Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue

(845) 877-0685

Mission Statement

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue is dedicated to providing a sanctuary for unwanted, abused, neglected horses and to improve the relationship between horses and people.  We are committed to raising funds to support the rescued horses in our care and will pursue the acquisition of grants, gifts, bequests and donations to support the organization.  We are a no-kill rescue striving to promote humane treatment. Our goal is to properly unite humans and horses in a safe environment, using approved methods to preserve the best equine care through informative and instructional guidance, education and administration, adhering to the understanding of the need for the preservation of rural equine communities.  We are not breed specific and promise each of our horses will never again know the abuse, neglect, abandonment or other injury that brought them to our facilities.

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue is proud to offer EAGALA,  Natural Lifemanship and E3A model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Trauma Focused EAP and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Programs through EquiNorth, Inc. Our team is committed to working side by side with the horses we rescue to help change the lives of people with a diverse range of struggles such as those suffering with addictions, depression, grief and loss, trauma, at-risk youth and improving relationships in families and groups.

Executive Director

Deanna Mancuso

The founder of LOHR, Deanna Mancuso, is a well-established member of the local professional equine community.  Starting out as an exercise rider for various farms from Westchester to Columbia Counties, she successfully moved up to barn management, eventually transitioning to business-owner of Equine Escape Stable. Within a few years of opening Equine Escape, Deanna began to recognize a disturbing trend within the community.  She was receiving a growing number of inquiries regarding unwanted horses and how to report abuse and neglect.  This problem was only exacerbated by requests from the SPCA to foster seized horses which had begun to outnumber available spaces at their own facilities. Determined to be part of the solution, Deanna established Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue to offer permanent sanctuary to these otherwise unwanted, abused, or neglected animals, and provide them with a safe haven where they would never again experience the situations that led them to LOHR in the first place.

Assistant Manager

Rachel Leitem



Board Chair

Mike Sava

Mike is a 20 year employee of IBM, specializing in software engineering, application development and collaboration.  He received a BS degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Pace University. 

His interest in horses came through his wife who had a gentle Quarter Horse named Yosemite when they met .  Over the last 15 years or so he has owned 4 horses (currently the proud owner of two Haflingers – Patsy and Alpine) and has been learning more and more about these magnificent creatures each year.  He has taken clinics with trainers such as: Julie Goodnight, Mitzi Summers , and Katherine Barbarite and has been learning about the use of horses as therapy animals.

Mike’s interest in of Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue and it’s Board of Directors came about through his love of horses and his desire to give back to others that are in need of assistance.



Vice Chair

Jill Rose

During her teenage years, Jill spent most of her time at the barn.  This was a special time in her life creating a bond of mutual trust, admiration and respect of horses.  Today, with two girls, she carries this passion to help rescued horses.  "Being a part of Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue has inspired me to become an active community volunteer in an arena that I care deeply about."

Before joining the exciting world of real estate, Jill was a clothing buyer for a large department store. An attention to detail, dedication and providing a high quality of service is what Jill believes it takes to be successful.
Jill approaches the world with laughter and patience and has learned that its moments and memories that matter most.


Allen Westermann

Allen has been a principal with Contaxt Solutions Inc., a small consulting firm that provides software solutions, services and project management in various finance disciplines, for the past three and a half years.

After spending the first six years of his career in the audit division of Arthur Andersen, Allen joined the Thomson Corporation (subsequently Thomson Reuters through acquisition). Over his eighteen years with Thomson Reuters, Allen held various executive positions spanning finance and technology functions. These roles included global financial reporting, controllership, global shared services, SAP general ledger implementation, sourcing and procurement and technology finance.

Allen enjoys tennis, golf, problem solving, home projects and running the occasional half marathon. Allen resides in Hopewell Junction, NY with his wife and two daughters.




Cathie Morton

Cathie Morton has been an educator in Dutchess County since 1997 and currently works as a Coordinator of Library Media Services and Library Media Specialist in a nearby school district.

Having loved and grown up with horses herself, Cathie was eager to share her passion with her own children. Six years ago she enrolled her then 5-year old daughter in the Young Riders program she’d heard about at Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue. Since that time, her involvement with Lucky Orphans has evolved from volunteer and committee member to sponsor and Board member.

“Being part of the mission of Lucky Orphans has allowed me to show my family the meaning of community and giving back, while allowing me to continue my relationship with horses themselves.”




Board Member

Annmarie Westermann

Annmarie has always been attracted to the beauty of horses and began volunteering at Lucky Orphans with her daughter in 2014.  She continues to help out with direct horse care while expanding her involvement through board membership, safety and first aid protocols, merchandise, event planning and other responsibilities.

Her volunteer career started as an active committee member for the local PTA and has expanded into the Millbrook Literary Festival and the NYC Equus Film Festival among other valuable causes.   Annmarie  graduated from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York with a bachelors degree in Nursing and is a NYS licensed professional registered nurse.  Annmarie has more than fifteen years experience in pediatric nursing.

She’s a long time resident of Dutchess County and enjoys giving back to the community.   In her spare time she enjoys reading, sewing and traveling with her family.  

Board Member

Sheila Rabideau

Sheila comes to LOHR with decades of both Behavioral Health and Not-for-Profit management experience. Her equine experience began in the early 1960’s in both the amateur and professional arenas as an owner, exhibitor and then as an instructor.  In the late 1960’s Sheila and her family worked with Camp Smith/Jean Kennedy Smith to develop an “equine assisted therapy” program for campers living with developmental disabilities.  All involved were unprepared and amazed by the results. Her interest and support of this valuable modality continues today. Woven into her career path and family life is a dedication to animal rights and welfare.

Sheila’s initial impression of Lucky Orphan Horse Rescue operation and management led her to volunteer and then to support the organization in whatever way she can.  “It’s a pleasure to deal with like-minded people who support helping horses to heal people”.

Sheila lives in Dover Plains with her husband Ralph Franklin, also a volunteer.

Board Member

Tara Dickett

Tara has worked for M&T Bank since 2001.  During her time with M&T, she has had the opportunity to work in different positions and branches throughout the Hudson Valley.  Tara is currently the Assistant Vice President and Senior Branch Manager in the Kingston M&T Branch.

With the help of M&T, Tara started volunteering; first at the United Way, serving on different committees and as a member of the Young Leaders United.  Tara also served as a board member of the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum.

Although Tara doesn't have horse experience, her love and respect for animals brought her to Lucky Orphans.  Tara says,

"the passion and dedication of this organization is something I had to be a part of."

Board Member

Lauren Ballough

Lauren Ballough is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, and has been with the firm for over 15 years.  Lauren received a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a member of Women's Swimming team.

Service, and specifically animal welfare, has always been extremely important to Lauren, who has devoted time to volunteering since she began her career in New York.  She has been an active volunteer at the NYC Animal Care and Control shelters, fostered dogs and kittens, hosted volunteer orientations, and together with a colleague, piloted a dog-walking program for professionals.  She was also previously the volunteer event coordinator for a large 5K in Manhattan to help fight pancreatic cancer.

 Lauren has had a love for horses from a very early age, and today enjoys riding in Northern Westchester.  She feels strongly that our treasured horses deserve to live meaningful lives in forever homes, and was drawn to Lucky Orphans after learning they accomplish that and more!  "Lucky Orphans enriches the lives of the horses in their care and the individuals whose lives they touch through their programs and services."

Board Member

Charlie Bilangino

Charlie graduated from New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, Long Island with a degree in Architectural Technology. After graduating, Charlie and a partner formed Roles Development Corp. for the purpose of building and development of residential homes.  Later, Charlie formed CGB Development Corp.  

Charlie has served on many committees in the communities he has worked in. Charlie has always believed it's not just building a house, but taking a person's idea and thoughts and turning them into reality, and helping the community grow. This is what led Charlie to Lucky Orphans. He is committed to help build LOHR,  to rescue horses from the life they were living, and to develop LOHR into a long lasting community center so all can benefit.