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Date:8/1/2014 2:37:28 AM
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Magic in the News!!!
This is a copy of the article the AQHA did about Magic!

The Power of Magic
The story of a very special horse helping some very special children.



At first, “Magic” sounded perfect. The bay American Quarter Horse gelding had it all; he had jumped, been a pony horse at a polo barn, showed dressage, been trail-ridden and had his breed’s classic kind temperament.
His owner, Jody Lynn McBrien, described him to Gail Clifton of the Sarasota-Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART) in Bradenton, Florida, hoping to donate him to the therapeutic riding program.

“And then Jody said, ‘Well, I need to tell you the rest of the story,’ Gail recalls with a smile. “‘He’s blind…. He has no eyeballs.’”

Magic had suffered from chronic uveitis since the age of 3, when Jody bought him. Around age 5, he lost the sight in one of his eyes, and a year later he went completely blind. Jody continued to ride and show him; she had his eyes removed because they were painful.

Gail had immediate reservations, but after riding Magic for herself, SMART took Magic and introduced him to the parents and children. “He was extraordinary,” Gail says. “All the kids love him.”

“Kids with autism don’t usually make eye contact. They’ll look everywhere else but in your eyes. And here they can look at Magic and he doesn’t look back. Those kids are always exploring his eye sockets and getting up to his face and smelling him, which they won’t do with the other horses.”

The American Quarter Horse Foundation, through its Equine Research grant program, partnered with the University of Florida on a study researching horses like Magic with eye infections causing blindness. The study showed some drug combinations have the potential to minimize the time, stress and fatigue associated with topical treatment regimens for certain eye infections thus making the horse owner or veterinarian’s job easier and thus more successful.

We invite you to learn more about the equine research projects of the American Quarter Horse Foundation and how together we become a formidable team that enhances the health and future of America’s Horse.
With the help of loving AQHA Members like you, we are improving the lives of American Quarter Horses and the people who love them all over the world.
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