HorseFriends, Summerfield, NC’s therapeutic riding program known for its “Joy and Strength through Horses,” has announced that it has named Sally Walker as its first Executive Director. Since 2005, HorseFriends has been providing free programs for children and adults who are physically and intellectually challenged.
A lifelong horsewoman, Walker comes to HorseFriends with extensive leadership experience in the nonprofit, corporate, and private business worlds. She has managed high-performing teams, directed innovative, sustainable initiatives, and overseen mission awareness and organizational growth. Walker is dedicated to providing resourceful synergy among supporters, volunteers and program participants.
Walker has served as the Executive Director of equestrian nonprofits in Lexington, KY and Warrenton, VA. Most recently, she oversaw operations and charitable programs for Blue Grass Farms Charities, a faith-based nonprofit which provided a vast array of human services for thoroughbred industry worker families in need. Prior to that, Walker led the 4,000-member Paso Fino Horse Association, as well as the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, where she executed programs and policies for horse workers based at the racetrack.
Walker’s experience also includes piloting conservation organizations in New York and North Carolina, where she was tapped for regional and statewide roles representing the industry on television and radio, and at community and civic events. During Walker’s land trust tenure, both protected lands and support tripled, and many key alliances were built that enhanced protection strategies, education, and demonstrable results. She initiated a successful “Saving Horse Country” campaign which resulted in more than a thousand acres of permanent horse farm protection. Her regular newspaper columns, “Saving the Places We Love” and “Conservation Corner,” provided a blend of personal observation, information, and humor which attracted a new fan base to her organizations’ missions.
“I am especially pleased to be able to merge my professional experience with my personal appreciation of what horses do to heal the human spirit,” states Walker. “I have been fortunate in my life to have owned and trained some extraordinary horses,” she adds. “Now it is time for me to give back to some extraordinary people.”
HorseFriends is a 501(c )3 charitable organization that relies on donations and sponsorships to provide ongoing programs for children and adults with disabilities. To learn how you can help support HorseFriends, or to inquire about programs or volunteering, go to horsefriendsnc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.