Contact: Ashley Harkins

United Horse Coalition

Phone: 202.296.4031


For Immediate Release

June 14, 2023

Inspiring Discussions and Productive Motions Made during Annual United Horse Coalition Meeting

A packed room of individuals and organizations from all facets of the industry came together in Denver, Colorado, during the 2023 American Horse Council’s Annual Conference and National Issues Forum June 4-6. Attendees of the United Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Annual Meeting learned about just a small sampling of the initiatives and programs in place nationwide to address the issues plaguing at-risk and in transition.

Ashley Harkins, Director of the UHC, gave updates on what initiatives are currently in the works: from upgrades to the UHC Equine Resource Database, to researching more grant opportunities to assist in further promoting and educating about the resources available to help horse owners in their time of need. Harkins also announced that the UHC will be exploring the opportunity to create a telephone hotline for owners going through a crisis, which will take the UHC Equine Resource Database to a new level.

Former Equine Welfare Data Collective (EWDC) program manager Emily Stearns, now AHC’s Health, Welfare, and Regulatory Affairs Liaison, gave updates about the EWDC’s activity. Stearns introduced EWDC’s two new staff members: Bailey McCallum, EWDC Data Analyst, and Kelsey Buckley, EWDC Program Manager. It was also announced that the EWDC will be going back to a bi-annual survey, phasing out the previous monthly data collection.

To inspire dialogue and share ideas a panel discussion wrapped up the meeting. Attendees discussed, “The how and why of industry led support programs for owners in need and at-risk horses, and how your organization can join the effort. (Don’t get left behind the proverbial wagon!)”  The great line up, featured speakers Sarah Coleman of Kentucky Horse Council, Katie Clinebell and Alex Cox of A Home For Every Horse, Kate Lewis, DVM, and Carl Heckendorf, DVM, of the Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance, and Kristin Werner of Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Connect. Inspiration was offered on how other industry organizations might be able to implement some of these great programs that focus on helping at-risk horses within their own organizations.

The meeting wrapped up with a workshop focused on getting attendees to think outside-of-the-box when it comes to addressing certain common scenarios that we see facing at-risk horses and their owners today. Wrapping everything up, examples were given in the UHC’s recently updated Join the Effort booklet as well as some take home lessons for the audience to think about in the weeks following the conference.

The UHC’s Join the Effort booklet is available for free on the UHC website at: UHC-Join-the-Effort-2023.pdf (

A recording of the United Horse Coalitions annual meeting is available here:

About the American Horse Council and United Horse Coalition

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media, and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, racetracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers, and state horse councils. Learn more at

The United Horse Coalition is a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to educate the horse industry about the issues facing horses at-risk or in transition. We seek to provide information for existing and prospective owners, breeders, sellers, and horse organizations regarding the long-term responsibilities of owning and caring for horses, as well as focusing on the opportunities available for these horses. Learn more at