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Red Feather Equine Sanctuary (RFES) Co-Founder & President Allison Bowling got a late start into the world of horses, and didn't realize how passionate about them she would become until adopting her own horse, a retired Thoroughbred racehorse named Mario's Revenge. Her partnership with Mario became the inspiration for a rescue and retirement farm, where horses who had been injured, abused, neglected or abandoned could live out their days peacefully and without expectation.

On that foundation, RFES has blossomed into a 15-acre equine sanctuary that is home to more than 30 rescued horses, donkeys and mules.  Conveniently situated less than 10 miles from downtown Winston-Salem, RFES is powered by a volunteer staff of over 50 committed individuals of all ages, occupations and horsemanship abilities.  Our program emphasizes natural horsemanship and positive reinforcement training methods to cultivate and nurture lasting human-horse bonds among even the most challenging of rescues.  We utilize a professional trainer who works with our horses on a weekly basis, and we provide regular opportunities for volunteers to build their own handling and horsemanship skills.

Red Feather offers a truly unique program in the rescue and sanctuary world: one where non-rideable equines enjoy the same level of enrichment, training & care as working horses, and receive the lifetime permanence & stability provided by sanctuary. 

Board of Directors


Josh Pietrafeso

Co-Founder and

Vice President


Steph Figerle



Melissa Blunkall


Relations Director


Melissa Sheppard, DVM



Christina Stover


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