The Right Horse Initiative Receives AAEP’s Equine Welfare Award

by | Dec 2019 | News

The Right Horse Initiative has received The Lavin Cup from American Association of Equine (AAEP) in recognition of the nonprofit organization’s innovative approach to solving the growing problem of unwanted horses in the United States.

Known as the AAEP’s equine welfare award, The Lavin Cup recognizes a non-veterinary organization or individual that has distinguished itself through service to improve the welfare of horses. Representatives of The Right Horse Initiative accepted the award during the Dec. 10 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 65th Annual Convention in Denver, Colo.

“The Right Horse Initiative is most deserving of the recognition that comes with receiving The Lavin Cup,” said Dr. Harry Werner, who recommended the organization for this award. “It’s impossible to state a precise number of horses helped by The Right Horse Initiative since its inception; however, its adoption partners successfully transitioned a total of 1,742 horses in 2018 alone.”

Founded in January 2016 by the Arnall Family Foundation’s WaterShed Animal Fund, The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. In November, The Right Horse Initiative became an official program of the ASPCA. As part of the organization, The Right Horse will remain focused on massively increasing horse adoption in the United States by working together to reframe the adoption conversation and shatter the stigma surrounding horses in transition.

“We are truly honored to receive The Lavin Cup and are grateful to Dr. Werner for nominating us. We proudly accept the award on behalf of each and every partner organization that makes up The Right Horse Initiative” stated Christie Schulte Kappert, Program Director of The Right Horse Initiative. “Our work is driven by our incredible partners from all corners of the equine community that have come together to create positive change for at-risk equines. We will continue to innovate best practices in adoption, promote adoption among horse-seekers, and foster collaboration with those whom share the recognition for this award.”

The Right Horse Initiative conducts and supports programs designed to assist partner organizations with the goal of increasing horse adoptions in the United States: regional training centers for transition horses; community resources; and collaborations between equine welfare advocates and equine industry stakeholders to promote good outcomes for horses. 

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

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 50 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.