Grady Column - Hope Equine Rescue tractor donation

The headline may be misleading — and yet very accurate.

I will explain by first telling you about a great non-profit group here in Polk County that has been providing care and rehabilitation to abused and neglected horses for the past twelve years. They are called Hope Equine Rescue (HER), and they are based in Winter Haven.

They exist because some people don’t care for their horses or donkeys, to the point where it’s criminal.

During these investigations, the animals are put in the custody of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. They are then turned over to HER, where they can become healthy once again. HER then finds good homes for the horses. They’ve done this with more than 115 horses and donkeys.

One of our deputies learned that an old tractor used by the group was no longer working, and they desperately needed a new one. We found out that State Representative Sam Killebrew, a huge supporter of HER, had made a personal donation to help.

I spoke with board members from Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc., and it was decided that a donation of $18,500 would be sent to HER. But we were all still short of the amount it would take to purchase a new tractor.

Grove Equipment Service, Inc. worked with Massey Ferguson, and both were able to provide substantial discounts on a brand new tractor that was purchased with the donations. It was great being a part of such an awesome effort to help someone like HER, who has done so much for so many mistreated animals.

Grady Judd is the Sheriff of Polk County. Learn more about Judd and the Polk County Sheriff's Office at