In the fall of 2001 Christine and Barry, decided to travel to South Africa to see Cheetahs in the wild and see what they could do to assist in their preservation.
Originally both were in the Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding business, Christine, being a leading trainer and Barry a leading jockey agent and both the breeders of champion horses. They have been in one animal business or another for their entire lives.
After visiting De Wildt Cheetah Trust and meeting with the Founder, Ann VanDyk, they were asked to assist with fund raising in the U.S and host one of their Trustees. That prompted the formation of Carso Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation and after a trip back to S Africa in 2002, Christine and Barry purchased a farm with Ann VanDyk that was both an educational preserve and a facility used to temporarily house problem cheetahs and leopards that were relocated to areas where they would be safer. Thru their own funds and money raised in the U.S., many cheetahs were saved from farmers who in the past had just shot them or worse. Funds raised purchased land, a microlight plane, numerous tracking collars and equipment, educational materials and a variety of other items necessary to the effort. Christine became a Trustee of DeWildt Cheetah Trust the following year.
They even hosted a cheetah running exhibition next to Arlington Park Racecourse.
In 2007, mostly retiring from the racehorse business and devoting almost full time to the Foundation, Christine and Barry seriously contemplated moving permanently to their farm near Bela Bela, South Africa. However, they also saw a need near Gainesville Florida utilizing the land that was their former horse farm and it was decided that they could continue their mission in the U.S. And so in 2008 after large enclosures were built with natural bushes and trees, they accepted their first couple animals. Once the animal population quickly grew, they began offering conservation education tours.
They live at the animal park, donate their land, their time ( 24/7, 365 days a week) equipment and enormous funds to conservation and the welfare of the animals, most of which are endangered species. They take no salary and never will.