21 Horses Adopted at the Third Annual Appalachian Trainer Face Off

by | Aug 2019 | News

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA –  21 horses were adopted at the 2019 Appalachian Trainer Face Off in Winfield, West Virginia. The event paired 24 trainers with untrained horses in transition for a 100-day training challenge that culminated in a competition and adoption event August 23-24.

Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, located in Huntington, West Virginia, created and produces the Appalachian Trainer Face Off. They match untrained, sometimes feral, horses with trainers from around the country in an innovative format to prepare horses for new homes. 100 adopters applied for the available horses and over 1,000 spectators came to watch the horses compete and witness their incredible transformations. Three horses stayed with their trainers and are available for adoption.

“We live in a region of the country that has many untrained horses. The Appalachian Trainer Face Off incentivizes talented trainers to work with horses from a variety of backgrounds and prepare them for adoption. The event really showcases the quality and abilities of our adoptable horses,” stated Tinia Creamer, President of Heart of Phoenix.

Trainers came from surrounding states in the Appalachian region with some coming from as far as Texas and Illinois.  Amateur and Professionals competed in two divisions in three classes. In the technical portion of the competition, the trainers showcased basic riding and ground skills. The technical portion was followed by a challenging trail course and an evening freestyle.

As a partner in The Right Horse Initiative, Heart of Phoenix is focused on increasing adoptions and helping horses in transition in the United States. The Right Horse Roadshow attended the event and educated spectators by answering questions and hosting adoption-oriented games and giveaways.

“Heart of Phoenix’s Appalachian Trainer Face Off is an example of how collaboration and innovation can help massively increase horse adoptions. We were thrilled to be able to support the event by attending with the Right Horse Roadshow,” said Christy Counts, President of The Right Horse Initiative.

To learn more about Heart of Phoenix Horse Rescue, visit To view currently adoptable horses from Heart of Phoenix, visit

About The Right Horse

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of industry professionals and equine welfare advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition through a dialogue of kindness and respect. Through collaboration with over 60 industry and adoption partners, The Right Horse is able to innovate new and better adoption standards and practices. Together, the goal is to shatter the stigma and reframe the conversation around equine adoption in order to massively increase horse adoption in the United States. To learn more, visit

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Holly + Gilly

Holly + Gilly

Bringing Gilly home is the best decision I have ever made. I love learning to ride. My two young daughters love being with horses and spend hours at the barn helping me work and taking lessons. My husband and I are sharing a new passion.

Stacey + Raphael

Stacey + Raphael

Some days we just stand together, some days I groom him, others we go for walks or head to the arena and play. I tell him he is my favorite and how much I love him. He nudges me gently with his nose or will rest his head on mine.