From November 10-13, the ASPCA Right Horse program hosted an adoption barn at Equine Affaire Massachusetts in West Springfield. Equine Affaire is a semiannual equine exposition that brings together thousands of horse lovers from around the country. The event boasts a robust trade show, daily clinics and competitions, and the opportunity to meet horses of every breed, ability and size.
Starting in 2019, with the support of the ASPCA Right Horse program, the event also began to include an adoption barn. This year, the ASPCA sponsored stalls for two ASPCA Right Horse Partner and Warm-Up Ring groups: MSPCA at Nevins Farm and the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS). Each group brought three adoptable horses, and we were there to support them and answer the public’s questions about equine adoption.
Hundreds of visitors stopped by to meet the horses. By the end of the event, all six horses had generated interest from potential adopters—and Twister and Coppertone from HAHS and Peter Cottontail from MSPCA were adopted on site!
“Equine adoption is not yet as common as dog or cat adoption,” explains ASPCA Equine Welfare Senior Director Christie Schulte Kappert. “Events like the adoption barn at Equine Affaire help educate and inspire horse lovers to consider adopting their next horse. It’s a win-win: the horses in the barn find wonderful homes, and countless more horses will get adopted as a result of the awareness the event brings.”
Peter Cottontail Hops to a New Home
Peter Cottontail came to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm after his previous owner reached out for help. After a tail injury, she could no longer afford his medical bills. The MSPCA has a program that allows owners to compassionately relinquish their horses for safe rehoming. Once at the farm, Peter first needed a tail amputation since his injury made him highly prone to infections in the area. After healing, Peter went into training and the MSPCA team quickly fell in love with his relaxed personality and can-do attitude.
His personality is also what attracted the eyes of Maryanne and her partner Haleigh during their visit to Equine Affaire.
“We had been discussing starting to look for the right horse for Haleigh as she lost her riding partner, Zoe, in 2021 due to old age. We had planned to start our search in the spring, and I admit, adoption was not on our radar,” recalls Maryanne of their plans. Like many horse-shoppers, they didn’t know much about equine adoption until they visited Equine Affaire. “We took a walk through the barn at Equine Affaire, and the cutest chestnut pony immediately gravitated to Haleigh. They connected instantly! Peter has been home for a week now and we know he will be here for life. He has been everything we expected and more. He is kind, sensible, quirky and adorable.”
Join Us at Equine Affaire
Adoption fairs are a powerful way to increase support for and interest in equine adoption, which is why the ASPCA has supported three of these events in the past year. Equine Affaire previously hosted an adoption barn at its Columbus, Ohio, event this past spring, and the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover included its first-ever adoption barn after receiving a grant from the ASPCA in October.
Inspired to attend an adoption barn? Plan your trip to Equine Affaire in 2023, or explore adoption digitally by visiting myrighthorse.org to meet hundreds of adoptable horses in one place.
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