The Right Horse Initiative has received The Lavin Cup from the American Association of Equine (AAEP) in recognition of the nonprofit organization’s innovative approach to solving the growing problem of horses in transition in the United States.

Known as the AAEP’s equine welfare award, The Lavin Cup recognizes a nonveterinary organization or individual that has distinguished itself through service to improve the welfare of horses. Representatives of The Right Horse Initiative accepted the award during the Dec. 10 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 65th Annual Convention, currently underway in Denver, Colorado.

Founded in January 2016 by the Arnall Family Foundation’s WaterShed Animal Fund, The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. Their mission is to massively increase horse adoption in the United States by working together to reframe the adoption conversation and shatter the stigma surrounding horses in transition.

“The Right Horse Initiative is most deserving of the recognition that comes with receiving The Lavin Cup,” said Harry Werner, VMD, founding owner of Werner Equine in North Granby, Connecticut, who recommended the organization for this award. “It’s impossible to state a precise number of horses helped by The Right Horse Initiative since its inception; however, its adoption partners successfully transitioned a total of 1,742 horses in 2018 alone.”

The Right Horse Initiative operates three pilot programs designed to assist partner organizations, with the goal of increasing horse adoptions in the United States: regional training centers for transition horses; community resources; and collaborations between equine welfare advocates and equine industry stakeholders to promote good outcomes for horses. To learn more about the Right Horse Initiative, visit