ASPCA Awards $15,000 to Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue to Support their Efforts to Train and Rehome Horses

Grant funding will be used to showcase adoptable horses through the Appalachian Trainer Face Off contest
December 20, 2018

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has awarded $15,000 in grant funding to Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue in Huntington, WV, to support the group’s annual Appalachian Trainer Face Off contest, which showcases adoptable horses by pairing them with highly-skilled trainers.

“The ASPCA is committed to ensuring horses nationwide have good welfare, and we are thrilled to support Heart of Phoenix in their efforts to not only increase adoptions, but to shatter the stigma surrounding horses in rescues,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of Equine Welfare for the ASPCA. “With these funds, Heart of Phoenix will be able to expand the reach and impact of the Appalachian Trainer Face Off.”

The Appalachian Trainer Face Off contest, now entering its third year, pairs over 20 untrained horses with highly-skilled trainers from the Appalachian region. Over a period of 100 days, the trainers will work with their assigned horse before participating in a two-day competition at the end of August. Heart of Phoenix and the trainers document each horse’s journey and share updates on social media to ensure as many horses as possible find homes at the end of the contest.

“We are so thankful to the ASPCA for making the decision to partner with Heart of Phoenix on this amazing, innovative program! This grant will allow us to attract a broader degree of horse trainers, secure well known equine industry judges and provide improved and timely transport, vetting and farrier needs for the horses selected for the event,” said Tinia Creamer, founder and president of Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue. “The impact of this event in Appalachia cannot be overstated. It has helped change the view of adoptable horses in such a positive way, and it has created bridges and partnerships throughout our region’s equine industry that will help horses for many years to come.”

The ASPCA Equine Welfare department is focused on ensuring horses nationwide have good welfare, which includes working collaboratively with stakeholders across the rescue community and equine industries to help at-risk horses safely transition to new careers and homes, increasing safety net support for horse owners, and enhancing anti-cruelty efforts. The ASPCA’s efforts to ensure equines have good welfare also includes supporting humane legislation and advocacy, field rescue and targeted equine grants. In 2017, the ASPCA awarded more than $750,000 in equine grants to assist 91 equine organizations across the country.

For more information about the ASPCA’s efforts to help horses, please visit