Welcome to Equine Rescue Ambulance

Prior to 2002, equine rescue services were offered on an extremely limited basis to a few Maryland horse owners and event organizers by the New Bolton Center of Pennsylvania and the Nevins Equine Center of Massachusetts. It was Dr. Rachel Westerlund’s belief that our community should have its own professional emergency program and not have to depend on out-of-state support. Specifically, Dr. Westerlund saw the need for local emergency rescue services during racing, fox hunting, and other competitions.The Equine Rescue Ambulance, Inc. (ERA) was established in 2002 by Dr. Rachel Westerlund, with Renee Townsley, Danielle Class, and Jean Class. ERA provides emergency rescue, stabilization and transport services for equine athletes downed or injured during Maryland’s cross country events.

In 2003, Dr. Westerlund and Renee Greene joined forces to enlist a volunteer core of fifteen who were committed to the cause and agreed to undergo extensive equine rescue training. Working with a veterinarian to stabilize, treat and transport injured equine athletes, our volunteers quickly, efficiently and humanely respond in the event of an emergency. In 2005, ERA held its first fundraiser at The Manor Tavern in Monkton which netted close to $22,000. This enabled ERA to provide continued educational training and pay yearly operational expenses for maintenance, insurance, and marketing for the next three years.

By 2007, the volunteer core had grown to forty-three and ERA had been on-site at all local steeplechase races since 2003. The Land Preservation Trust had graciously served as fiscal agent. For administrative reasons, the founders decided in 2006 to create a stand-alone Public Charity exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c)(3). The Internal Revenue Service granted exempt status to Equine Rescue Ambulance, Inc. in early 2007.

Today, ERA continues to provide services to Green Spring, Elkridge Harford, and Howard County Point to Points, My Lady’s Manor and Grand National Races, the Maryland Hunt Cup,  the MCTA Combined Training event and the Legacy Chase. Additionally, our mission has expanded to include local fire departments. ERA trains with Baltimore and Harford County firefighters, and assists with equine rescues as needed. As a member of the Maryland Horse Council, ERA participates in community events such as the Pet Expo and Horseland at the Maryland State Fair.