As a child, Monika was an avid animal lover saving as many animals as she could from the streets and finding them homes. At the age of 19, Monika rescued her first fur baby, a horse from the track who was going to be slaughtered. Melajim won his last thoroughbred race when he was 3 years old, he was won by a flip of the coin by a wealthy horse racer, but they did not care to have him, as they had many other much more expensive horses. Monika learned of Melajim from her veterinarian. He had a disease in his tendons which required daily shots. She nursed him back to health. Melajim was but was out of his prime, a story quite familiar in the race horse industry. Melajim lived an extra five years with love and care. She wasn’t at the race track but she still had a heart that thrived to live.
After losing Melajim, Monika swore she would never own another horse; however, while browsing the internet, once again there was a beautiful horse who was bound to go to the slaughter. She was at a Palomino Ranch in Northern California and had a fracture in her rear left foot. In the cruel breeding industry, a horse with a fracture holds no value. How could such a beautiful creature be thrown out like trash? The lucky rescue, because of her color, was named Chardonnay and she was loaded up and headed for a road of recovery. After several opinions from different vets from a $10,000 surgery that would probably help her and she would have limited mobility and could never be ridden. Riding her was never a high priority but her comfort and well-being was the first priority. We talked to a lot of veterinarians and got several expert opinions.
Finally agreed with one vet that made the most sense; Chardonnay was only two years old and was still growing. He said to treat her with a glucosamine supplement and have her follow up every 6 months. After a year, she was released from her medical treatment. The first miracle of what would be known as Villa Chardonnay Horses with Wings.
The second furry baby had no hope but was rehabilitated and able to live a meaningful life. How many others are out there like her? Chardonnay is the inspiration and reason for starting this organization. In the beginning, Villa Chardonnay was personally funded by working a full-time professional job in marketing for the first 10 years but as Villa grew the expenses grew. Designating 100% of my time at Villa was the only option to survive.