When Kevin Russell, the founder and owner of New Buck Chimney Services, isn’t working to keep the chimney and dryer vent systems of his Shreveport customers working safely and efficiently, he can often be found with his nine horses. In his free time, Kevin also volunteers at a local equine therapy center as is involved with the local 4H chapter.
It was this natural affinity with horses that led to Kevin’s work with and passion for the Saratoga Warhorse Foundation. As the proud father of a Marine, Kevin values the service and sacrifice of our military men and women, and supporting organizations like the Saratoga Warhorse Foundation allows him to combine his love of horses with his respect for our military service members.
About the foundation
The Saratoga Warhorse Foundation is nonprofit organization based in Saratoga Springs, New York that is dedicated to assisting veterans who are suffering from psychological wounds such as depression, PTSD, or other issues by providing confidential, peer-to-peer, action based, equine experiences. These experiences, as well as the connections between veterans and the horses, have the ability to initiate both immediate and long-lasting empowering changes.
The Saratoga Warhorse Foundation is dedicated to providing meaningful equine therapy experiences between off-the-track thoroughbreds and returning veterans. The Foundation offers intensive three day experiences for those struggling to with adjusting to life after their military service has ended at no cost to the veterans.
Veterans are matched with a thoroughbred and form an interactive bond through the connection process. While different for each horse and veteran partnership, the connection process is overseen and guided by skilled instructors, making it predictable, sequential, and repeatable. By personalizing and tailoring the program to each person, each individual has a unique experience that helps them release stress.
The Saratoga Warhorse program offers a win-win situation for both veterans and thoroughbreds. It not only provides an alternative way for veterans to heal their emotional wounds, but it also provides the retired racing horses with meaningful and rewarding work. Although currently only offered in Saratoga Springs, New York and Aiken, South Carolina, Kevin is hoping to be able to bring the Saratoga Warhorse program to Shreveport in the future.
Just as some veterans have trouble to adjusting to civilian life after their military service has ended, some thoroughbreds have trouble adjusting to life off of the racetrack. The Saratoga Warhorse Foundation provides these noble animals with a fulfilling way to continue working even when their racing days are over. All of the horses are retired racers, some of whom competed at some of the most well-known race tracks around the country. In addition, some of the thoroughbreds earned impressive purses over the course of their careers, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars over dozens of starts.
How to help
For more information on how to help the mission of the Saratoga Warhorse Foundation, visit their website. Locally, the Mud, Sweat, and Tears 5K Extreme Fitness Challenge is held each spring to benefit the foundation.
If you have additional questions or would like to discuss the Saratoga Warhorse Foundation, contact Kevin at New Buck Chimney Services. We love to share our passion for this organization with others!