STATE ROAD — The story begins with one horse, Bit O’Luck, now known as Willie, and through the plot, it has landed Willie and his equine friends in State Road at a new home.
Bit O’Luck Horse Rescue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit equine rescue program, has been based in Huntersville, but a recent sale of the land where the horses have been living caused Greg McCormack, who founded the rescue with board Chairman Toni Sagrilla, to seek out another home.
Through chance, Rob Small, president of Compaero Inc., met McCormack. Small’s mother adopted Lokie, a dog McCormack rescued from a shelter, after she gave birth to puppies. The canine connection created a friendship between the families, so when Small and his wife, Diana, decided to purchase the former Klondike Farm on Grassy Creek Road in State Road, the extra pastures and barn became a fit for a new home for the horses.
Small said they had been looking for some time for the perfect place to get out of Mooresville, because it was just too busy for where they wanted to live. Their search online led them to the former Chatham-owned property of Klondike Farm, which is adjacent to Grassy Creek Vineyard in State Road.
“We came to a deal where we are letting [McCormack] use the pastures and he’s teaching our kids how to take care of horses and be around them,” Small said.
McCormack’s story with the horse rescue began seven years ago when he learned about Willie, whose registered name was Bit O’Luck. The lady who had Willie in Kannapolis was going to have him put down if she couldn’t get him to put weight on his leg. McCormack found him through friends.
“She was calling him Wilty, but I told him if he had the will to live, we’d get him back in shape,” McCormack said, explaining how he shifted the horse’s name from Wilty to Willie.
Since Willie, who still remains with the rescue program, Bit O’Luck has had up to 17 horses. At present, the program has seven on hand in State Road and four more which are out on adoption.
“We don’t sell them, we retain ownership, but the adopters agree to care for them,” McCormack said.
In addition to seeking adoptive homes for the horses, Bit O’Luck also uses volunteers from the community to help care for them, something the Smalls and McCormack hope those in this area will be interested in helping with as well.
McCormack has some friends who live locally who have been gracious enough to let him stay there when needed as the horses go through the transition to a new home, but he also has been commuting. Small continues in his role of president of Compaero Inc. in Mooresville, a company which manufactures electronics for tanks and helicopters in the aerospace and defense industry, commuting daily to work from State Road.
“We’d love to see if there could be volunteers in the area interested in learning,” Small said. “Volunteers are needed to feed, give them fresh water and just love on the horses.”
Bit O’Luck survives through volunteers and the “kindness of people” who make donations, said McCormack, noting they’ve not had any luck securing grants to help with funding. Also, he encouraged people wanting to donate to rescues, to give to a local rescue with less overhead to fund.
McCormack said each horse has its own story of how it came to be with Bit O’Luck Horse Rescue, whether from being abused, or neglected, being abandoned when someone moves, to just being injured with no one to care for it. But he said he makes a promise to every horse taken in that it will remain well cared for and comfortable until the end of its life comes.
Those interested in volunteering with or donating to Bit O’Luck or seeking more information on the organization can visit http://www.bitoluck.org/, mail P.O. Box 2752, Huntersville, NC 28070 or reach McCormack at 704-464-9964 or firstname.lastname@example.org.