Home for 800 horses
Walt Disney once said that “all our dreams can become reality if we dare to pursue them.”
I will not promise you that You will go to heaven for doing this. Firstly, I do not know where heaven is, and secondly, some people say that each of us goes there anyway. Therefore, I will not persuade You to help us by promising You a 3 square meters of Eden. What I can promise is that You will take part in something unforgettable. You will be a great builder, You will build a paradise on Earth for those who have experienced hell. It is not because people are bad, it is because sometimes even good people do bad things.
Welcome to Centaurus. We have been creating the largest horse sanctuary in Europe for over 15 years. We have always specialized in horses and donkeys. Up till now, we have saved nearly 1500 of them, nevertheless, other animals are also here, because empathy should not be selective. All this because there are tens of thousands of wonderful people around us who have decided that they will join us in helping animals.
Where are our horses coming from? From large and small farms. From sport; horses that are already off the podium, because of age or injury – or they never made it to the top, because they are not good enough. And below the podium, there is only a slaughterhouse. From recreation; beloved wise horses and horse grandfathers who were teachers all their lives. From service; unfastened from the carriages, bought out from tree-hauling in the forests, or horses that just did not meet the expectations of the owner. There are horses from fallen stud farms, from farms that claimed bankruptcy or simply horses that were born just to be slaughtered.
No, I’m not asking You to stop eating meat. It is Your private decision. Personally, I know many people who eat meat, but who have generously helped shelters – but also, I know many vegans who only manifest their choice but dislike helping animals. It doesn’t matter if you eat meat. This is not what this fund-raiser is about.
OUR LITTLE PARADISE
It’s all about the place. I am sure that You know this already, but in 2012 we bought an old palace and the surrounding lands in Szczedrzykowice with 1% tax returns. In fact, You bought it, we only sorted it out a bit to suit our animals. It was worth it. We have created a sanctuary for hundreds of horses and other animals. Since 2012, every day we have been creating this small paradise and those of You, who are with us from day one, know how the farm has changed. However, 8 years have passed and our beloved farm is no longer big enough. When we moved in, there were about 200 horses, but, in time, we have become the largest sanctuary for horses on the old continent. Today there are over 800 equines under our constant care. Today there is just not enough space to accommodate their needs.
Yes, we also have a reserve. Thanks to the cooperation with decision makers of Przemkowski Landscape Park – we have several hundred hectares for our horses, 400ha, to be exact. It is a real paradise on Earth for our pupils, but mainly for those that are healthy and fully functional. As You’ve probably guessed, the weaker and older ones need something different. Galloping and grazing around such a great area is not for everyone. Most of the horses we rescue and care for are not so young anymore, many are crippled. We also care for dogs, cats, and other farm animals. Pigs, goats, sheep, ducks and rabbits retire together with horses.
Almost a decade passed in a blink of an eye. We managed to grow our first gray hair, more skyscrapers were built and raspberry bushes grew so high. We have always been aware that our horses will grow old one day. After all, youth and strength do not last forever. In 2020, while moving the horses to the winter grounds (rules resulting from the agreement with the reserve), we could leave several dozen more horses on the reserve. This year, I saw among them many gray temples and so we had to bring them back to Szczedrzykowice sanctuary. I thought for a moment – when did they grow so old?
Yesterday we welcomed them as foals at our reserve where they joyfully ran across the meadows. Today they stand proudly and majestically nibble on hay, as seniors. There is no more playtime, they don’t just have fun anymore. Now, they can finally be approached and You can look them in the eyes where You can see gratitude and sometimes a request to take them away from the vast reserve. Because, as the years pass by, the reserve becomes too hard for them to live on, especially when it rains and sometimes it gets colder and windy. They just want to live the rest of their days peacefully among people in our sanctuary, because sometimes you have to help them get up, or massage their legs, or call the vet 3 times a day. However, our Szczedrzykowice farm is not made of rubber. We have managed to stretch it as much as possible but eventually, we have reached the limit. It just can’t grow any further….
The Przemkowski reserve on the other hand, although miraculous, does not allow any buildings to be built and the truth is that most of our horses require different conditions than just unscattered grass fields to the horizon all year round. Even if there was a possibility to build a hall, we know perfectly well that the land does not belong to our horses. And it never will. Each potential investment will simply remain the property of the reserve, so the existence of hundreds of saved horses would depend on the current political arrangements and we could never guarantee that each zloty donated will serve the horses for life.
THE NEW PLACE
We have searched persistently for a long time, motivated by Your questions about whether we had found a new suitable place. A few months ago we found it. Only an hour away from our beloved farm. Mountainous terrain with tens of hectares of flat land for older and less fit horses.
Everywhere You look there is abundance of trees that would provide shelter and shade every day. To say that we have fallen in love with this place is not enough. We have even planned exact locations of enclosures for horses with breathing problems, separate facilities for lame horses, runs for blind horses and where dogs would have their little paradise with houses among the pine trees. Cats – they would go crazy with happiness. The donkeys, if they insisted, would not be moved from this land for the centuries.
There is only one problem. This 140 hectares of paradise costs 3.8 million PLN (1 million USD) Yes, you read that correctly. That is way below the lowest value of this property anyway. But the amount is unimaginable for us. And so, the race has began with loans, companies, institutions. Together with the construction of planned facilities this initiative will cost approximately 7 million PLN (almost 2 million USD) . If successful, this place would become the greatest sanctuary for horses, not only in Europe, but probably in the whole world. And no, it’s not about ambition. The point is that our possibilities would expand so that we would not be forced to refuse or give up rescuing for many years to come. The point is that hundreds of our horses would have a place to spend the rest of their days when they become old. The point is that we would be able to continue writing the stories of the next survivors with You.
I remember coming to the City Hall to get more information about the plot and somewhere inside, I felt that this land is smiling to our horses and, for a moment, I didn’t think about the money that we don’t have. The man, who spoke with us, asked about the purpose of purchasing this land. There was a loud laugh as I told him what we are doing. “Dear Lady, do you think that someone will give you almost 4 million polish zlotys for stupid horses? Horse meat is to eat. Stop begging in the name of animals and perhaps start caring for children in need instead, you silly woman..” – I have been running the Centaurus Foundation for over 15 years, and together with the activists, with whom I was in that office, we took his words to heart.
And so we stand in front of You today. We are asking for 4 million polish zloty. For these stupid horses.
We have managed to collect some, we have borrowed some, and we pray a lot. We have to raise funds to build horse halls, a medical center, stalls for the elderly, paddocks, and build fencing and CCTV around hundreds of hectares. This is a huge investment on a global scale – that’s why we will be looking for funds all over the world.
Yes, we put everything on one card because there are simply not many such areas of land left nowadays and our horses don’t have much time anymore. The pandemic dwarfed our plans, but only a little. Since the spring last year, together with You, we have saved and accepted hundreds of animals, we have also supported many other organizations and people who help privately. We have found wonderful homes for many animals. We are planning to make our beloved Szczedrzykowice farm an adoption center for those animals who are looking for homes. The Przemkowski reserve would be home to young and healthy ungulates. Finally, the new land would become a professional rehabilitation center and a retirement home for older and crippled animals.
I understand if You’ve read all the way here and just smiled. 4 million PLN is the amount that knocks us off our feet as well. We realize that for many it’s just horses, dogs, cats, pigs…just animals.
But deep down in our hearts we know that, if there is a shadow of a chance, we have to try. With You we are trying every time we start the fund-raiser for the next horse. We have already done this several thousand times. And You have always made miracles happen.
So please stay with us. We are not asking You to sell the house and deposit million dollars. 1 dollar is enough. There are hundreds of thousands of us who love animals. Together, we have already created a phenomenon on a European scale. Together, we have changed the lives of thousands of animals. Without people like You, we would not be able to do anything. Centaurus is just a tool in Your hands and we try to fulfill its purpose as best we can.
Once upon a time the wise Confucius once said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
A million is our first step. Please, instead of a coffee or a chocolate bar, take the next steps with us. Less caffeine and sugar for 140ha for those who can’t do anything themselves.
PL36 1750 1064 0000 0000 2257 6747 (in PLN),
PL17 1750 1064 0000 0000 2257 6798 (in EUR),
If You want and can help, payments with the title “home” can be made to accounts above but please be sure to include the title of the payment.
You can also donate through PayPal by using the form below.
Thank You so much for any help.