Villa Chardonnay, Horses with Wings, Inc.

A Marriage of Two Non-profit Equine Sanctuaries, Villa Chardonnay and Double J Ranch Team up to Save 20 “Special Needs Horses” from Euthanization

Special needs horses that have spent years of their lives helping special needs kids, are losing their home in the economic downturn. For the past 7 years Double J Farms, a non-profit medical rehab facility turned horse rescue and sanctuary in Southern California, is losing their home of the past 7 years. Over 20 equines, many of them medically or mentally challenged, may be euthanized by the end of the year. The medical rehab facility became a 501c3 rescue facility, as horse owners could no longer care for their special needs horses.


Temecula, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/15/2011 -- Many of the horses are thoroughbreds who once had bright futures just to fail after injuries. The horses have various ailments; Fussilli is a 4-year-old thoroughbred with excellent breeding, he was oxygen deprived at birth, yet his owners insisted that he be saved. After a year of 24 hour a day care, including physically helping him stand up every few hours, the owners gave up on him, abandoning him at Double J Ranch. He is attentive, pain free, and very gentle to all people. His current condition is best described as cerebral palsy.

Fusilli is one of many horses providing therapy for numerous children’s programs including HIV positive groups, diverse socio-economic backgrounds and other children with special needs.

There are also Willis and Buddy who suffer from spinal fusion. Peach is caring brood mare, injured as target practice from a pellet gun of an angry ex-husband. Moose, another thoroughbred, was beaten over the head with a 2” x 4” at the track when he was two years old, suffering a brain injury. He is now 20 years old and serving in the equine children’s programs.

Each of the injured and special needs horses are cared for by Jeff Cowell and Bob Thomas, the owners of Double J Ranch. Both stem from the medical equine industry where Thomas is a Registered Vet Technician, certified in California, and taught at the University of Kansas. Cowell has owned Double J Ranch since 1991 and is an international equine competitor in show jumping and an accomplished trainer.

“We have lost the ranch due to difficult economy, but we cannot lose these special horses. Special needs horses cannot be adopted by a regular horse owner, they need the special treatment and medical care we provide at Double J Ranch”, said Cowell.

Villa Chardonnay, Horses with Wings, Inc., one of the largest equine rescue and sanctuaries in California, is offering a temporary home to the horses of Double J Ranch. However, Villa Chardonnay is currently home to 43 equines and a total of 69 animals, and will only be able to home the horses temporarily.

“We truly appreciate the help from Villa Chardonnay, we know the long term solution for all of us is the larger equine facility that will be home to many more horses and equine programs”, said Thomas.

The combination of both non-profit equine rescues is seeking urgent assistance to finalize the purchase of an equine facility in Southern California that will be a home for up to 250 homeless, abandoned and special needs horses. Villa Chardonnay has been in negotiation for the past several months for the property, a combination of a generous donation from the owner of the property and a portion carried by Villa Chardonnay is in place. To finalize the purchase of this fully equipped equine facility, the group is seeking an additional several hundred thousand dollars.

“Villa Chardonnay and Double J Ranch create a perfect marriage of both of our strengths; the new property has a veterinary clinic, more than 75 stalls and enormous pastures. Our business plan provides extensive therapeutic children’s programs, many that do not fit within the common children’s programs available today. Also included is medical care for abandoned horses and as the largest equine sanctuary in California will host fundraising events for the continued care and rehabilitation of abandoned horses,” said Monika Kerber, President and CEO of Villa Chardonnay.

“Villa Chardonnay is an established and growing equine rescue and sanctuary. We receive several calls every week to take in more horses, most of which will starve to death or end up in a slaughterhouse if we do not take them in. We are asking all individuals, businesses, foundations and animal lovers to extend a hand, send a generous tax deductable donation to save hundreds more horses that will benefit children and adults alike,” said Louise Gardner, CFO of Villa Chardonnay.

Donations can be made to at

How To Donate
Checks can be made out to: Villa Chardonnay Horses With Wings, Inc.
Send to: 42200 Calle Barbona, Temecula, CA 92592
Information: or call 951.526.6600.