Virginia Governor, First Lady Youngkin present Spirit of Virginia Award to Nelson County equine rescue

The nonprofit has treated 500 horses, mules, and donkeys since 2008

The governor and first lady were in Nelson County today visiting some four-legged residents in need of dire-help

NELSON COUNTY, Va. – Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin spent Thursday morning with three horses, Red, Beethoven, and Patches, that were recently seized by animal control and taken to Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue in Nelson County.

Maya Proulx, Executive Director of the rescue, said the animals were in bad condition and needed treatment.

“We think we should be able to get them rehabilitated,” Proulx said. “They are three of the sweetest horses we’ve ever met, so hopefully, we’ll be able to find them good homes eventually.”

They’re not the only equines Proulx and her 80 volunteers are caring for on their 172-acre farm.

“This year we’ve taken in 54 [animals] so far, we have three more coming in tomorrow, and I have about 24 horses on our waiting list,” said Proulx.

Since 2008, the nonprofit has cared for 500 horses, mules, and donkeys – either seized by authorities or surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them.

For their service, the organization received the Spirit of Virginia Award.

“It’s just about the extensive good that exists, at a time where almost everyone wants to focus on the not good,” said Governor Youngkin.

“It sounds kind of cliché, but we were blown away to be nominated to begin with; and then to actually receive the award is just phenomenal,” said Proulx.

The Youngkins plan on presenting six of the Spirit of Virginia awards each year and Thursday’s ceremony marked the third one given out in 2022.

“So many Virginians are doing extraordinary things to help Virginia be the best place to live, work, raise a family and own a horse,” said Governor Youngkin.

“And be a horse!” Mrs. Youngkin added with a laugh.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.