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Adopt at the ATFO

Competition horses are adoptable to approved applicants at the end the Appalachian Trainer Face Off in an adoption auction.

Showcases horses can be adopted prior to the event when the trainers set a fee and feel they are ready. They are not in the auction.


Opening bids are $1,500.00.

Showcase fees are set by trainers. 

Diamond horses began the event as feral.

Platinum Division horses were handled and unstarted before the event, for the most part.

The average 2023 fee was around $3,300. 

The value of training for these horses alone is over $3,000 per horse.

Horses can have their adoption fees paid via cash, check, paypal or square.

Credit Cards can be used, but only with a 3% fee charge added.

To adopt an ATFO horse, you need to know:

  • See all adoptable horses from this event HERE

  • HELP us assign your riding and bidding level HERE

  • Follow the 100 day training process of over 40 horses by using their hashtag

  • Most of these horses receive 100 days of knowledgeable and thorough training by one of our approved trainers leading up to a three day event in late August in Winfield, WV (AUG 22-24 in '24).

  • Horses adopted during a live auction to approved homes. You do not have to be present to bid. You can do so via phone with a proxy assigned to you. Showcase Horses can be adopted prior to the event if the trainers / fosters feel they are ready. Competition horses cannot be adopted prior.

  • Most of these horses are 100 day training only horses, so they are still GREEN. This means you need to be a solid intermediate rider for most of these horses and/or plan to have the horse continue training. Most ATFO trainers are offering continued training at a discount. These horses will not be suitable for adopters without established experience.

  • You can bid on horses that are suitable for your skill level. There are no beginner horses. The lowest level is beginner working with a trainer. 

  • Approval allows you to bid on any suitable horses for which you are approved. Approval doesn’t require you bid or adopt. It just gives you the option to do so.

  • You must apply HERE before August 10th and be approved to be able to BID on event horses, and you are encouraged to meet these horses beforehand while in training.

  • Horses should be up to date on dental, farrier care and vaccines, as well as deworming and coggins.

  • Adoption isn’t a sale. It works differently, but it is a process that is good for you and horses. When you adopt, you can compete with, show, love, trail ride and enjoy your horse. They cannot be bred. They cannot be sold, though. They are adopted and must return to the rescue if you change your mind or cannot keep the horse. The base adoption fee we set of $600-800 is returned, if you request it, when the horse is brought back to us. You can learn about adoption here. The horses go on adoption agreements through Heart of Phoenix.

  • Once you bid, you’ve entered a legally binding agreement. You cannot retract your bid. Should you opt to not complete the payment after bidding, you will not be considered in the future for adoption at HOP. Once you’ve made your payment, it is not refundable for any reason except for the contract’s specified based fee of $600-800, and the horse must be returned to us. Any funds over the refundable $600-800 fee do become a donation to the organization and would then be tax deductible.

  • Many trainers will transport horses back for A FEE. Please talk to them ahead of time about this.

  • Horses adopt on Contracts, are branded to HOP and micro-chipped.

Beginners – this isn’t the right spot for your first horse unless you have a trainer and plan to keep this horse in training / boarding for quite a few months moving forward. PLEASE visit here for information for beginners.



Apply to ADOPT before August 10th here in 2024 

Sign and Read Your ADOPTION PACKET 

To read about what to expect from a 90-100 day  training horse, visit here.

Please apply as soon as you know you’re interested.


Please try to arrange with the trainers to meet the horses before applying, if the trainers schedule allows. If you cannot, please try to meet the horse during the event.


Approved candidates can visit / ride the horses while in training and are encouraged to do so, if time allows. Please chat with the trainers, and the trainers will be very honest with you about the faults and the talents of the horses.

Once approved to adopt, you may BID on any horse you are approved for (you will be given a list when requested on auction day. (up to TWO horses per approved home) in person or BY PROXY (We have people able to do this for you, but you must let us know ahead of time, and you will be the phone and able to watch the auction livestream).

Live Bidding tentatively will have an official auctioneer.

The event, competition and auction will be streamed live on this website, Facebook on the ATFO and Heart of Phoenix pages.

So, Submit Your Adoption Inquiry Here

Essentially, HOP horses adopt to safe homes with a history of good horsemanship, the ability to provide sufficient care and with solid vet, farrier and peer references. Nothing needs to be fancy.

Our adoption process makes sure you get the right horse for you – it is a no fail process for finding the right match.

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