DERRY — A local artist brings her love of horses to the canvas and will share her works as part of a special event to help animals in need.

Susan Monty is among several artists featured in the New England Equine Rescue silent auction and equine art exhibit, set for May 8 at Rockingham Park in Salem.

Monty, an award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the country, works closely with several equine rescues groups, using her art to bring awareness to the needs of rescue horses. Her series "Second Chance" celebrates the dignity and beauty of these animals.

Barbara Frake, Dale Begley and Shannon Paltinavich join Monty as featured artists at the auction event.

The auction item list includes Disney World passes, Duck Boat tours, sports tickets, gift certificates to area restaurants and businesses, gift baskets, riding lessons, pet supplies, jewelry and much more.

A rider and horse lover for many years, Monty said depicting these horses in paint or colored pencil gives her a sense of purpose to know she is helping the equine rescue organizations.

"There are so many happy stories — and sad stories," she said.

Monty's paintings and the artwork and photography of other featured artists will be on display during the auction.

New England Equine Rescues started in 2005 to answer a need within the New England equine community and to create a network to find sanctuary for neglected or unwanted horses. In 2009, the group provided assistance for more than 50 horses in this area.

The auction and art exhibit begin at 6 p.m. in Rockingham Park's Belmont Room. Tickets are $15. Tickets are available online at www.newenglandequinerescues.com.

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