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Horse Trailer Turned Into Equine Ambulance

Neva Kittrell Scheve is going places, and she wants to help you and your horse to go places, too. Most of all, she wants you and your horseto get where you're going safely and comfortably.

Neva and her husband/business partner, Tom, first dipped their toes into the retail horse-trailer world in 1983. Motivated by their own needs and those of their horse-owning friends, and guided by their entrepreneurial spirit, the couple soon began adding custom features to enhance the safety features and resilience of existing horse trailer designs.

"Neither of us planned to become so involved in the horse trailer business," Neva says. "Initially, we became involved part-time, because I needed a new trailer and, by becoming a dealer, we could help finance my passion for horses."

This equine ambulance (above and below) was designed by Tom and Neva Scheve with James Hamilton, DVM, and built by the Scheves' company, EquiSpirit. Here, members of the Moore County Equine Emergency Response Unit train with the equipment. The Scheves first used their ambulance in the flooding that followed Hurricane Floyd into North Carolina in 1999.

By 1988, they were designing trailers for such manufacturers as Merthow, Trail-et, and McQuerry. Design evolutions followed, with trailer safety and strength, and equine comfort in mind. Today, the Scheves have their own trailer lines, EquiSport, ThoroSport, and EquiSpirit, and their own company, EquiSpirit Trailers, with a corporate office located in the heart of horse country in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In 1996, Michael Plumb's Horse Journal selected their trailer as number-one in safety and construction.

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Neva also followed her interest in safety to co-found her county's equine-emergency response unit, and helped design an equine ambulance for use at equestrian events and during natural disasters. Almost immediately after they took delivery of the ambulance, Hurricane Floyd (unfortunately) presented an opportunity to put it in service.

The couple enjoys sharing their insights and experience, both at equine events and in print. They've published The Hawkins Guide: Horse Trailering on the Road; and, with James Hamilton, DVM, Neva co-authored The Hawkins Guide: Equine Emergencies on the Road. Most recently, with Tom's research assistance, Neva penned The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer.

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