The American Horse Council estimates that there are 9.2 million horses in the United States. While there are no reliable statistics on the total number of horses that become unwanted each year, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that prior to the slaughter ban in the United States 90,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses were sent to slaughter each year. Based on those numbers alone, it is safe to assume that the total number of unwanted horses is substantially greater.

The plight of the unwanted horse is an issue that affects the equine industry as a whole. As economic conditions worsen, the number of unwanted horses grows proportionately. There are several possible outcomes for the unwanted horse. The lucky ones will find new homes , often via an equine rescue facility. Others are euthanized at the owner's request. Far too many are not so fortunate, they are abandoned, neglected, abused, or sent to slaughter in other countries.

As a member of the overall equine industry, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) recognizes the plight of the unwanted horse and is committed to addressing this issue. As an initial step, TWHBEA is asking it's membership to support Mountain View Rescue, an equine rescue facility located in south central Kentucky.

Mountain View is dedicated to a single goal - to rehabilitate, re-school and re-home unwanted, neglected, mistreated and misunderstood equines and to place them in permanent, loving, "forever" homes.  Founder Raquel Ferotti rescued her first horse, a Thoroughbred mare scheduled to be euthanized, when she was a child. That mare went on to carry Raquel to numerous honors on the hunt & jump circuit and now serves as an excellent ambassador for Mountain View.

Raquel opened Mountain View in the spring of 2007 and since then she has placed numerous unwanted horses in new homes. In addition to bringing horses in for rehabilitation, Mountain View also assists horse owners in finding new homes for horses for which they can no longer care. The majority of the horses that come to Mountain View are off the track injured Thoroughbreds and orphan foals from the nurse mare industry. However Mountain View has helped place a number of gaited horses, including Tennessee Walking Horses. Raquel explains that these horses are usually the easiest to place because of their docile temperaments, willingness to please, and their suitability as trail horses.

Horses that come to Mountain View spend a minimum of 90 days at the facility before being adopted out. Of course, for those with injuries the stay is usually quite a bit longer.  Raquel relates, "We don't want to send anyone a problem. We won't adopt a horse out until they are fully able to adapt to a new home." Raquel spends countless hours working with the horses on the ground and in the saddle to prepare them for their new lives.

Upon visiting Mountain View and talking with Raquel, it only takes a moment to realize the levels of passion and dedication that go into making the rescue a success. "Mountain View is my purpose in life. I could not imagine my life without it, " she relates.

Of course, an operation such as Mountain View also takes money. Fundraisers are held throughout the year to pay for essentials such as hay and grain, as well as to assist in covering vet and farrier bills. Because of its successful track record in caring for and placing unwanted horses, TWHBEA has decided to support Mountain View and is requesting that everyone in the Tennessee Walking Horse community consider making a donation to this more than worthy cause. Visitors to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration are invited to stop by the TWHBEA satellite office on the Celebration grounds or the TWHBEA booth at the Celebration trade fair to make their contribution.

The Tennessee Walking Horse industry is well-known for its generosity and for its love of all horses. Our support of facilities such as Mountain View is an indication of our dedication to ensuring the welfare of all equines.

For more information on Mountain View visit


***The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association, headquartered in Lewisburg, Tennessee, is the oldest and most prestigious organization devoted to the promotion and protection of the breed. Founded in 1935, the breed registry was established to record the pedigrees of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Its goal is to maintain the purity of the breed, to promote greater awareness of the Tennessee Walking Horse and its qualities, to encourage expansion of the breed and to help assure its general welfare. For more information on TWHBEA visit or call (931) 359-1574.