AHIP winner Oct Rune.jpg

Congratulations to RUNE and NATALIE,

winners of October's photo contest with the theme of Faces!

Here's how Natalie describes her boy:

"Rune is a 13-year-old OTTB gelding. He raced until he was 8 years old and won his owner hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rune was rehomed after he retired from his racing career, but was found to be neglected when his old trainer visited him. So, his old trainer took him back and gave him to Win Place Home in the hopes that they would find him a better situation. I reached out to the rescue only a few weeks after he arrived and described the type of horse that I was looking for, and they told me that they had the perfect horse for me. I will admit, it was not love at first sight – Rune was still adapting and reactive to his new environment, his winter coat was sparse and dull and his hooves deformed from lack of previous hoofcare. But Win Place Home poured so much time and effort into his care and training in the little time they had him and his gentle soul won me over!
Rune has blossomed into a strong, confident horse. His coat glistens no matter the time of year and his hooves are slowly transforming into a healthier shape. He has a noble, prideful presence about him while simultaneously being sweet enough to be handled by the whole family. I adopted Rune with the intention of him being a riding horse, but he has turned into a lovely non-ridden companion. We clicker train husbandry and trick behaviors, take long walks together, and I love to provide him with enrichment in the form of novel objects and treat-related toys. Next year, we are going to start learning equine agility! Rune has turned me into the ultimate OTTB supporter and I hope to adopt a brother for him from Win Place Home in the future."

AHIP September 2021 Action Zion.jpg

Congratulations to ZION and KATIA,

winners of August's photo contest with the theme of Action!

Katia found Zion “via a random Craigslist ad. I had previously had a Clydesdale Cross that I had adopted from a local rescue, and I knew I wanted another big draft crossbreed. I also knew that my heart was looking for a “diamond in the rough”;  someone who was built right and had potential but was over looked for being quirky, or even ugly.  I hadn’t seen anything like that at any of the local rescues, so I started a Craigslist search for a “draft gelding”.  I found an ad for a young draft cross gelding that was advertised as a diamond in the rough (that was the ad headline). Zion was being advertised as a 4 yr old gelding that had come in with his mother to the rescue. He hadn’t had much work done with him, and he was kind of fugly, so there hadn’t been much interest.
I’m not even sure how his ad even came up for me because the rescue where he lived at was in California, and I live in Colorado.   A week later, he was put on a trailer and heading to CO to start his new life with me.
It’s been a long study in patience with Zion, but once he let down his guard and began to trust me, his training really took off. Now we do solo rides though the desert, day trips to the swimming lakes, and even show in Western Dressage.   Zion is up for anything, as long as jumping isn’t involved.  We are both terrible, and clumsy. Terribly clumsy.”

Zion was adopted from Save Them All Horse Rescue in 2016. 

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Congratulations to GRACIE and ATTICUS,

winners of August's photo contest with the theme of Freestyle!


Adopter Laura Barbash won this month again in our first back-to-back winning photos with the gentle Gracie, showing completely different expressions on her face!

Gracie was adopted from Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue - they tell her story like this:

"In 2011, CDHR was just a small group of friends of our founder, Stacey Golub, DVM, who all have a passion for horses. In fact, CDHR was started in the backyard of Dr. Golub, rescuing just a few horses at a time. One of the group’s first rescues was from the New Holland Auction house in Pennsylvania. The group received a call that there was a Percheron mare going into the auction. Help was needed.

Little did they know of the surprise that was waiting for them. Standing in the back of the trailer was a five-month-old draft filly. Knowing once they entered the auction ring, the pair would most likely be split up, and each would face a potentially dangerous, uncertain future, the group was not about to let that happen. A deal was made in the parking lot, and the horses were loaded from one trailer right onto Dr. Golub’s trailer. The mare and her foal never saw the auction ring in Pennsylvania.

The mare was named Grace, and her foal was named Figlet (our horses’ favorite treat). Grace, like her name implies, was charming, beautiful, and patient. She was an absolute angel. She was rideable, drivable, either single or double, and loved people. She was a true ‘gentle giant,’ so much so, we thought about keeping her as CDHR’s draft ambassador. But Grace was so special we wanted to give her the best possible gift of finding her a forever home.

Grace was adopted in 2013 and is living her best life. This past week we received the following update on Grace: “ Gracie remains her kind, loving, patient, intelligent self. She continues to follow her daily routine of a morning nap followed by afternoon snacking. I have not been riding regularly (living that pandemic mom life...) but Atticus (almost 5 years old!) has become interested in riding Gracie. Sometimes we ride her together, and sometimes he rides on his own (on the lunge line). We have been working on developing his independent seat and doing small "obstacle courses." I hope we'll start riding pretty regularly when the weather improves in the spring. Gracie is such an amazingly caring horse. Her relationship with Atticus is so special. She is always interested in what he's doing, is never spooked by his wild-little-boy antics, and seems to genuinely love his cuddles and attention. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.” Laura Barbash

Figlet the little filly grew into a fine horse and was adopted to a wonderful family in 2015, where she too is living her best life.

Grace is a shining example of our motto, “You can’t change the world by saving one horse, but for that one horse, its world is changed forever.” And in this case, two lives were changed forever."

2021 WINNERS to date...

AHIP July winner Gracie.jpg

Congratulations to GRACIE and ATTICUS,

winners of July's photo contest with the theme of Humor!


From adopter Laura Barbash:

"Gracie joined our family in 2013 as a companion to my first horse, when we moved to a location where we could have horses at home.  Gracie is a former Amish work horse; we adopted her from the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, who had purchased her at auction to prevent her from being separated from her young filly.  CDHR kept her for several years, and she served as their ambassador at many events.  We were so fortunate to apply for a horse just as they decided it was time for her to have a family of her own, but we didn't truly realize how special she is until our son Atticus (now 5) was born.  Gracie just loves being around Atticus!  She is always curious about what he's doing, never frightened by his unpredictable behavior, and keeps my much flightier Arabian away from him.  She is the biggest teddy bear I have ever met, and nothing makes her happier than being snuggled and brushed by her child.  It seems like Gracie's life ambition was to be a little boy's first pony!


We are so excited to hear that Gracie has won this month!  Atticus is thrilled and looks forward to displaying the ribbon in his room.  I think we are going to send our winnings on to CDHR so they can continue their wonderful work of supporting draft horses in need.  And I'm going to tell them about your program so you may get more participants through their adoptees.  We look forward to participating again in the coming months!"

Congratulations to CHANCE,

winner of June's video contest with the theme of Freestyle!

From adopter Alyssa Blais:

"Chance’s dam, Phoebe, was rescued from a kill pen by Equine Rescue Network in December before she even turned 4. We adopted her 2 months later at the end of February. During her time with ERN, blood was pulled on 2 separate occasions to see if she was in foal. The second test was even more specialized than the first, able to detect subtle hormone changes more easily. But, both tests came back negative.
After getting her home, we couldn’t shake the feeling that she was smuggling a surprise, so we had our vet out to do a physical examination and ultrasound. During the exam, even our vet figured she was simply overweight, but was glad we wanted to do an ultrasound to be sure. Lo and behold, he found a heartbeat!

Two months after getting her home, she surprised us one morning with a beautiful leopard Appaloosa colt. Our family owned Appaloosas for 50 years, and we lost our last one, Reina, back in October. Not only did Phoebe foal a miniature Appy, she had one that looks exactly like Reina! Phoebe is a solid silver dapple mini (and we have no way of knowing who the sire is), so the last thing we were expecting was a mini Appy! We named him Chance because  it means “unexpected good fortune.”


Plus, all along we’ve been saying, “What are the chances Phoebe would be in foal after 2 negative blood tests?” and, “What are the chances she would have a mini version of Reina?” ERN is thrilled that Phoebe and a Chance are doing so well, and that they both will have a forever home with us. Phoebe is a sweetheart, and Chance has been the greatest gift we never knew we needed!"

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Rescue mom "Phoebe" and her surprise foal "Chance"

AHIP winner Jodi Tuft.jpg

Congratulations to REESE'S CHOCOLATE, the smiling winner

of June's photo contest with the theme of Freestyle!

Reese’s Chocolate does this on cue - when Mom says “smile” he smiles!

Jodi Tuft acquired Reese’s Chocolate from TB Friends when he was 6 years old - and he’s now 23!  He’s a tattooed TB but didn’t race - Jodi thinks he was likely not fast enough.  Instead he found his niche with her - loving people!  

Jodi says he’s superkind, no health issues, goes barefoot, and can still be ridden but he’s now semi-retired living his best life as a babysitter for the ‘really old horses’!  


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Congratulations to FINCH & BROOKLYNNE,

winners of May's contest with the theme of Love!

From adopter Ashlee: When Finch arrived 16 months ago he was shy and concerned.  
The moment he met my daughter it was apparent they belonged to each other.  He immediately calmed down and gave her his face in her hands.  He hugs you with his entire body .... never had a horse like him.  He is her boy....he embodies the Arabian horse, he is majestic, loyal and smart.

Finch’s registered name is Aseel AJF.  He was adopted from Love This Horse Equine Rescue. 


From Vera Kalila, President & Founder of Love This Horse:  Aljasymmia Farms has a wonderful partnership with us.  The horses that don’t work out for their program are gelded, halter trained, immunized, registered and then Love This Horse finds adoptive homes for them.  The breeder wants to make sure that all their horses end up in good homes. 

Their website is www.lovethishorsearabianrescue.org and they are in Southern California.

Congratulations to BEYOND THE NILE,

winner of our April video contest "Look At The Camera"

Today is the 2nd anniversary of Niles' adoption by Wendi, and we congratulate them on that anniversary as well as their win!


From adopter Wendi Neckameyer:

The very playful Niles was adopted from the Secretariat Center in Lexington, Kentucky after his racing career was over. Niles was foaled in Kentucky, raced in Kentucky and Florida, and now lives in Missouri. Favorite pastime: rolling in the mud! Goal: Dressage.


The Secretariat Center is a Rehoming Center - one where racehorses go to decompress from their life, get some training for their new careers, and find new adopted homes. They are located in the famed Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 2004, the Secretariat Center uses its illustrious location to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability.



Niles is also the Equine Advocate for the 501(c)3 Special Horses Inc. Special Horses helps equine welfare organizations with fundraisers, grant applications and marketing materials. That helps the Rescues raise money to help more horses that are abandoned, estray, or already in the slaughter pipeline.




April winner Mello.jpg

Congratulations to MELLO,

winners of our April photo contest "Look At The Camera"

From adopter Jennifer Wagner:

My husband Wes and I decided in the fall of 2020, that we wanted to meet the needs of a very dear special needs young lady, Wes’s distant cousin, who always wanted a horse but never had the resources to house and take care of one. That special young lady’s name is Jacqueline “JJ” Dyer and her story can be found at https://www.justforj.com/jsstory.
In December 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID, was home bound for a couple of weeks, and when finally fully recovered, we reached out to the Houston SPCA and connected with some great people there who prioritized J’s special needs requirements in a horse. www.houstonspca.org
Mello was the answer that they recommended for us… he had arrived at Houston SPCA as a 3 ½ year old stallion, very skinny and undernourished. After getting Mello to a reasonable weight and gelding him, he was evaluated further by their trainers for temperament and determined to be super laid back and virtually spook proof – thus the name Mello! Mello is also a special needs horse, rescued rom a neglect situation and needing some veterinarian attention, including special work and exercises as he recovers from a patella and stifle issue likely caused by his growth being affected by the previous neglect and malnutrition.
We brought Mello home, welcomed some additional pasture mates within a few weeks, and finally, Mello met JJ for the first time the week before Easter. Mello did beautifully! JJ and her family were so excited to meet Mello and we were so excited for Mello to meet them. (see photo in comments)
Our plans for Mello include potential training in pulling a cart as well as introducing new and youth riders to horsemanship.
Mello is very happy with his adopted herd mates, Prada (7 yr old mare) and Raider (22 yr old gelding), part of our family here in New Waverly, TX.


Turn up the sound for cute pony snorts!

Winner:  CAPRI

Winner of our March video contest "Fun"

From adopter Alyssa Blais:

Capri was rescued by 13 Hands Equine Rescue as a yearling. She was originally purchased at auction with the intent to use her for medical research. Luckily, the rescue was able to intercept and take her under their wing. 13 Hands quickly fell in love with her, and initially decided to keep her as a permanent resident because she’s such an exceptional little pony. Luckily for me, after keeping her for several months, they decided to put her up for adoption and let me take her home!

I have had Capri for almost 8 months now, and she has been such a fun addition to our herd of littles. She’s as in-your-pocket as they come, and loves to just follow me around and lay next to me in the paddock (and play in the snow, of course). We also go for hikes on the trails that we have access to from our farm. My hope is that she will be a dependable kids pony some day, and she already takes such good care of the children that have come to the barn to brush and visit her. She is worth her weight in gold!


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Congratulations to NAPOLEON and JAKE,

winners of our March photo contest "Fun"

From adopter, Kathy Kramer: “Napoleon has been with us for almost a year and a half. When we first brought him home we were unsure of what he was capable of and how he would do with his new nine year old person who had little horse experience. Napoleon turned out to be a saint! He puts up with all of Jake’s 9 year boy antics and loves every minute of it. At first he would only go over a jump if his buddy Jake went with him! After lots of practice he now jumps like a pro and loves to show off his talents at mini horse shows! Jake and Napoleon are hoping for lots of opportunities this summer to show off all the fun they have been having and things they have been learning together.”

Napoleon was adopted from Begin Again Horse Rescue in Lima, NY.  He was an owner-surrender when the owner contacted them to say that she was going to be going into the hospital for an extended amount of time and she had no family or friends to care for him while she was gone. Her future health was uncertain and she was concerned for his future. She had had Napoleon since he was a youngster and kept him as her pet, living alone, all his life. He only knew his one home and his one person and had not even seen another horse since he was a baby. He was very loved and cared for in this environment, however had never been gelded and as a teenaged stallion, he was overwhelmed when he suddenly moved to a busy stable of horses! It took some time after gelding for Napoleon to remember his manners, but his fun and gentle nature returned with patience. He’s proven himself to be a smart and fun loving partner with children and adults for showing in 4H and as a family companion.


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Congratulations to HAILEY and her Valentine, LEGEND

From Legend's adopter, Kathy Kramer:  “We adopted Legend in November 2019 from Begin Again Horse Rescue as a 5 year old. He has been working hard with his 10 year old girl, Hailey, ever since.  They are hoping 2021 brings 4H shows back so they can show off everything they have been working on. They just started ground driving this fall and he loves jumping! He is such a smart and loving horse who is eager to please! We are so happy to have found him.  He currently lives in our backyard with his BAHR mini brother, 18 year old Napoleon.”

Legend was part of a cruelty case with 11 minis. Begin Again Horse Rescue (Lima, NY) joined Ontario County Humane Society to assist with the seizure - 1 stallion, 2 yearling colts, and 9 mares. All were being kept at an abandoned property - no power, no hay on site, and brought water occasionally in gallon milk jugs. The minis were finally seized after many neighbor complaints when one mare foaled in the deep freeze of February in Western NY and the foal did not survive. They were malnourished, had lice, internal parasites, and neglected hooves.  

Legend was one of the yearling colts. He was temporarily dubbed "Eeyore" because he was so depressed and droopy! Little did his rescuers know he would bloom into such an animated and fun loving personality with proper care! After being gelded and returning to full health, Legend was professionally trained to drive. He also enjoys jumping and obstacle in hand with his young handlers.


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Mini "Cooper" and his rescued draft friend "Macey"

living the good life with adopter Christy Tucker.

Colorado Horse Rescue says they were "contacted by Cooper’s owner when another mini at his home passed away. His owner did not want to take on another horse and didn't want Cooper to live alone. He arrived from Craig Colorado after a long trailer ride. We had been told he suffered from bouts with founder but were unprepared for the condition of his hooves. He looked like he hadn't been trimmed in years and could barely walk. We carefully measured out meds for pain and scheduled him for radiographs. Our vet took on the hoof trims himself to get the feet started on their path to normalcy. Weeks of careful trimming and years of experience for our vet resulted in the happy little guy you see now. We spent months getting him healthy while Christy visited him weekly (at least) to groom him and encourage him to keep tolerating the weekly pedicures. Seeing images of him running are amazing!"



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"Tara was adopted from Valley View Ranch Equine Rescue. She lives with 3 of her herd mates at The Healing Equine Ranch in Agoura Hills. She is just over two years old and is fiery, playful, smart and easy going. Here is Tara’s Selfie."

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Farrah with her favorite buddy, Athens, and a group of friends enjoying hay as it snows. 

Farrah is a 10 year old Arab mare adopted from FOCUS Rescue & Rehabilitation in Ohio. 

Molly adopted Farrah in February 2019 with endurance in mind, and she loves heading out on trail.


“We adopted Buddy two years ago.  He is a stunning paint gelding with a playful horsenality.  He is super friendly and loves to be scratched vigorously on his neck and around his ears, and spend quality time with his three sisters here at the ranch.”

Buddy and his sisters were bred by a paint horse breeder who dispersed his whole herd at Fallon Auction in Nevada.  Over 20 were rescued that day - pregnant mares with nursing foals, plus yearling and two-year olds.  When Kiki visited Valley View Ranch Equine Rescue, she didn’t come looking for a horse.  But from several pastures away, Buddy watched Kiki until they finally met and he enchanted her… He and his sisters are now growing up together in Southern California.

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"Kensi is extremely inquisitive and amazingly sweet!

She loves everyone and is a huge treat snob" says Katie Miclat, Kensi's adopter.

Kensington, a warmblood mare, was adopted from Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance.

AHIP May Zeenah Brooklynne.jpg

Every horse deserves, at least once in its life, to be loved by a little girl.  

And every little girl deserves to be loved by a horse!


“They were magic from the moment they met,” says adopter Ashlee Petersen.

“Brooklynne told me she felt safe and that Zeenah was a very good listener. 

Zeenah would do anything for her and has given my daughter such incredible confidence in her riding.

She is priceless to us.”

Zeenah was rescued from Mike’s Auction, skinny with a big wormy belly and no muscle.  Just a ‘throwaway’ horse. 

Love This Horse, Equine Rescue, who specialize in Arabians, was able to buy her. 

During rehab they discovered she was patient and well trained as an English horse. 

So when Zeenah chose Brooklynne to be her very own child, it was a match!
That was last year - Brooklynne is now 6, and Zeenah is about 10 years older.  How sweet are they...!




"I'd like to thank the Adopted Horse Incentive Program for highlighting how FABULOUS and AWESOME adopted horses are. I know. My mom adopted me from Maker's Mark Secretariat Center in May 2019. Probably the best decision she ever made. That's why we are donating our prize to Maker's Mark!"

Niles secretly thought he could not win - he claimed that his Mom had T-Rex arms and as they were so short, getting good selfies was an insurmountable challenge...  LOL!


Adopter Wendi Neckameyer says "Niles tends to get a bit giddy when he wins something."  She adopted Niles in May 2019 from Maker's Mark Secretariat Center only three months after he was retired from the track.  Wendi says Niles' mantra is "Everything's a toy, except a toy." He enjoys long daytime naps, alfalfa, lush spring grass, getting his forehead scritched, and carrots. Pet peeves: all biting and buzzing insects, & Mom taking too long to clean up after a workout, especially when the grass is calling.

"Each day he makes me laugh and brings me joy. I am having so much fun working with him to create a lifelong partnership, however far we may go." 


Adopter Kim Leising says Cinnamon is sweet, friendly and curious!
She was adopted as a 3 year old from Begin Again Horse Rescue in NY. That was 10 years ago!
A Belgian, Cinnamon is huge, and weighs about 2,000lbs.
Kim mainly trail rides with her, and last year started obstacle courses.

This is the first year Cinnamon has had a child riding her, and she’s doing wonderfully.

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Kittara is 7, and Mila is 9, and they are the best of friends!


"It was love at first sight two years ago, and that hasn’t changed a bit", says Sylvia Lemberski, Mila’s mom, "They won 1st place in equitation at their first show together, and have placed in every show since." Sylvia took this photo of the two of them, showing their close emotional connection.


Love This Horse Equine Rescue is run by Vera Kalila. A friend in Missouri saw a 'sole grey Arabian in a sea of OTTB’s headed for slaughter', and called Vera to see if Love This Horse could take the mare. Vera says "My friend kept her poker face", and negotiated with the killbuyer, buying her for $250.


Kittara turns out to be the granddaughter of Patrick Swayze’s Arabian stallion, Tammen.


I met Goose when he arrived at my trainer Nicole Huttar's farm in 2017. My trainer's lesson and boarding farm is also a partner farm (Jumping H Farm Re3 Adoption and Therapy)  for Turning For Home, an organization that rehomes retired OTTBs. 


I started riding Goose in my lessons and then we competed at local horse shows and events before I adopted him in 2018.  As a middle-aged woman who had just returned to riding and competing 2 years prior, it was a thrill to find a horse that gave me such confidence.  During our show season we competed at a local Combined Training Event series and were awarded Champion.  I was so proud of my Goose boy! 


From his mooching for peppermints, to his fleetness of foot in a jumping round, to his gentle nicker to me at feeding time – I am so blessed to have adopted this grey boy and I love him dearly.  

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Isla (left) was rescued with her 6 month old foal by her side, by 13 Hands Equine Rescue, Inc. in New York.
She was lovingly adopted by Alyssa Blais.  And now Isla has a newly adopted sister, Capri, also from 13 Hands, seen here reacting to the Grumpy Horse winner being the boss!

“I adopted Isla from 13 Hands Equine Rescue last fall,” says Alyssa, “The details of her past are unknown, but it’s clear she experienced significant trauma and has been working very hard to regain trust in humans. Once she trusts you, she will give you the world.”

Horse wins photo contest

Although his name is Martini, he believes his name is “Good Boy!”  say's Bria's mom, Marlo Schalesky.

"From only having a halter on him 4 times in March and otherwise completely untrained, Marti can now be ridden (walk, trot, canter, circles, etc.) at liberty, bridleless, etc.  He’s also learning tricks like lying down on command (in the picture) and bowing. He adores little kids and gives lessons for the little ones (as young as 4 years old - just like him!), and will do just about anything Bria asks.  Smart, willing, kind, and loves to learn new things ... Marti is, after all, a bit of a nerd."

"Bria got him in March from Marlene at Valley View Ranch Equine Rescue to enter a junior rescue horse competition (Bria was 14 at the time) which was then cancelled due to Covid.  So we adopted Marti, who is the BEST HORSE EVER.  He and Bria make quite a pair."

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Congratulations to Prince Caspian and his family, Cora and her mom Katherine Gregory, for winning the Adopted Horse Incentive Program’s Holiday-themed contest!  

Sweet Prince Caspian is a dream come true for them - literally!  Twice in the preceding week, Cora dreamt of a big blond horse with a star, and then Prince Caspian showed up...  His former owner was facing health and financial difficulties, and decided to entrust Colorado Horse Rescue with his horse’s future.  And Katherine officially adopted this owner-surrender into their family.

“We are so very grateful for this big, beautiful, goofy gelding!  Prince Caspian is everything we dreamt he would be. He is playful with his pasture mates, loves chasing the hay truck, and is a bit of a cookie monster.  He loves being the leader on group trail rides - but not so brave when he is the only horse!  We are so grateful that his former owner trusted CHR to find Prince Caspian his new family - ours!” says Katherine.

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This lovely portrait of Apollo was photographed by adopter Dorothy Stroh.  Apollo is a Andalusian/Quarter Horse gelding.  

Dorothy says, “The moment I saw Apollo's photo on Central Virginia Horse Rescue I knew he was meant to be mine. I left at 4am to pick him up a few days later, it was my first long trailer drive alone. Since then Apollo has been a dream in every way. Apollo is a complete puppy dog, he loves cuddling and treats. When not cuddling he likes to hang out with his friends at Civil War Re-Enactments and going on trail rides. I am excited to continue our growth of knowledge into the new year!”

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