Horses in Need Find a Champion in Author Sara Gruen

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Author Sara Gruen speaks up against the slaughter of America's wild horses and burros.

Once again, novelist and horse activist Sara Gruen is rising to the defense of our most vulnerable equine friends.

Gruen, a lifelong horse lover, took on the PMU industry in her debut novel, Riding Lessons. Gruen says she learned of the production of pregnant mares’ urine for use in hormone replacement therapy while researching the book.

"I was horrified to discover that the foals that are quite literally byproducts of this industry go to auction, and from there, almost always to slaughter. Now that the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy are known, the problem has gotten worse. Hundreds of farms are closing completely. It’s no longer just the foals that are at risk--the mares and stallions are also being auctioned off. It’s heartbreaking. I had to do something."

Gruen donates a portion of her royalties to horse rescues and uses her media appearances to raise awareness of the ongoing slaughter of thousands of horses in North America. One of her supported charities--Live & Let Live Farm in Chichester, NH--rescued and adopted out 104 PMU horses, half of them pregnant, this past winter. They are currently seeking homes for thirty more horses scheduled to arrive in early October.

With her second novel, Flying Changes, Gruen continues the tradition. In addition to the PMU horses, Gruen is taking on a new cause: working to get the Burns Amendment overturned.

The Burns Amendment (named for Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, who slipped the unrelated rider into a 3000-page Appropriations Bill) removed almost thirty-four years of protection from wild horse and burro populations, allowing them to be auctioned off for slaughter. The American Farm Bureau Federation supported the Burns Amendment and strongly opposed any legislation that would ban horse slaughter. "Basically, they want the land for cattle grazing," Gruen says. "It’s disgusting, nothing short of a death warrant for America’s wild horses. We have a chance to stop this, but we need to act. Two bills have been introduced--S. 576 and H.R. 297--that would repeal the Burns Amendment. I encourage--no, I beg--you to contact your congressman and senators and urge them to reinstate protection of our wild horses and burros before it’s too late."

Riding Lessons is available at bookstores everywhere with a suggested retail price of $6.99. Flying Changes will be released on November 1, 2005 also at a suggested retail price of $6.99, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Sara Gruen

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