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One retirement community helping another: Oak Hammock residents sponsor retired horse

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ALACHUA, Fla. (WCJB) – “This operation is completely done by volunteers,” said Oak Hammock resident Bill Rossi. “The lady who owns this place and her son have dedicated over 300 hundred acres to save animals. I think it is a place of beauty.”

The Retirement Home for Horses at Mill Creek Farm opened in 1983 after Mary Gregory met her husband, and they bonded over their love for animals.

“My husband and I met at the University of London, and the first day we were there, we found out we both love animals,” said owner Mary Gregory. “We said if we ever make money, we want it to go towards saving animals, and we made money, and that’s where it went.”

It costs about three thousand dollars a year for the upkeep of a single horse.

Oak Hammock residents are helping alleviate that cost by joining together and sponsoring a horse named George for fifty dollars a month.

“There is a parallel between what these people are doing and where we live. We live in Oak Hammock. It is a community of like-minded people. This place is a retirement place for horses which is pretty cool; we are visiting them. Maybe they can visit us sometime.” said Rossi.

Multiple Oak Hammock residents individually sponsored their retired horses that they were able to meet and eat carrots with.

Once horses come through the gates, they never work or ride again.

The president of the retirement home from horses said the experience benefits mental and physical health.

“We want this to be a learning experience for people out here,” said president Paul Gregory. “It is important all generations see what we do out here. An elderly horse just as an elderly person deserves to be respected and taken care of.”

From one retirement community to another, there is no doubt that forever friendships were made out at Mill Creek Farm.

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Written by: Kristen Chase

Published: Jun. 30, 2022, at 7:19 AM EDT