Horse lovers come to rescue after family's Christmas stolen - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Horse lovers come to rescue after family's Christmas stolen

By Connie Leonard

(LOUISVILLE) -- Earlier this week, we told you about the King family, who paid an Oldham County man $700 for a horse that was a Christmas gift for their kids. They say 36-year-old Chad Brickell gave them a receipt in October and promised them the horse by December 6, once it was weaned from its mother. But now Brickell is nowhere to be found. WAVE 3 Investigator Connie Leonard has an update.

Brickell is charged in Shelby County with felony theft in similar cases, and has left a trail of victims behind.

The Kings had a hard time saving up enough money to pay for the horse, and were left without the one gift they promised their children -- a filly named Two Socks.

Windy Meadows farm owner Ellie Troutman says she was wrapping Christmas presents Wednesday night when saw the story on WAVE 3 News, and was upset that someone could be cruel enough to steal a family's Christmas dream. 

"To see the injustice that was created, I felt like, with our operation, there was something we could do about it," Troutman said.

So she invited the Kings and WAVE 3 out for a visit to meet someone special. "This is my good buddy Provenza," Troutman said, as she showed off the horse -- wearing a bow. She described him as a beautiful, quiet soul who has been waiting for a family.

"You know, he's got a bow on him for a special reason," Troutman said, "because it's almost Christmas. Do you think he'd made a good Christmas present?"

Troutman says her farm has brought many blessings, and she wanted to pass that spirit on  with Provenza. The Kings are overwhelmed that a complete stranger could turn such a bad situation into something so wonderful.

A day earlier, Mike King hoped for a miracle for his kids' Christmas, he says they found it with Ellie. "I'm 42 years old and I believe in Santa Claus," King said.

A few minutes after meeting Provenza, young Alex and Nick had a new best friend. And horse people always take care of their own: Troutman called her friends and got all the trimmings. From vet and farrier care to helmets:

  • Barn manager Pat Riley will show the Kings how to care for Provenza.
  • Drs. Roger Magnusson and Redmon are giving the Kings a gift certificate for vet care.
  • Riding instructor Ashley Jackson will train the kids for free.
  • Producers Feed is supplying food for one year.
  • Tony Rankin is providing farrier service for six months.
  • United Marine Underwrites is supplying grooming products.
  • Skylight Supply kicked in with buckets and lead rope.
  • Prospect Horse and Rider provided two riding helmets.
  • And Windy Meadows will pay the board on Provenza.

Producers Feed spokesman Brendan Morris says "If the family stays in touch with everybody and spends the time to learn from everybody, you know it will provide a lot of happiness in their lives."

Mike's son, Nick, says it already has. "I think this is one of the best things I've ever had for a Christmas."

Nick, who seemed most worried about his family's loss, has now lost that burden. "It's just really great to have that feeling that everything is going to be back OK again," he said. 

"Nick chokes me up," Troutman said. "He touches my heart. I think Nick is going to be an awesome edition to our horse farm here."

Windy Meadows will keep the horse for several months to get the children prepared to take care of him and to give the family time to get his new barn ready.

And Provenza isn't just any horse -- he's a champion -- an Arabian show horse that's already won many ribbons. The family says they never knew this kind of generosity actually existed.

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Online Reporter: Connie Leonard

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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