Good News Friday: Jack and Jill


We have a good news post this morning and this week’s story is very good news indeed. If you’ll remember that back in February, John ran a story about 52 thoroughbred horses in Ohio finding homes via the social network of Facebook. As the story goes, when Daniel Sterns DVM died, his son began disassembling his father’s assets, including the farm housing his 52 horses. Lynn Boggs, a friend of the deceased Sterns and fellow rider, was basically given an ultimatum by the son to find homes for all the horses in one week.

Boggs’ posted a plea for help on her Facebook profile, but she never could have expected the 4,000 some responses from people that ensued as a result of her post. In less than four days, all 52 horses were safely in the comfort of their newly adopted homes. Jackie Smith, the owner of Stonegate Farm in Ohio, adopted two of those horses, and has been chronicling their experiences in a blog titled ‘The Adventures of Jack and Jill.’ The blog is ‘written’ by Jack and Jill themselves, and although its witty, entertaining, and at some moments touching, Jackie was kind enough to share with me her perspective of the entire experience.

According to Jackie, the decision to adopt these horses in the first place wasn’t tough, as Dr. Stearns had been her veterinarian in the nearly thirty years prior. “I felt like I owed it to him.” Although Jackie hadn’t adopted horses before in all her years of breeding, showing, and training, the situation of this adoption was quite ideal, as she points out that they were quality and well cared for horses. Since they arrived at the farm, both horses have been getting accustomed to the farm’s routine and have started both ground and under-saddle work. Jackie says, “They each have their own personality: Jill has a bolder more confident personality where as Jack is a little more cautious but with a strong desire to please.  It has been awhile since we have had youngsters around here and it’s such a pleasure to work with them and mold them into the best horses they can be.”

When asked about the long term plans for Jack and Jill, Jackie replied, “Obviously if you are at Stone Gate Farm you are destined to be an event horse!  However, we will listen to them and let them be our guide.  I think any horse certainly can event at the lower levels, but we’ll see what they can do from there.” She went on to state, “We’re aiming to show them in the FEH horse classes at our Winona Horse Trials in May, just to give them the experience and us a tangible goal to work towards. Oh, and besides that, we’re thinking about having ‘them’ write a children’s book based on the blog that’s gotten such a positive response.”

I think this story illustrates a lot of things; the startling chain of support that can emerge from the use of modern technology, the generosity of people within the community to reach out and help horses in need, but probably above all, it shows that horses, no matter what breed, background, or size, have a gift for drawing people in and enriching their lives, while the people are trying to do the same by them.

If you’d like to learn more about Jackie and Stonegate Farm, click here. 


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