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.


Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue


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 DCSPCA 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.

Equine Care Manager

Lakesha Simone

Lakesha manages the day to day stable operations as well as maintaining the physical and mental health of the herd at Lucky Orphans. 


Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue

Board of Directors

Board Chair

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."


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.


John Pacos

John Pacos is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in New York State and has been with RBT CPAs, LLP since 2014. He earned his BS in Accounting from Ramapo College of New Jersey and his MBA in Public Accounting from SUNY New Paltz. He is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

John became involved with Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue after completing the 2017 Leadership Dutchess program with Founder and Executive Director, Deanna Mancuso. John was initially drawn to the organization by his love for animals and his desire to use his skills to benefit those in need. John enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and lives in Westtown, NY.



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

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.

Board Member

Mark Katz

Mark has had 25+ years of experience in IT/Operations in both FinTech and InsurTech. Mark has served as CIO for Financial Products and Services for XL Capital, and Global CIO for Syncora Guarantee, an IPO Carve-Out bond insurance firm.  Most recently, Mark was recruited to transform ASCAP’s IT Department, a testament to his ability to work and thrive in disparate cultures and business lines.   He currently works in the consulting space specializing in fractional CIO work, Master Data Management, and Open Space Agile. Mark has also worked at a number of other Blue-Chip organizations including Brown Brothers Harriman and Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank).  Earlier in his career, he has also served as a consultant at UBS Private Bank, Lehman Brothers and Ameritox (Pharma).       

Mark holds Masters’ degrees from Columbia University and The University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate work at SUNY Binghamton.    Mark is also a professional level pianist, and plays for charity and political functions.  During one of these music functions at an art gallery, Mark came into first hand contact with one of the Lucky Orphans minis, Carmella.   “Once I found out about LOHR and the amazing work they do, I became passionate about the organization.  Not only are these animals rehabilitated via extensive work from the staff at LOHR, but they are then trained to serve individuals who need support; children on the spectrum, Vets with PTSD, Behavioral issues.   Transformations are meaningful and significant.”   


Board Member

Kim McNamee

Kim is the Senior Humane Law Enforcement Officer at the Dutchess County SPCA.  She has been part of the Humane Law Division at the DCSPCA since 20010 when she started as a Humane Law Enforcement volunteer. Kim is certified with the Department of Criminal Justice Services and has extensive experience and training in the matters of animal welfare and animal cruelty, as well as business management.

Kim also serves on the Dutchess County Animal Response Team (DCART) Steering Committee. Kim is currently working on her Veterinary Technician degree.

Kim's start in the non-profit sector was during her high school years when she interned for two summers as the business manager at a domestic violence shelter in Westchester County.  It was also during high school that Kim started riding horses as part of an after school riding program during a difficult part of her life. To her instructor's dismay, the comical connection she had with her horse lightened her heart and spirit at every lesson. "The mission of LOHR and the work they do is very important. It's not only for the animals, but also the people whose lives are impacted every day by the love of the horses and the healing programs that strengthen the connection with these majestic beings."

Animals have always been a very important part of Kim's life .She recognizes the unspoken bond and shared energy between people and animals. Kim continues to advocate for animals through her work at the DCSPCA, educating people about laws pertaining to animals and humane animal care.  Kim and Deanna are working on improving animal cruelty laws in New York State.

Board Member

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

Kate Rabe

Kate Rabe is the owner of Kate Rabe Consulting, a Communications and Marketing firm here in the Hudson Valley where she helps businesses gain clarity on their goals for their organization by focusing on their internal and external communication.  Kate has a BS in Marketing from Plattsburgh State University.  She was awarded the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under Forty in 2014 and is a graduate of the 2017 Leadership Dutchess Program.  She was also awarded the 2017 Community Advocate Award through the Dutchess County Chamber Foundation.

 Kate has been involved in Girl Scouts for all long as she can remember and has held various positions in the Tioronda Service Unit as well as older girl program with the Heart of the Hudson Girl Scouts.  She is currently on the Professional Development Committee for the Chamber Foundation as well as a mentor for their Youth Leadership Program.  She sits on the board for the Beacon Chamber as well as the Fishkill Business Association and is an Ambassador the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

 Kate met Deanna as a classmate in Leadership Dutchess and it did not take her long to recognize the passion that Deanna brings to Lucky Orphans and all they do for the community.  She is excited about serving on the board for Lucky Orphans and looks forward to getting to know all of the horses better along the way.  Kate currently lives in Beacon with her husband Tom where they enjoy all things the beautiful Hudson Valley has to offer.


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.