Lindsey Vonn volunteers at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue | VailDaily.com

Lindsey Vonn volunteers at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue

Retired ski racer helps out another nonprofit through an auction item from her own fundraiser

Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine ski racing champion Lindsey Vonn maybe be retired, but she’s not slowing down. Vonn recently was out at a ranch near McCoy, CO volunteering for Mountain Valley Horse Rescue by mucking stalls and brushing horses.

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue is a nonprofit organization committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted horses. It hosts a variety of service days throughout the year and relies on volunteer hours to accomplish its goal of getting the horses ready for adoption.

“There are 170,000 horses around the country that are unwanted and 6,000 of those horses are in Colorado, so we’re just doing our part to try and help that initiative,” said Kathryn Middleton, who is a volunteer and a board member at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.

Joining Vonn on this service day were Joe Goddard, his wife and two young daughters who traveled from Cortland, NE to take part in this unique opportunity to do some service work alongside Lindsey Vonn.

“We saw this auction item before Lindsey’s fundraiser last spring and basically my daughter said-and it wasn’t a threat, or maybe it kind of was-but she said ‘You’d better win that auction item, dad’ so I went all out to get it,” Goddard said.

The money raised from the auction item to join Vonn at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue went to the Lindsey Vonn Foundation. Vonn started this organization to help girls develop confidence and grit through educational, athletic and enrichment programs.

After a brief orientation and introduction to the over two dozen horses on the ranch, the dogs and the donkeys, it was time to get to work.   

Tasks included feeding, grooming and mucking the stalls, which means removing horse dung. “We like to keep the footing nice underneath them to prevent hoof diseases,” Middleton said. 

“Wow, this makes cleaning up after my dogs look easy,” Vonn said after shoveling up some of the horse droppings in the stalls and dumping them into a bucket.

All mucking aside, Vonn enjoyed her time being near these majestic animals. 

“I love horses and obviously we want to help out not just my nonprofit, but others in the community. Coordinating with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue to create this auction item seemed like a great fit,” Vonn said.  To learn more about Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, go to http://www.mvhr.net and to see what the Lindsey Vonn Foundation is up to, visit http://www.lindseyvonnfoundation.org.