The Madi Memorial Grant

How would you use $50,000 to help horses?

The Right Horse Initiative is honored to announce the Madi Memorial Grant in memory of 8-year-old Madilyn Patrick who passed away in 2017 after fighting a valiant battle with liver cancer. As the daughter of professional horse trainer Sean Patrick, Madi had a deep love of riding and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian in order to help animals in need. Having grown up knowing the special bond between horse and human, Madi was especially passionate about anything that brought horses and kids together. The creation of this special grant will carry on Madi’s legacy by supporting groups working to help horses in transition.

The Madi Memorial Grant offers up to $50,000 to the organization that demonstrates the most innovative plan for boosting equine adoption. Our goal is to fund smarter thinking and better ways of doing things in order to help your organization grow its capacity for adoption in a big way.


Eligible applications must meet the following criteria:

1Your organization must be a U.S. based 501 (c)(3) public charity and have an operating budget of at least $75,000.

2Your organization must be current with all applicable federal and state financial filings or reports.

3Your organization must be willing and able to provide financial statements to The Right Horse Initiative.

4Your organization must be willing and able to provide animal statistics, including intake and adoption numbers, to The Right Horse Initiative.

5If you have received funding from The Right Horse Initiative or The WaterShed Animal Fund, you must be up-to-date on current or previous funding reports.

6You must agree to complete grant follow up reports 6 months, 12 months and 18 months from the payment date which will include expense accounting and measurable outcome updates.

The Winner

Transitioning a Sanctuary into an Adoption Agency

Historically, it has been a challenge for many equine welfare groups to market their adoption horses. Is some cases, sanctuaries have chosen not to market their horses for adoption at all. However many savvy adoption groups have tackled this by applying proven techniques from companion animal welfare to optimize adoption for both the rescue/agency and potential adopters.

We believe many horses currently in sanctuary care could potentially be good, viable candidates to move on to a new home or vocation – a philosophy that Horses’ Haven shares. Horses not suited for riding careers still have the potential to be valued, beloved companions given the right training and marketing. To place these horses, we need to seek innovative ways to reduce barriers to adoption, including lack of training, handling, and/or under saddle skills.

As winners of the Madi Memorial Grant, Horses’ Haven will be piloting the concept of transforming from a sanctuary to a full-scale adoption program. Grant monies will allow their trained volunteer force, of 80, the space and facilities they need to put quality time into each horse in transition, moving them out of lifetime care at the agency and into good homes – thereby freeing up space to help many more horses in transition. The Madi Memorial Grant will empower Horses’ Haven to nearly triple adoptions in the first year.

Horses’ Haven’s new workspace, to be named the Madi Patrick Memorial Arena, will honor Madi’s legacy by serving local youth groups such as 4-H, Pony Club, and Detroit Horse Power while simultaneously increasing the visibility of adoptable horses. Horses’ Haven is poised to inspire other sanctuaries nationwide to find innovative ways to place horses previously considered unadoptable and transform into successful adoption agencies.

The Finalists

Transition with Trainers

The Transition with Trainers concept proposes to engage local trainers in training and marketing horses in transition. Heart of Phoenix would support trainers in providing expert training and compelling video to promote horses in transition, reaching previously untapped markets through each trainer’s personal network. A major goal is to elevate horses in transition as relevant, useful, and valuable in the minds of trainers and industry partners not typically searching for a horse in transition. By establishing long-term partnerships, Heart of Phoenix aims to increase adoption rates and quality of training and develop a program that other rescues can replicate nationwide.

The Madi Patrick Memorial Showcase

The Madi Memorial Showcase would involve a key collaboration between Nexus Equine, Inc., Oklahoma State University/4-H Extension and youth, and the local horse industry. Two events would challenge 4-H youth to pair with a horse in transition, and train and prepare it for adoption. An innovative twist is also providing youth with an experienced horse industry mentor to help him or her prepare a riding demonstration, plus two educational components, written and oral, showcasing their horse’s progress. The showcases would help Nexus increase the impact of adoptions by 91% in their second year of operations while activating diverse stakeholders in the local horse community.

Direct Placement Program

The ASLF’s Direct Placement Program collaboratively networks with trainers, breeders, owners, and the local community to help horses before they need rescue. After identifying significant patterns that leave a horse at risk and in transition, ASLF has developed a system to evaluate, network, and place horses directly from their places of need to a new home, keeping overhead costs low by minimizing the time horses in transition spend in shelters. The Direct Placement Program has become a well-known and preferred option for the local community could show great promise to be replicated across other breeds and regions.

Transitioning a Sanctuary into an Adoption Agency

After more than 20 years of operations, to meet the continual demand to help at-risk horses, Horses’ Haven decided they needed to do more than just provide a safe haven for sanctuary horses in their care. They recognized the innate potential of each horse to return to the horse community as valued and serviceable equine citizens given the appropriate training and marketing. Horses Haven has already increased their adoption rate by 75%, and the construction of an outdoor arena would allow them to double their capacity for transforming sanctuary horses into adoption candidates while serving as a model for other sanctuaries nationwide.

Rescue Roundtable

The Oregon Rescue Challenge was created to build collaboration among Oregon equine rescues in support of at-risk horses throughout the state and to organize events that showcase and promote Oregon equine rescues. What makes the Oregon Rescue Challenge unique is the collaboration of 11 independent rescue organizations and their belief that “we are stronger together.” While the Challenge drives adoptions, the Rescue Roundtable meeting held on the same weekend facilitates rescues in communicating, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. Expanding and enhancing all aspects of the event would allow for more media coverage, increase adoptions, and boost collaboration that benefits the statewide equine welfare community.

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