ASPCA Announces 'Help a Horse Day' Contest Winners

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced the five winners of the 2014 ASPCA "Help a Horse Day Celebration" contest, a nationwide grant competition for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the work they do to care for at-risk horses.

The winning groups—each of which receive a $10,000 grant to support their efforts—are Begin Again Horse Rescue (New York), EARTHEART (California), Equine Outreach (Oregon), Mylestone Equine Rescue (New Jersey), and STAR Ranch (North Carolina).

“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and creativity of the equine rescue groups participating in our Help a Horse Day Celebration contest,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “The commitment to horse welfare from both the participating groups and their community supporters made it difficult to select only five winners.”

Contestants were judged on the creativity of their events, as well as their success engaging their local communities. The winning groups’ events included a town parade featuring local elected officials, rescued horses, and community members impacted by the equine group’s work; the creation of a “Pass It Forward” program encouraging community members to help their neighbors struggling to care for their horses; partnerships with local artists and businesses; and a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of Phase I of a barn raising. The rescues also worked to recruit new volunteers, expand their support base, and collect donated supplies, as well as find permanent homes for adoptable horses.

More than 80 equine rescue groups held events across 32 states on April 26.

In 2013 the ASPCA awarded $1.4 million in grants to support equine rescues and sanctuaries in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides resources—including financial help, in-person and online training, and sharing of best practices—to nonprofit equine welfare organizations in the United States.

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