"Don't Shoot the Zebra Pony" as Part of The Whinnies "Best of Equine Film" to be Presented at the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival

"Don't Shoot the Zebra Pony" as Part of The Whinnies "Best of Equine Film" to be Presented at the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival

Equitopia is excited to announce that the inspiring film directed by founder Caroline Hegarty, "Don't Shoot the Zebra Pony," will be presented as part of The Whinnies "Best of Equine Film" at the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival Nov. 8-12.

The Whinnies Festival showcases early release films that inspire and educate viewers about the beautiful partnership between horses and humans. Attracting A-list celebrities in the world-famous Californian Napa Valley, The Whinnies has quickly become a destination film festival since its inception five years ago.

Executive produced by Hegarty and directed by Kathryn Lauritzen of Padma Video, the inspiring rescue of the neglected 19-year-old zebra pony “Ziggy” is documented in Winters, California. Bred for novelty and never handled by humans, the zebra-pony cross was left to her own devices on a farm where her overgrown hooves caused her pain and difficulty in movement for many years. Her trust in humans tarnished, Ziggy would not allow anyone close enough to care for her, and her owner was considering shooting her before Hegarty stepped in to her rescue.

With her dedicated team including Animal Behavior Consultants, Zoo Veterinarians and Farriers, Hegarty devised a plan to help Ziggy return to optimal physical and emotional health while helping teach her to trust human hands. Animal Behavior Consultants at Train With Trust patiently used training techniques like classical conditioning and operant behavior conditioning that allowed Ziggy to actively participate in her care.

Observing the success of Ziggy's rehabilitation using training techniques that offer an element of choice rather than force, the film asks the horse industry, “what would happen if these training techniques were used with horses?”

Watch the trailer of “Don't Shoot The Zebra Pony” here.

Screenings of two films will take place together on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. at Farmstead in St. Helena, as well as Sunday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at Uptown Theatre in Napa. For more information on The Whinnies, please visit their website at www.thewhinnies.org.

To learn more about the resources available through Equitopia or donate, please visit equitopiacenter.com.

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