May 26, 2010

Opening Night at Rodeo de Santa Fe, New Mexico - Proud To Wear Purple! June 23rd , 2010

Please mark your calendars! Wednesday June 23rd, 2010. 7p.m.

The Opening Night of Rodeo de Santa Fe will be honoring our Veterans through our Horses For Heroes - NM Cowboy Up! program. We are "Proud to wear Purple" to represent our partnership with The Military Order of the Purple Heart, NM and to honor our wounded warriors and all Veterans who have served, and who are serving our country.

We will be riding in for the Opening Ceremonies and National Anthem which immediately follows the Grand Entry - some of our Horses For Heroes Instructors and Turquoise Trail Wranglers 4-H Club will be riding in as "outriders" with our horse drawn wagon filled with our Veterans.

Also of note is that we will be raffling off a Horses For Heroes-Cowboy Up! buckle, specially made by Clint Mortenson of Mortenson Silver and Saddles. So please come to enjoy the fun and don't forget to Wear Your Purple!

May 11, 2010

Letter From Neal Riley

Welcome to! As a U.S. Army Special Forces Medic who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I understand the enormous struggles confronting our combat veterans as they return home after service overseas. Many veterans return to civilian life with physical and psychological wounds. On the battlefield I treated the physical wounds of combat. But healing the psychological wounds from combat trauma can be a life-long process.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with Santa Fe rancher, retired U.S. Marshal, and Special Forces veteran, Rick Iannucci, to raise funds for our non-profit organization, “Horses For Heroes-New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!”. Rick and our crew of volunteers are working to assist in healing our OIF OEF veterans experiencing combat trauma. As the program medic I have seen Rick and our dedicated volunteer staff work with veterans and I believe in the healing power of our program. As Rick explains, “The cowboy culture is parallel to the warrior culture.” Rick points out that horses have the ability to sense our deepest feelings and they reflect that back to us. In a way, horses can help direct people back onto a path of peace and balance.

As a non-profit “Horses For Heroes –New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!” relies entirely on donations to meet its operational expenses. To raise funds and awareness for this non-profit, I will compete in an ultra-marathon and ask sponsors to donate much-needed funds to help support this effort to heal our veterans. The run that I have chosen is a 30-mile race on an ancient Hopi trail through the heart of Hopi country in Polacca, AZ. The “Paatuwaqatsi Run” or “Water is Life Run”, leads runners up switchbacks of high desert mesas, down into arroyos, and through the Hopi village of Walpi. Accomplished Hopi runner, Bucky Preston, founded the race. Preston explains: “Putting Hopi life values and teaching at the forefront is the purpose of the run.” The Hopi regard running as a practical necessity as well as a rejuvenating and spiritual experience. As a staff member of “Horses For Heroes-New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!”, I hope to learn from the ancient Hopi perspective on running and pass along what I learn.

“Horses for Heroes-New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!” also recognizes the enormous sacrifice and contribution made by Native Americans: from the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II to the soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. And the largest percentage of Native American soldiers serving today come from the state of New Mexico.

We welcome you to become a part of the “Horses For Heroes- New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!” effort to help our veterans who have risked everything for our country. To donate by credit card, click on the donate button. Donations can also be sent by check to: “Horses For Heroes-New Mexico, Inc, Cowboy Up!” PO Box 1882, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

“Horses For Heroes-New Mexico, Inc. Cowboy Up!” is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. 100% of all donations go directly to support New Mexico veterans. More information can be found on the web at:

May 9, 2010

US Army Wounded Warriors (AW2) Cowboy Up! with Horses For Heroes, NM

"AW2 Wounded WarriorTaking care of wounded warriors is an important part of the Army's mission. The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, for as long as it takes."

This is an awesome program for Veterans and their Families! Please go to their website to learn more
Visit AW2 US Wounded Warriors

AW2 Advocate Christin Barden Cowgirled Up! for her program by going hands on with us at the Crossed Arrow Ranch. This is what advocacy is all about!

The following photos are courtesy of Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! participant Keith Coronel - Thanks Keith!!!

May 4, 2010

2010 Red Cross Real Heroes

This morning the 2010 Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast honored local people for acts of great bravery, dedication and service to the community. The American Red Cross of New Mexico chose 9 heroes who embody their guiding principles and inspire others to do good! "Their actions exemplified what it means to help your community and give hope when there is none!" - American Red Cross.

Among the Real Heroes awarded was our very own Director Rick Iannucci!

Pictured above is Award Presenter/Sponsor Bill McClure of Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Laboratories

Emcee Deanna Sauceda of KRQE 13

To learn more about the nominees please visit:

Red Cross Real Heroes

Cerro Grande fire - Judy and Dick Opsahl
Good Samaritan (Adult) - Dr. Andru Ziwasimon
Good Samaritan (Youth) - Rachel Kindell
Disaster Relief - Wayne Baker
Military - Rick Iannucci
Emergency Medical Service - Lt. Rafael Garcia
Animal Rescue Hero - Elizabeth Johnson
Firefighter - Kevin Ferguson
Law Enforcement - Sgt. Joe Harris