by Fran Jurga | 9 November 2009 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
Her name was Rosie. She was a Morgan mare. She couldn't beat laminitis.
At that point, the horse owner's voice cracked. She caught her breath. Would she go on?
If you have ever owned a horse who suffered from serious laminitis--especially one who didn't make it--you know the pain. Your voice probably cracks too, when you talk about it. You probably catch your breath, too, when you remember the pain that your horse went through, and the pain that you still go through when you recall weeks, months, and maybe years of fighting a disease that has no rules, no heart, no charity.
But when Rosie's owner came forward this weekend, the world took notice. She is not just another horse owner, she is award-winning actress and animal lover Glenn Close.
Ms. Close agreed to work with the organizers of the Fifth International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot to add her voice to that of leading sponsors and horse owners John K. and Marianne Castle, whose beloved Appaloosa "Spot" suffered from laminitis as well.
Spot and Rosie had something in common besides laminitis and generous, caring owners. Both were in the care of Conference chair Dr. James Orsini of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Dr. Orsini brought Ms. Close and the Castles together, and a very special video about the horse owner's role in laminitis research and progress in treating the disease premiered at the convention. The beautiful video was narrated by Close.
Later in the Conference, Ms. Close received the Spot Castle Awareness Award for her work on behalf of the war on laminitis being waged by the Conference and the University of Pennsylvania's Laminitis Institute. In response to the award, Close provided her own video response, a tribute to Rosie's memory and a call to action to anyone and everyone who can help put an end to the pain and suffering that laminitis cause horses.
The Conference was held in West Palm Beach, Florida and consisted of three days of major presentations by leading researchers and practitioners. Attendees from Asia, Australia, Europe and South America, as well as from all over the United States and Canada, traveled to Florida to learn and share their expertise.
Photo from Glenn Close's Fetchdog.com blog called "Lively Licks", in which she interviews other celebrities about their dogs.