Jennifer Purcell, PhD, has joined the American Horse Council as the Director of the Unwanted Horse Coalition. Purcell will be responsible for overseeing communication efforts between the UHC and the greater equine community, working closely with UHC members to enhance current and future efforts of the organization, and establishing and cultivating relationships with new UHC members and donors.
“We are happy to have Jennifer join the team,” said UHC Chairman Dr. Doug Corey. “She brings experience in education, grant writing, program development, and evaluation, in addition to first-hand knowledge of issues surrounding the unwanted horse.”
Purcell grew up in south Florida, working after school and during summers at a local riding stable. She earned a master’s degree in adult education and a doctorate in higher education administration before working as an education specialist at a medical school in New York City. After relocating to Maryland with her family three years ago, Purcell shifted gears and joined Freedom Hill Horse Rescue as a volunteer, logging nearly 2,000 hours in two years. In addition to providing hands-on care to horses in need, she revamped the rescue’s marketing materials, tripled grant funding, and coordinated a month-long fundraising campaign which earned the rescue national recognition.
“I never thought I’d find myself back in the horse industry after 22 years. My recent experiences in horse rescue and rehabilitation have been both heartbreaking and rewarding. It is clear that we need programs and services to reduce the number of unwanted horses before they end up in dire circumstances. The Unwanted Horse Coalition is leading the horse industry’s effort, and I’m excited to join the team as an advocate for unwanted horses nationwide.”
The Unwanted Horse Coalition represents a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to educate the horse industry about the unwanted horse issue. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the plight of the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address this issue.