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For the Love of a Horse

Eight-year-old's desire for a horse leads her to Black Beauty Ranch

Kind News magazine, October/November 2015

Lucie Bohnsack visits Doris Day Equine Adoption Center at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. Photo by Brandon Wade/AP Images for The HSUS

Lucie Bohnsack wanted a horse of her own for a long time. But wishing and begging her mom hadn't worked. So Lucie found an application online to adopt a horse from the Doris Day Equine Center at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas.

The application listed things people wanting to adopt a horse should have. It included an acre of land, a barn and $25,000 a year. "I didn't have any of those things," 8-year-old Lucie says. "But I have lots of love for a horse." So she filled it out and sent $50 of her own money to pay for the application fee.

Ranch director Ben Callison called Lucie to discuss the adoption. After a while, she admitted that she wasn't ready for a horse, just yet. She would wait until she could give a horse the best home possible.

But she wasn't disappointed for long. Callison invited her and her mom to visit Black Beauty Ranch, America's largest animal sanctuary. It is home to more than 1,200 rescued animals. "I felt like I was going to burst I was so excited!" says Lucie.

At the ranch

For two days, Lucie helped groom and exercise horses, fed donkeys and visited the other animals at the ranch, including Alex the tiger and chimpanzees Lulu and Midge. Ben Callison surprised her by saying that since she couldn't get a horse, they would name one after her!

"Black Beauty Ranch taught me that every animal should get a second chance," says Lucie. She wants to help animals get that chance now and when she grows up. She spends a lot of time at home in Connecticut spreading the word about problems animals face.

"It's wonderful to see a child who wants to make a difference for animals," says Callison.

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