Be a voice for a horse

International writing contest for youth up to 18 years old asks what horses would tell us if they could speak

Langley youth are being given the opportunity to lend their voice to a horse.

Yvonne Allen, founder of the Langley-based Voice for the Horse Foundation, is inviting anyone up to the age of 18 to enter the first annual Children’s Wild Horse Writing Competition, sponsored by her non-profit foundation.

The question entrants are being asked to answer is: “What do you think horses would be telling you if they could speak?”

The contest was inspired by Atticus, a wild stallion which made its home in Deadman Valley, just west of Kamloops until it was captured, along with a number of other animals in the herd. They were taken to a rescue agency in central B.C.

Allen’s foundation was set up to raise awareness about the plight of both wild and domestic horses, and the writing contest is intended to encourage participation from a younger generation.

With wild horses across North America being herded off grazing land and domestic animals being subjected to abuse and neglect as the poor economy takes its toll on owners’ finances, Allen is hoping  to help young people develop an interest in horses and become more involved in ensuring the animals’ well being.

“We’ve lost our connection, our engagement with horses,” she said.

While there are a number of reasons she believes that has happened, Allen said one of the ways to turn it around is to “get into schools and do fine art projects

that are about celebrating a beautiful animal.”

Divided into two age categories — 12 and under, and 13 to 18 — the competition offers a grand prize of a trip to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) ranch, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, along with a gift package of equine-related materials, including DVDs and books.

In addition to the contest, the Voice for the Horse Foundation is currently working on a musical production, featuring the talents of two local singers — Tiffany Desrosiers and Cole Armour —  who, according to Allen, are joining forces to lead the foundation’s international theme song.

The writing contest is open to children and teens in both Canada and the U.S. and there is no charge to participate.

Deadline for entry is March 1. Contest rules and entry details can be found at