The New Zealander living in Florida who helped save Kiwi racehorse Cusack from the kill pens in Washington has died after a long battle with cancer.
Susan Young died on Wednesday surrounded by her family, who had been flown from New Zealand by friends who had a fundraiser to bring her daughter, Melanie, and grandsons Conor and Lachlan to be at her bedside.
Young contacted Horsetalk after seeing Cusack’s picture online at an auction house in 2011. She had recognised his New Zealand brand.
Young owned a mobile tack shop, Saddle Up Tack, and attended almost every horse show in the area. She was also involved with RVR Horse Rescue, especially one horse, Kiwi, named because the star on his head resembled the flightless New Zealand bird from her home country.
In May 2011 Susan Young saw Cusack (aka Shaun) on an online noticeboard, prompting her to contact Horsetalk. Kansas woman Deb Johnson read about Cusack and stepped up to offer the then 11-year-old gelding a lifelong home on her 40 acres in Kansas.
With time short, Horsetalk agreed to underwrite the cost of buying and shipping Cusack to Kansas, and launched an appeal to raise the money.
Within hours, an effort to get Cusack to Kansas was under way.
Today, Johnson reports that Cusack is doing well. “Shaun is healthy, happy and one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known. He heads for the shelter around dusk to get away from the biting bugs.
“He loves mud. Good thing, we have lots right now. He has four other horses in his herd. The grass is so green it hurts your eyes. Life is good.”