Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Help a Horse Home: ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today we recognize Help a Horse HomeSM: ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge.

Pixabay/Bhakti Iyata/CC

On August 30, 2019, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced the winners of its annual Help a Horse HomeSM: ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge, which is designed to increase adoptions of equines around the country. More than 170 equine rescues, shelters and sanctuaries across 41 states competed in this year’s challenge to win grant money totaling $150,000 along with other prizes.

As a result of the two-month long challenge, the participating groups collectively found homes for over 1,500 equines. While that number alone is inspiring, on average, groups increased their adoptions by an astounding 56% compared to the same time period last year.

Organizations applying for funding were separated into four different divisions. The divisions were based on the number of adoptions completed during the Challenge period last year (April 26 – June 30, 2018) and for all of 2018.

Regardless of what division a group is in, winners were determined by the biggest increase in adoption numbers between the Challenge period last year and the Challenge period this year. That means groups competed against their own baseline number of adoptions from last year’s challenge period.

The 12 winning Help a Horse Home groups include:

Grand Prize ($35,000)

  • Yavapai Humane Society (Chino Valley, AZ)

Division D

  • 1st Prize ($25,000): New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program (Lexington, KY)
  • 2nd Prize ($15,000): Dumb Friends League (Denver, CO)

Division C

  • 1st Prize ($20,000): This Old Horse (Hastings, MN)
  • 2nd Prize ($10,000): Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue (Afton, VA)

Division B

  • 1st Prize ($15,000): Morgan Safenet Foundation (Midlothian, TX)
  • 2nd Prize ($5,000):M&M Acres NFP (Lockport, IL)

Division A

  • 1st Prize ($7,500): Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance (Wingate, NC)
  • 2nd Prize TIE ($1,250): Asheville Humane Society (Asheville, NC)
  • 2nd Prize TIE ($1,250): Owl Hollow Farm (Lone Jack, MO)

Hoofy Awards: Best Use of Social Media ($5,000)

  • Humane Society of North Texas (Forth Worth, TX)
  • The Foxie G Foundation (Union Bridge, MD)
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program (Lexington, KY)

According to Dr. Emily Weiss, the Vice President of ASPCA Equine Welfare, “The ASPCA is committed to supporting the many groups around the country working tirelessly to help more horses find loving homes, and the ASPCA Help a Horse Home Challenge provides an effective way for these dedicated groups to reach more potential equine adopters.”

“We are in awe of the innovative and thoughtful ways this year’s contestants found more homes for horses, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to save more lives,” added Weiss.

The success of Help a Horse Home was bolstered by strong collaboration within the industry. This year, Zoetis US LLC generously donated its new vaccine, CORE EQ Innovator™, for every equine adopted during the two-month challenge period, Conair® provided more than $300,000 in grooming supplies to be included in prize packages and the American Horse Council’s United Horse Coalition provided microchips for all contestants.

Additionally, participants were invited to promote their equines on My Right Horse, a public listing site created by The Right Horse Initiative for equines in transition.

Annually, the contest kicks off on April 25th, which is Help a Horse Day. This date was chosen for its significance in the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. On April 26, 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment.

Since 2014, the ASPCA has awarded equine groups more than $550,000 in grant funding through its annual Help a Horse initiative.

For more information about Help a Horse HomeSM: The ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge, please visit 

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *