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RHA Adopted 3 "Hisaibas"

Three years have passed since the 3.11 disaster of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Support of RHA has now come to a new stage ― RHA adopted 3 mares, and they started their new life at HORSE TRUST, a sanctuary for  retired horses and ponies in Kagoshima.

Harmony Chitose-chan (age unkown) was once  adopted to a riding club, however, her hoof was injured and was no longer able to be ridden.  What she needed was a place to relax and move as she wanted.  We decided to take over Harmony Chitose-chan.


Harmony Chitose-chan

7 year old Enaco was not suitable for riding nor as a pet because of her serious mental problem.  She easily got into panic. Sometimes she got hurt, sometimes she was dangerous to deal with.  The former owner Mr. Tanaka was determined to keep her at his farm.  But we proposed to take over Enaco, for we were convinced that the spacious pastures of HORSE TRUST will be a good environment to lessen stress and heal her mental problem.



The only concern of Mr. Tanaka was to separate Enaco from Kocchan(8 years old), because she was the only one Enaco could depend upon, and asked us if Kocchan could move together.  We knew it was very difficult to find a new owner for Kocchan, and we decided to welcome her to RHA.



 The 3 horses moved to Kagoshima on 3 November, 2013.


Getting off the truck, arriving at HORSE TRUST.

It did not take a month until the 3 horses got used to the new life in Kagoshima. For a few days Enaco was in panic when she lost sight of Kocchan.  But soon there was a remarkable change.  Enaco learned to cope with other horses, which was a great surprise!  Kocchan, and Harmony Chitose-chan have made new friends.

Help Us Support Enaco, Kocchan, and Harmony Chitose-can

We very much appreciate your support for Enaco, Kocchan, and Harmony Chitose-chan.  Donations by PayPal is now accepted. (Enaco has died of a disease on March 24,2014.)


The landscape along Route 6. The tsunami swept away almost everything. This stable affected by the tsunami is within the 20 kilometer area from the nuclear power plant. After two weeks from the disaster, the horses were found inside by a volunteer group members. Many died, but 11 horses have been rescued. This horse died a day before the rescue.



Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture is an area in Japan where many ex-race horses spend their second lives. This area is famous for the Soma Nomaoi, a breathtaking festival with a thousand-year history which has been designated a National Important Intangible Folk Culture Property. Horses are very common here. They live in backyards and small stables, owned by horse-lovers, and as members of families or as companions.


EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI, AND RADIATION This horse was found two weeks after the quake & tsunami. Recovering now, but many scars remain on the neck.

The earthquake on March 11 alone was a great disaster. Then the resulting tsunami caused by the earthquake swept away many stables near the seashore, along with houses and other facilities. Many people died and many are still missing, as are the horses as well. But some horses survived through the disaster and have been rescued, and now they need care.

On top of everything, the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant made things worse. The silent fear of radioactivity threatens the horses. The owners themselves were seriously affected by the quake, tsunami and the nuclear-power plant disaster. They had no choice but to leave their horses in order to evacuate. Yet many owners in Minami Soma soon came back,  because they care for their horses and cannot abandon them. The horses are their pets, members of their families.


WE NEED TO BUY FEEDmap_somas.jpg

Feed for the horses is insufficient because the suppliers have run out of stock or have shut down due to the tsunami and fear of radiation. We have to charter trucks to Minami Soma, and the suppliers are reluctant to go to Fukushima for fear of radioactive contamination.

We, the Retired Horse Association (RHA; non-profit ), have been providing feed to horse owners, but we must provide more. It is estimated that more than 100 horses are still remaining inside the 30 kilometer area where the government has strongly advised residents to stay indoors.

The conditions are getting worse. The government has prohibited people from going inside the 20 kilometer area after April 22. Not only people but horses had to be evacuated. However, some horses still remain there. We are ready to provide any help possible to support the owners rescue their horses. 



We must provide shelters for horses that need to be evacuated, as well as for the rescued horses awaiting adoption. We must provide a minimum satisfactory environment for those horses in order to give their owners hope and relief. Many shelters will become necessary if access to the 30-kilometer area is to be restricted in the future, too.

For long term support, we also need a sanctuary for horses and ponies that are not suitable for adoption. We have already overseen 20 horses for adoption, but some horses and ponies are very difficult to handle. We need a place where we can provide training and lifetime care.



In Japan, JPY 30,000 (approximately US $375) per month is necessary to provide feed and minimum care for one horse. Our country is now in the midst of a great disaster and cannot raise enough money for the horses. We would like to ask for your warm support from overseas. Please help us save the horses in Minami Soma, Fukushima.


Very best regards,

Kyoko Numata
Chairperson of The Retired Horse Association


How to donate

Would you like to know more about the Soma Nomaoi?(Link to the official website of The Soma Nomaoi Executive Committee)

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