, as well as for fencing panels and shade that need to be constructed at Hilltop Refugio. The current expenses are approximately $1,500 pesos per month for each horse. A community project of this magnitude needs continued local support.

Visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage for more information.

You can also read about their rescue here: “Hilltop Refugio to the Rescue.”

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Leave a Review

9 Reviews on “In Memory of “Chance””

  1. :

    Thank God there are people who have hearts for His creatures...You are His hands extended as you love and care for these horses. You shared the story so well Ally. Thank you

  2. :

    My calendar is marked for the 23rd. of Jan. 2013

  3. :

    Please let me know what we can do to help from afar for the cemetery I will be back next year in the meantime you are and all those horses are in my thought daily Judy

    1. :

      Thank you Judy! You can contact George & Loretta Leavitt, the co-founders of Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), via this site...

  4. :

    So sad! Where is the conscience of the former owner?

  5. :

    I just want to say how wonderful it is to put so much heart and love along with the physical needs of Chance!

  6. :

    I went with Toshia to see Chance RIP he was fortunate to spend his last few days with people who cared Good luck with your fundraiser alas I am back in Canada but Toshia will keep me posted keep up the great work Judy

  7. :

    Great story Allyson. Love the idea of the cemetery.

    1. :

      Thanks Tosia. It's been a challenging week for all of us who met Chance (sniffle sniffle). He was a very, very special soul. The cemetery is George's idea... and I think it's a great way to honor Chance.

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *