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The Shelby Farms Equestrian Alliance’s Legacy Lives On


Sunset at Shelby Farms at the Marilyn Lubin Memorial Trail Ride

Ranger Rick (in back) and a friend ride at Shelby Farms Park
By Jennifer Dunlap, DVM

The Shelby Farms Equestrian Alliance (SFEA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was founded on March 1, 1995 and was created to encourage equestrian activity in the Mid-South – especially at Shelby Farms  - by preserving the natural environment of the park for future generations and to act as a liaison between area equestrian organizations, the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, and Shelby County Government.

Over the past 23 years that is just what SFEA has done: working to educate the public, the business community, and the local government about the importance of the horse industry in Shelby County, Tennessee and surrounding area. SFEA has raised money to help Shelby County develop and maintain equestrian facilities and recreational areas to benefit the local horse community.  Horseback riding is now a mainstay at Shelby Farms, and the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency now has the training and equipment for animal disaster situations, thanks to the generosity of SFEA.

When the SFEA board members and volunteers realized their goals had been reached, they made a very generous donation to Animal Response Foundation Inc.(ARF), another local 501(c)(3) non-profit. ARF assists local law enforcement, when invited in by the agency in charge, during an animal disaster or animal cruelty situation by providing on-the-scene animal handling, emergency transport, setting up and maintaining emergency sheltering for animal victims in a cruelty case, and assisting with eventual placement. The ARF Rapid Response Team is in charge of providing these unique services. With this amazing gift from SFEA, ARF was able to purchase much needed rescue equipment, including a cache of hand-held radios to allow ARF responders to have constant contact with one another when clearing a scene of animal victims. This is especially helpful when working in a large area or in difficult terrain or circumstances; so ARF transporters can stay in constant contact with personnel riding with animal victims in critical condition, hooked up to oxygen and/or IV fluids.  ARF was also able to purchase a Rescue Glide and accessories so that down horses can be transported more easily over varied terrain, and in cases when a rescue rig cannot be pulled up close enough to load a down horse directly into the horse trailer. 

Shelby Farms Equestrian Alliance’s legacy lives on in the beautiful riding areas at Shelby Farms, the cross country course, the numerous horse groups they have assisted over the years, the horse community’s increased knowledge from the SFEA trainings, their donation of equipment to the Shelby County EMA, and in their wonderful lifesaving donation to Animal Response Foundation. Thank you SFEA for 23 years of service to the local horse community!

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