Ensuring Donor Confidence in America’s Equine Charities

When it comes to charitable giving, being able to evaluate charities on the basis of their transparency and accountability to the public — and being able to separate fact from fiction – has never been more important. That is why the EQUUS Foundation is committed to ensuring donor confidence by requiring equine charities to undergo a rigorous vetting process free of bias, beliefs and judgements and to reveal when opinion poses as truth.

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the award of over $375,000 in grants to 121 equine charities nationwide. Transparency Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 were awarded to charities that earned the EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal of Transparency. Of these, three charities – Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Shepard Meadows Equestrian Center, and Thorncroft Equestrian Center, were recognized with the EQUUS Foundation Mentor Accreditation in 2023 bringing the total to 17. The Mentor Accreditation, established in 2022, is awarded to equine charities operating at the highest standards for business and equine welfare practices.

“Our goal,” said EQUUS Foundation President, Lynn Coakley, is to have every equine charity in the United States demonstrate that they are transparent and accountable to the public. We’re here to help them become stronger organizations and recognize their contributions. Our programs are aimed at providing opportunities for individuals and organizations to take action to protect America’s horses from abuse and neglect and strengthen the horse-human bond.”

In addition to the grant awards, 717 individual riders, scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, equestrian camp programs and equine charities received over 9,700 items of new and gently used riding apparel through the EQUUS Foundation Rider’s Closet. Starting this fall, the EQUUS Foundation will award scholarships to students enrolled in equine studies programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to encourage the pursuit of equine careers.

EQUUS Foundation Horse Whisperers

 EQUUS Foundation Horse Whisperers is the EQUUS Foundation’s named awards program that recognizes individuals and organizations that provide, or have provided, substantial and much needed resources to ensure that America’s horses are safe and live with dignity throughout their lives. The EQUUS Foundation Board of Directors selects those charities from among the grant recipients that best align with the interests of the Horse Whisperer to be recipients of Horse Whisperer Awards.

Perpetual Awards

 Michele E. Arnhold Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2008 in memory of Michele Arnhold’s life-long passion, her pursuit of excellence, and her commitment and contribution to the equestrian sport.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Daniel D. Barkan Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2013 in memory of Daniel D. Barkan, a quiet philanthropist and gentleman, in recognition of his life-long love of horses.

Brook Hill Farm, Forest, VA

Annual Awards

 Augusta Mills Equestrian – Matt Metell Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2021 in recognition of the dedication of Augusta Mills Equestrian and Matt Metell to the welfare of horses.

New England Equine Rescue – North Inc., Westbury, MA

Avalon Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2022 by the EQUUS Foundation in honor of Susan Weber in appreciation of her 11 years serving on the EQUUS Foundation Board of Directors and the passing of her beloved Avalon, an imported Friesian, who was a highly trained dressage horse and spent his later life as a therapy horse helping to heal veterans and first responders.

Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Crownsville, MD

Marguerite Brennan Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2021 in memory of Marguerite Brennan and in honor of her loving family, Jane Henderson, her daughter, and Michaela and Sean Pritchett, her grandchildren.

Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement, Inc., Salem, CT

Gore Family Memorial Foundation Trust Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2020 by the EQUUS Foundation in honor of the Gore Family’s commitment to protecting equines subjected to abuse, neglect and at risk of slaughter.

Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, Frankton, CO, and Horse Haven of Tennessee, Inc., Knoxville, TN

Jackson Family Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2020 in honor of the Jackson Family’s commitment to horse welfare.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Lisbon, MD, and Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center, Aldie, VA

Kay Family Foundation Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2021 in honor of Lauren Kay and the Kay Family Foundation

Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, Inc., Lovettsville, VA, and Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, Inc., Dover Plains, NY

Lafitte De Muze Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2018 by Cheryl Olsten in the name of her horse, Lafitte De Muze, to protect and make a difference in the lives of horses who are in need of next chapters, with specific emphasis on the re-homing and retirement of Standardbreds.

Sunshine Horses, Clay, NY

Mighty Nice Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2018 by Caroline Moran in recognition of 2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Mighty Nice owned by HnD Group, which was formed in memory of the late Bruce Duchossois, who owned Mighty Nice before his passing in 2014.

Thorncroft Equestrian Center, Malvern, PA

Newstead Foundation Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2019 in recognition of the long-standing dedication of the Newstead Foundation and the Firestone Family to safeguarding of comfort and dignity of horses throughout their lives.

Secretariat Center, Lexington, KY

Otis Booth Foundation Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2021 in honor of Stephanie Shafran and her daughters, Alexandra and Charlotte Murray, in recognition of their commitment to ensuring that horses remain an important part of American life.

Colorado Horse Rescue, Longmont, CO, and Kentucky Equine Adoption Center, Lexington, KY

Richard L. Parish Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2014 by the family of Richard L. Parish in recognition of his leadership and dedication for over 45 years to the causes supported by the Richard Laurence Parish Foundation and in honor of Margie and Dick Bondy.

Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Johns Island, SC, and Green Chimneys, Brewster, NY

Ellen R. Pearl Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2021 by Ellen R. Pearl to be awarded annually through 2025 to an equine rescue that ensures the respect, dignity and comfort of their rescued equines throughout their lives.

Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, South Windham, ME

Judith Richter Memorial Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2022 by the EQUUS Foundation in memory of Judith Richter and in recognition of her life-long dedication to horses as a horsewoman of the highest standards and mentor to aspiring riders.

Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford Corners, NY

Split Rock Farm/Bobbie and Derek Braun Horse Whisperer Award

Established in 2020 in honor of the dedication of the Braun Family and Split Rock Farm to powerful impact of horses in our lives

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Inc. (CKRH), Lexington, KY

You Can Help Keep America’s Horses Safe! Lend Us Your Voice!

Please take the #HorseProtector Pledge here

Join us as a #HorseProtector by taking the pledge here that you will be a friend and advocate for America’s horses.

ABOUT EQUUS FOUNDATION: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses from peril and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: equusfoundation.org.

View release and photos online here

Contact: Lynn Coakley