Medically challenged horse releases children’s picture book, inspires equestrian community

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Jackson Day, a 17-year-old Arabian horse, could be the “poster horse” for a variety of horse ailments and conditions.

Jackson, whose home is Lakeside’s Selah Ranch, is the subject of a book – and was the star at his book’s signing party held at the ranch – that chronicles his life, conditions, surgeries and spirit,  held Nov. 10.

Jackson Day, a 17-year-old Arabian horse, could be the “poster horse” for a variety of horse ailments and conditions.

Jackson, whose home is Lakeside’s Selah Ranch, is the subject of a book – and was the star at his book’s signing party held at the ranch – that chronicles his life, conditions, surgeries and spirit,  held Nov. 10.

The picture book is titled “I’m Jackson Day and I’m Here to Stay:  The True Story of a Medically Challenged Horse Who Found Fun, Friends, and Fame.” by Jacki Day and Jan Janette.

The children’s book has approximately 60 pictures with notations of Jackson from different years, reflecting his different conditions and surgeries, but also documenting his will to live and true grit.

“He was so sick for so long,” said Jacki Day, his owner.

Jackson was born septic, and has had numerous surgeries and complications. Jackson’s resiliency is one of the messages Day and Janette wish to relay in their book – or, as Day says, “Life’s limitations lead to new achievements.”

According to Lisa Day Mercer the book is the number one new release in Children’s Physical Disabilities Book division on Amazon.

“He has gone through so much in his life,” said Day Mercer, stepdaughter to co-author Jacki Day.

Jackson has touched the lives of people through his book, as well as those who have seen him triumph in person.

“He has an amazing will to live. He always has a great attitude and is a great patient,” said Jackson’s primary care veterinarian Dr. Craig Chandler. Dr. Chandler has been his veterinarian for 15 years.

The book has especially impacted children.

“I felt bad for the horsey because he was so sick, but he was so strong,” said Leilani Kampmueller, 5, of Lakeside.

About 40 people attended the signing and could get their book autographed by the authors, meet Jackson and enjoy sodas and snacks.

“I liked the pictures when he was a baby,” said Allie Desjardins, 3, who with her brother Luke, 5, got to pet Jackson during the event.

Jackson Day was a star in his own right even before his book came out, having had his story told by the Reader’s Digest, featured on the cover of Horse and Rider Magazine, and he will be Mr. July in the San Diego Humane Society’s 2019 calendar.

Jackson lives on the 3-1/3-acre ranch owned by Lynda Schaefer.

According to Schaefer, Jackson eats three times a day and eats top-of-the-line hay, Timothy Hay and pellets made up of 50/50 alfalfa and Bermuda grass.

The ranch has been Jackson’s home since shortly after his birth at Angel Acres Ranch.

Jackson went through shocking genetic 23 & Me DNA-like test results.

“The Arabian Horse Association sent me a letter that Lady Remington was his mother; but Millionaire stud, was not his father,” Day said. “They bred using artificial insemination and picked the wrong straw.”

Lady Remington’s father was also Jackson’s father. Day had paid for the stud service.

The publishing experience for Day and Janette?

“Two years of fun and three years of awful,” said Jacki Day. The three years of awful was finding a publisher.

Day and Janette eventually self-published through Somerspoint Press.

Dave Wogahn, with Author Imprints, noted the book, all 34 pages, debuted October 24, with an initial first run of 300 books.

The book is available on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com  plus Jackson’s continuing life story can be enjoyed on his Facebook page.

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