SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - A fundraising event was held in this premier Freeport on Saturday to help support animals that were rescued by the Wildlife In Need (WIN) Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates a wildlife rescue center here.
Dubbed as "Unbridled at El Kabayo," the fundraising event aims to get financial assistance from Freeport residents and visitors to help provide food for the 21 horses at the El Kabayo riding stables here and maintain the area in tip-top shape.
The event, which also served to re-launch theoperation of the riding stables, showcased a quadrille by El Kabayo cowboys, a bull whipping demo, a show-and-tell of rescued animals by WIN, an Aeta cultural show, a horse jump exhibition, line dancing, barrel race, and other outdoor activities.
According to Ocean Adventure CEO Gail Laule, all the proceeds from the rides and other activities during the fundraising would go to the care of horses at the El Kabayo stables, which offer horse rides to paying tourists.
"We (WIN) have formed a great partnership with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to provide care for the horses here while giving a great experience to tourists," Laule said.
SBMA Chairman Robert Garcia, meanwhile, said that he was glad that the El Kabayo stables, which is one of the establishments synonymous with the Subic Bay Freeport, is still in operation.
He noted that during the early years of the Subic Bay Freeport, the El Kabayo stables were used to house the horses that were used during SBMA parades by former SBMA chairs like Senator Richard Gordon and Congressman Felicito Payumo.
The area used to be a commercial tourist destination, but is now under the WIN Foundation, which entered into an agreement with the El Kabayo stables in 2008 for the care of the 21 horse there.
In 2011, WIN signed a memorandum of agreement with the SBMA to take over the complete management of the horses and operations of the stables. Today, the stables offer horseback riding, riding lessons and educational programs to support the care of the horses.
WIN is a non-profit organization focusing on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, the campaign against the wildlife pettrade, and community education. WIN operates and has headquarters at its Wildlife Rescue Center in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
The WIN Rescue Center provides care and housing for sick, injured, and confiscated wildlife. Many of the animals that come to WIN were rescued from the illegal wildlife pet trade. The majority of animals are successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild.
However, for animals that have lost the ability to live on their own, WIN provides a permanent home for them at the Rescue Center.(30)
The cowboys of the El Kabayo riding stables inthe Subic Bay Freeport show off the horses during the "Unbridled at El Kabayo" fundraising event on Saturday.