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WELCOME TO 

The Appalachian Trainer Face Off

AUGUST 22-24 in 2024

Winfield, WV 

VIDEO

2024 Trainers

Platinum Division Trainer Teams


Katie Amirault with Valero
Carie Doyle with Kabrina
Maribeth Harrell with Henderson
Krista Johnson with Theo
Laura Lezotte with Calliope
Brooke Miller with Bastian
Katelyn Reese with Travis
Shannon Severance with Mosaic 
Lyn Sullivan with Carhartt
Breanna Mood with Frasier 

Diamond Division Trainer Teams


Savannah Banner with Gilligan
Vania Carr with Caliber
Kaylie Eaves with Sonora
Hannah Fowler with Hopkins
Laura Funderburg with Siobhan
Ashley Lauer with Zendetta
Amber Ludwig with Oakley
Danielle Mullens with Desperado
Colby O Connor with Grant
Amy Parsley with Kalani

Outlaw Division Trainer Teams 
 

Adam Black with Sven
Daniel Chavez with Sovereign
Gavin Huffman with Papa Smurf
Jake Gelinas with Molasses
Samara Manich with Mara
Colby O Connor with Laredo

Quinn Lawson with Bellini

Whippersnappers Trainer Teams


Ashley Francese and Seven of 9
Kyrstan Heath and Primrose
Joey Lezotte and Data
Dixie Marrese and Jingle
Michelle Fedewa and Sela
Caity Sammons and Leeta
Craig Shaffer and Mila

Nikki Lynne Marjarum and Wellington

 

Judges

Michael Lyons of Michael Lyons Horsemanship
Julia Lyons of Michael Lyons Horsemanship
Lee McClean of Keystone Equine
Sonny Garguilo
Noah TY of Steady Horse
Carl Bledsoe of Just Gait

LIFE SAVING INNOVATION

Operating in one of the nation’s most economically challenged regions, Heart of Phoenix found through necessity there was a need to create innovative ways to get a large number of horses trained and adopted each year on a small budget.

Our answer to this was the Appalachian Trainer Face Off. It is training competition that began in 2017. The ATFO is currently one of the largest equine events in West Virginia, hosting 500-2,500 people in August yearly. The ATFO helped make a rescue organization an equine leader in the country.

The Appalachian Trainer Face Off is a unique event that brings together horse trainers from around the country to compete, showcasing the adoptable horses while providing an opportunity for trainers to showcase their skills.

Click here to learn about the Divisions.

The 2024 event marks the 8th year for the ATFO.

 

Since its inception, the program has: • Provided over 220 horses with 100 + days of training • Was a feature series on Horse.TV in 2021 • Has been featured in Horse Illustrated, Horse Nation and Chronicle of the Horse • Enabled 150 horse trainers to showcase their talents to an audience online and in person • Raised $350,000+ in funding used to both host the event and aid in HOP’s mission to rehabilitate and rehome the horses of Appalachia • Generated over $500,000 in training value for the horses of HOP • Was the 2021 largest equine event in the state of West Virginia with over 2,000 horse friendly attendees.

 

Some of our Judges have been: Josh Lyons, Noah TY (Steady Horse), Michael Lyons, Richie Wingfield, Carson James, Pat Roberts (wife of Monty Roberts), Sonny Garguilo, Carl Bledsoe, Colton Woods and Patrick King.

Heart of Phoenix believes when faced with uncommon adversity, all efforts should be make to create a great impact while ensuring that the multiple issues involve are being tackled simultaneously. We have found the Appalachian Trainer Face Off has accomplished this, leading to a better understanding what horse rescue means, what adoption should look like and how the horse industry can help us help horses in a meaningful way.

WATCH THE 2023 SATURDAY EVENT LIVESTREAM HERE

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The Appalachian Trainer Face Off is a unique event that brings together horse trainers from around the country to compete, showcasing the adoptable horses while providing an opportunity for trainers to showcase their skills.

The 2024 event marks the 8th year for the ATFO.

Since its inception, the program has:

• Provided over 220 horses with 100 + days of training

• Was a feature series on Horse.TV in 2021

• Has been featured in Horse Illustrated, Horse Nation and Chronicle of the Horse

• Enabled 150 horse trainers to showcase their talents to an audience online and in person

• Raised $350,000+ in funding used to both host the event and aid in HOP’s mission to rehabilitate and rehome the horses of Appalachia

• Generated over $500,000 in training value for the horses of HOP

• Was the 2021 largest equine event in the state of West Virginia with over 2,000+ horse friendly attendees.

Event Photos

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