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About Us

Nalani Horse Rescue (Nalani is Hawaiian for “the Heavens”) is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to rescuing horses who have suffered abuse, neglect and/or trauma. 

At Nalani, we believe horses are highly intelligent and sensitive creatures. When a horse has endured trauma or neglect, the damage extends far beyond their bodies. Our first goal is to get their bodies healthy, but we recognize that the mind often takes much longer depending on the extent of the trauma. We seek to understand and prioritize the emotional needs of each individual horse. We understand that many of our horses have never had any agency over their lives so we have created an environment that is peaceful and tranquil and as close to their natural setting as possible. Many of our horses have never had the opportunity to live free in a herd and we often observe them learning to play! 


We believe in positive reinforcement for our horses and understand the importance of building relationships and trust on the ground through patience and kindness.


We treat each horse as an individual and take his/her desires into account. We believe that horses have value outside of being ridden; in fact most of our horses have been adopted into loving homes by people who want relationships with horses with no intention to ride. A horse may be physically rideable, but when it becomes clear that they don’t enjoy it (often they have anxiety around it), we don’t force it upon them. For the horses we deem “adoptable”, we will only adopt out that horse if and when we find a home that is not only safe, but where they will thrive. We keep track of every horse we place so we know they are safe and welcome them back if life circumstances change and they need to return. 


Verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, we are committed to giving horses an opportunity to meet their potential in a loving, healthy, and trusting environment. Nalani is located at Alanwood Farm, in Broad Run, VA. It is a peaceful haven for horses who have been through trauma.

Why Rescue Horses

There are many factors that lead to a horse being dumped at an auction and headed to a horrific journey and terrifying death in a slaughter house. A horse costs at minimum $3K - 10K a year to feed and maintain. Often, people with the best of intentions fall on hard times and can no longer feed and give the proper care to a horse. In the racing and sport horse world, horses are often started far too young and sustain injuries early in life that limit their ability to perform, making them unwanted. As horses age and are no longer able to do a job (whether it’s a lesson horse, cart horse, or show horse), they are often discarded. Sadly, the world is full of cruel people who abuse, neglect, and starve horses for seemingly no reason. Over 100,000 horses are shipped to slaughter every year. Most of our rescues come from an auction where we bid directly against the "meat' buyer to save them from a terrible fate.

Horses are part of our history. America was built on the backs of horses and our childhood story books are filled with them. They represent freedom, power, beauty and majesty. Horses serve people in many capacities: work, entertainment, pleasure, therapy and more. We OWE it to them to care for them when they are no longer “useful”.

"This organization has heart and wisdom. They focus on the efforts for the horses, and provide a loving, intelligent environment for every horse they rescue. What a fantastic mission."

Meet The Team


Cherry Tapley

Cherry Tapley grew up dreaming about riding horses, but never had the opportunity. In 2013 she realized that dream and began taking riding lessons. She quickly became aware of the plight of many horses who were starved, abused, and discarded, often leading them to be shipped to slaughter. Determined to make a difference, she immersed herself in hands-on horse care and became an advocate for horses in the hopes of one day starting a rescue. Cherry founded Nalani Horse Rescue in 2015. As President and Executive Director of Nalani, Cherry runs the daily operations of the rescue and drives planning, coordination, and fundraising. Running a horse rescue has exceeded all of her childhood dreams, and she considers the opportunity to help these deserving creatures to be one the biggest blessings of her life.

As a compliment to running the rescue, Cherry is a certified Equine Facilitated Learning Coach and founded Nalani Encounters in 2022. She enjoys spending time with her two sons and friends, riding horses, hiking, visiting local wineries, and exploring the beautiful Virginia countryside.

Learn more about Cherry's Nalani story: The dream that spawned a horse rescue: Nalani Horse Rescue - Cherry's story - YouTube

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Stacy duCellier

Stacy duCellier joined the board in early 2022 after starting with Nalani as a volunteer in 2021.   Stacy grew up riding in Northern VA, mainly focused on English riding and competing in the hunter ring.  She switched to 3 Day Eventing after college and competed for about 15 years.  Stacy has worked at Akre Capital Management in Middleburg VA for almost 20 years, and lives in Rectortown with her husband Vince & rescue pup Sasha.   She keeps her horse Teddy, an off the track Tb, in Middleburg. 


Kristin Flora

Kristin Flora joined the Executive Board in early 2019 as the organization's Treasurer, a position that allows her to use her professional skills and her passion for horses that started from the time she was a child.  As the owner of Flora Financial Works, she brings the financial knowledge the organization needs to be fiscally sound as it pursues it's desire to rescue and re-home the most needy of horses.  Kristin grew up caring for and learning about horses as a student of English riding and jumping.  She only competed in a few shows when she was young and finds as she has gotten older she far prefers trail riding and enjoying the scenery.  She likes to spend her free time with her family and friends, enjoying being a spectator of sports events, especially lacrosse and checking out the local breweries.  She and her family (husband, daughter, son and dog) live in Loudoun County.


Krasi Henkel

Krasi Henkel: Horses touch my soul. My love and fascination with horses was born from my earliest memory of the brutal abuse of an emaciated gray mare pulling a coal cart up a steep hill in my home country of Bulgaria to the gracious perfectly turned-out riders atop gleaming bay horses that I met on a forest trail in Germany a year later. I vowed that I would “ride horses and that I would save horses from mean people.” 

When I was 10 years old, I announced to my parents that I would have a horse farm when I grew up. My announcement was met with laughter and incredulity. I have a horse farm. Three of my five horses are rescues; together, we accomplish remarkable results. 

You see, in my opinion, the horse is entitled to the utmost respect and care. It is the horse who helped carry man into civilization and helped us reach today’s technology. These majestic creatures have hearts and minds; they feel love, pain, hunger, and disappointment.  My heart breaks at the injustice and inhumane treatment that many horses continue to endure today. In the 21st century!  When I met Cherry, I knew that our mission-aligned. I am so very grateful to have this opportunity to help and represent Nalani Horse Rescue. 


While I could not help the poor gray mare, I help others in her spirit. Networking, fundraising, grants, and community involvement are among my strengths.


Lisa Korhnak

Lisa Korhnak joined the fundraising committee at the start and is now on the Board of Advisors —integrating her marketing expertise and love of horses to help Nalani Horse Rescue. As president of Moore Marketing Solutions, she brings strategy, resources, and awareness to help save horses' lives. Lisa grew up caring for and riding horses—competing in both English horse shows (jumping) and rodeos (barrel racing). In her free time she likes to: be outside, whether it is: watching lacrosse, hiking, horseback riding, visiting a local winery or brewery, or, of course, saying ‘hi’ to the horses of Nalani. Her family (husband, three children, and labradoodle) live in Loudoun County.

Liz Mras


Liz Mras

Liz Mras has been working with horses most of her life. She currently owns and runs Stone Oak Stable, a professional lesson and training barn. She has a passion for retraining off the track thoroughbreds (ottb's) and has been a competitor in the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) for the past 4 years. Her most recent horse, Empire Station, came out of West Point Thoroughbreds and won the "Most Conditioned Horse" award at the age of 3. Liz met Cherry in 2018 and in 2019 Nalani placed one of its rescues, Belle, an ottb, in Liz's training program. Since that time, Liz has become a key resource helping with on the ground rescue missions and general training advice. Liz lives on her farm in Va with her husband, Scott, and their 3 dogs. They have two grown kids. When she is not teaching, training and riding, Liz enjoys supporting her husband in his competitive sailing adventures.

We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors! 


Corporate Sponsors:


In-Kind sponsors:

Alanwood Farm

Vet: Haymarket Veterinary Service and Piedmont Equine Practice

Farrier: Victoria Solzbach

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