When eventer Susan Moessner was injured loading a stallion onto a trailer, sustaining multiple broken bones and bite wounds that required a one-week stay in the intensive care unit at the University of Michigan Trauma Center, a group of her animal-loving friends banded together to help. But it wasn’t just her fellow eventers who stepped up.
On weekends that Moessner isn’t at horse trials, she can typically be found showing her beloved rabbits. So when news broke that Moessner was hurt—she fractured her nose, collarbone and cheekbone in the accident on May 25—her friends in the rabbit community came together to support her.
Fellow longtime rabbit exhibitor Bart Lillie came up with the idea of auctioning off rabbits on his Facebook group, Support 4 Sue Moessner, to raise money to help pay for Moessner’s bills.
“We tried to figure out where we could help out as far as monetary or physical labor helping her out on the farm,” he said. “After speaking with her, it seemed like helping out with some bills while she was laid up would be the best thing to do.
“We [have] six weeks of auctions lined up,” Lillie continued. “We just [finished] our first auction and raised about $1,200. I’ve had quite a few people interested in donating rabbits, so I’m hoping we’ll have 12 to 16 auctions.”
The auctions are held for 36 hours at a time, starting on Sundays, with four rabbits available for purchase per auction.
Moessner, who has been showing rabbits since she was a teenager and currently acts as president of the American Satin Rabbit Breeder’s Association, was touched by her friends’ efforts to help. A GoFundMe account was also started for Moessner by friend and fellow eventer Patti Jason, and it's raised about $5,700 so far.
Moessner runs Paragon Farms Equestrian Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she trains horses, teaches lessons and stands the Rhinelander stallion Satin Art. She's competed Satin Art up to the preliminary level, placing eighth in the CCI* at the Ocala Horse Properties Three-Day Event (Fla.) in April. Moessner isn’t certain when she’ll be back in the saddle, and her right arm will require a skin graft due the severity of the bite wounds.
“You never know how good your friends are,” Moessner said. “I’m already feeling better being out of the hospital in the fresh air and seeing my horses. I’m getting better each day.”