ASPCA Announces Winners of the Fifth Annual Help a Horse Day Contest

August 22, 2018

a woman with a horse

By Matt Bershadker, ASPCA CEO

Despite being treasured icons of American culture, thousands of horses across the country are at severe risk of homelessness and suffering. Challenges to their welfare come from a number of sources, but many of those perils—especially when it comes to homelessness—can be avoided with the right lifesaving approaches.

Helping at-risk equines find safe and loving homes and careers is the goal of our annual ASPCA Help a Horse Day contest, which increases awareness and inspires action on behalf of horses in need. Motivated by recent ASPCA equine research suggesting approximately 2.3 million adults in the U.S. have the resources and desire to adopt horses in need, we asked this year’s contestants to focus their efforts specifically on increasing their adoption rates.

More than 100 equine groups from across the country rose to the challenge, finding homes during the April 26-June 30 contest period for over 1,000 horses, with 78% of the groups exceeding the number of adoptions they achieved during the same time period last year. In all, 19 rescue groups are receiving 23 prizes, totaling $116,500.

Participating groups were separated into three divisions and judged on the number of adoptions and adoption commitments they secured, the funds they raised during the contest period, the best overall adoption campaign and the most compelling adoption video. Since 2014, the ASPCA has awarded equine groups more than $400,000 in grant funding through the Help a Horse Day contest. 

The contest winners below are shining examples of commitment and creativity, and the contest itself demonstrates what can be achieved when rescue organizations, owners and communities collaborate toward a unified lifesaving goal. We’re also seeing great energy and partnerships between animal welfare organizations and horse industries that inspire hope for creating impactful and lasting change.

These are all positive signs for the future of American horses and they reinforce our humane values of compassion and consideration. But while the contest may be over, the lifesaving work continues, so if you know one of the winners or are nearby, please visit, congratulate them and get inspired yourself.

2018 ASPCA Help a Horse Winners:

Division I (Large)

Grand Prize ($20,000): 
Horse Plus Humane Society, Hohenwald, Tennessee

2nd Prize ($10,000): 
Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, Franktown, Colorado

Runner-Up Prizes ($5,000 each)
Humane Society of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas
Missouri Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue & Sanctuary, Linn Creek, Missouri
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Laura, Ohio

Division II (Medium)

Grand Prize ($15,000): 
This Old Horse, Hastings, Minnesota

2nd Prize ($7,500): 
Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue, Brentwood, New Hampshire 

Runner-Up Prizes ($3,500 each)
Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation, Guthrie, Oklahoma
Nexus Equine, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Colfax, Wisconsin

Division III (Small)

Grand Prize ($10,000): 
The Santana Center for Equine Education and Outreach, Saunderstown, Rhode Island

2nd Prize ($5,000): 
Hickory Hill Farm, Mount Juliet, Tennessee

Runner-Up Prizes ($2,500 each)
D-S Rescue, Tucson, Arizona
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Owings, Maryland
Southeast Equine Rescue, Auburn, Alabama 

Other Prizes

Best Campaign ($5,000): 
Hickory Hill Farm, Mount Juliet, Tennessee

Best Campaign Runners-Up ($1,000)
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, Texas
Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Woodbine, Maryland

Best Video ($5,000): 
Colorado Horse Rescue, Longmont, Colorado

Best Video Runners-Up ($1,000)
Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Woodbine, Maryland
Hickory Hill Farm, Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Humane Society of Rochester aka Lollypop Farm, Rochester, New York
This Old Horse, Hastings, Minnesota