ANDOVER, Mass. (WGME) — A Massachusetts mini-horse is the only New England finalist to be the 2023 Cadbury Bunny.
Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses said Stewie Vuitton has been chosen as one of 10 finalists in the national Cadbury Bunny tryouts.
A panel of judges reportedly reviewed thousands of entries as a part of Cadbury’s fifth annual nationwide search. This year theme is the “Rescue Pets Edition.”
Lifting Spirits founder and president Toni Hadad told The National Desk she is “shocked, excited, and honored” that Stewie is a finalist. She also said she thinks it’s
By featuring rescue animals, Cadbury is giving national recognition to the important work these organizations do, as well as highlighting individuals who rescue their pets,” Hadad told The National Desk in an email on Wednesday. “Rescue animals are amazing in so many ways, each with their own incredible story.”
According to a news release, Stewie is a 4-year-old 23-inch-tall miniature horse with dwarfism, a genetic condition that occurs in the breed.
Stewie was reportedly rescued 16 months ago from an auction in Ohio. He suffered serious leg and hoof issues from dwarfism coupled with years of neglect.
Hadad said she thinks the contest “has been a great opportunity to educate the public on issues related to dwarfism and the many challenges that this unfortunate condition presents to horses and their caregivers.”
The release noted that veterinarians and hoof experts have worked for more than a year to improve Stewie’s mobility.
Once his medical issues were under control, Stewie spent six-months in training to provide animal-assisted therapy to adults and children,” according to the release. “Lifting Spirits is the only miniature horse therapy organization in Massachusetts and visits more than 100 facilities around New England.”
Hadad told The National Desk Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses provides mobile equine assisted therapy services to children and adults of all ages and abilities.
Research has shown that equine therapy has positive mental, social, educational, spiritual and physical benefits,” she said. “We use our own trained miniature horses, to bring happiness, hope, and a sense of wellbeing to those in need.”
Hadad added that as a non-profit, they rely solely on donations, grants, sponsorships and fundraising to carry out their mission. She said 100% of funds go directly toward rescuing, training, horse care and supplies. To learn more, visit minitherapyhorses.net/donate.
Cadbury Bunny semi-finalists will be determined by online voting until March 14 at CadburyTryouts.com.
The winner will be announced March 21 and star in this year’s Cadbury Clucking Bunny commercial, plus earn $5,000 and an additional $5,000 to donate to an animal rescue organization of their choice.
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