The Right Horse Initiative, a program of the WaterShed Animal Fund, has awarded $275,000 to Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue to significantly expand its support of at-risk horses in Appalachia.

Heart of Phoenix, located in Huntington, West Virginia, has been helping horses in transition since 2012. The grant will allow the rescue to make capital improvements, as well as increase staffing and training abilities to ultimately expand their capacity to help horses. Within three years, the grant funds will allow Heart of Phoenix to help 25% more horses annually.

“We live in a region of the country that demonstrates a great need for increased equine welfare and community resources for struggling owners,” stated Heart of Phoenix President Tinia Creamer. “The demand for horses needing care is greater than our current capacity. More lives will be saved and changed than ever before, and improvements we’ve been working hard for over the course of many years will finally be possible.”

As a partner of The Right Horse Initiative, Heart of Phoenix is focused on increasing adoptions and helping horses in transition in the United States. Since inception, it has helped more than 400 horses transition into new homes. A highlight of the program is its annual Appalachian Trainer Challenge, which matches adoptable horses with professional trainers, culminating in a competition and an adoption event.

“Our mission at The Right Horse Initiative is to massively increase adoptions in the United States,” said Christy Counts, president of The Right Horse Initiative. “Heart of Phoenix has done incredible work rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting out horses in an important community. We are thrilled to be able to elevate that work by providing them with the necessary resources to help more horses.”