"War Horse" meets horse from Vail Meadows - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

"War Horse" meets horse from Vail Meadows

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Nine months ago, a devastating fire killed ten specially-trained therapy horses.

Today, Vail Meadows Equestrian Center is getting some special attention of its own from the cast of "War Horse."

Three puppeteers bring Joey the War Horse to life on stage.

Wednesday, they trotted him out of the Stranahan Theatre for this moment with Bob, the draft horse.

"When I would lift the head up a little bit, I don't know if you could see, but he would go like this and his ear would pin back a little bit, and then he would relax," explained puppeteer Danny Yoerges. "I was just testing the waters to see how high I could get the head without scaring him."

"He was pretty curious," echoed Bob's handler, Earnie Dickens. "Did the typical things that horses do, the sniffing of each other, down mane, up the neck, around the face. I think he thought he was looking at a real horse."

Bob is from Vail Meadows Equestrian Center in Oregon.

He was in the pasture the night a devastating barn fire took the lives of 10 other therapy horses.

That was in March.

By September, Vail Meadows had 8 horses donated to continue its mission of helping those with physical and developmental disabilities.

Now Vail Meadows is getting some TLC and a donation through a portion of ticket sales from War Horse and Theatre League.

"They're rebuilding," said Reida York with Theatre League. "They've gotten a lot of donations and Theatre League wanted to support them."

Vail Meadows is still adding on to its existing stables to create more room for its new horses.

You can make a donation at any First Federal bank, or through the organization's website here: www.vailmeadows.com.

Tickets are also still available for performances of "War Horse" at The Stranahan Theatre now through Sunday, Dec. 8th.

You can find ticket and showtime information through this link: www.theatreleague.com

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