Sanctuary Visit: Winner’s Circle Center


Winner’s Circle Center
Lancaster, PA

The Winner’s Circle Center provides various animal-assisted therapeutic services including counseling, psychotherapy, and learning services with a number of rescued and rehabilitated animals. Their mission is to unlock the potential within each of their clients and students to find the solutions that improve their emotional, academic, and social well-being. Those who use WCC’s services have the opportunity to learn about, form bonds with, and care for a number of horses, dogs, goats, and chickens and leave with a greater compassion for and understanding of animals.

Meet the animal residents of the Winner’s Circle Center below:

Morgan Horse

Skip is a Morgan horse. He was an Amish buggy horse until he severely broke his ankle. Thankfully, The Winner’s Circle Center saved him from euthanasia and rehabilitated his ankle. He’s now living free and happy!

Thoroughbred Horse

Charlie was once a competition horse used for racing and show jumping. As he aged and the competitions took their toll on his body, he developed arthritis. Sadly, Charlie was going to be euthanized since he could no longer compete. Thankfully, the Winner’s Circle Center stepped in to save him and provide him with a new home. Charlie now lives happily in Lancaster, PA with his competition days behind him and the company other horses.

American Paint Horse

Cassie is a beautiful American Paint horse who lives at The Winner’s Circle Center. She came to WCC a very young and orphaned foal, but is now a few years old and living happily. She has a wonderful personality and enjoys interaction with people.


Alice is a sweet little pony who lives with Charlie, Skip, and Cassie in the barn at the Winner’s Circle Center. She has a calming and friendly presence. She lovingly cared for by the WCC team and has the company of several beautiful horses and goats!

Colleen, Diego, Dixie, Luna, Paco Taco, Rocky Balboa, and Sadie
Miniature Horses

Colleen (brown and white Paint), Diego (white with brown speckles), Dixie (white), Luna (gray/light brown with white speckles), Paco Taco (tan), Rocky Balboa (brown with white batches), Sadie (chocolate brown)

There are seven miniature horses at Winner’s Circle Center. Many were saved from auction and rehabilitated from illness and injuries. Here are a few of their stories:

Sadie (chocolate brown) is often a favorite of students, and she is especially good with kids. Sadie is the matron of the herd, and she likes to keep the other horses in line no matter how big or small they are!

Colleen (brown and white) is a Paint mare. She is a beautiful little horse who is very sweet and patient. Colleen was pregnant when she arrived at the Winner’s Circle. 13 months later (an unusually long time since the normal gestation period is 11 months), gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Rocky Balboa. It was a miraculous birth! Colleen is a great mom who is very patient with her sassy son. Colleen loves attention and enjoys meeting new students and clients!

Diego (white with brown speckles) is a truly small miniature horse! He very friendly and curious, so he has no problem meeting and interacting with people. Diego has a unique feature: he was born without a tail. He doesn’t let that get him down, and he is a great example to students of the Winner’s Circle Center who also deal with physical challenges or differences. 

Rocky Balboa (brown with white patches) is Colleen’s baby boy. Rocky was born on Preakness morning, May 16, 2012. He is a bit headstrong, but training to become a therapy horse. Rocky enjoys running around the pasture and playing with his favorite toy – a big bouncy ball. Students and clients love his energy and enjoy watching him run and play!

Harry, Ted, Winston, and Pearl
Nigerian Dwarf and Nubian Goats

Some of the newest residents to join the Winner’s Circle Center are these adorable baby goats named Harry (white with brown patches), Ted (tan), and Winston (brown and black)! These sweet little guys are learning the ropes while they get acquainted with the horses and humans. They are still timid but very friendly. They are sure to be a hit at WCC! 

Pearl (white), an adult goat, has been with the Winner’s Circle Center for a while. Although she is reaching older age and suffers from some mobility challenges (which she doesn’t let slow her down), she is a sweet and beautiful lady. I made a special connection with her while capturing her portrait. While crouched down to meet her level with the camera she came to me and rested her head in my lap while I pet her.

Bella, Hampton, Malacca, Nigel, Sassy I, Sassy II, Scarlet, Sophie, Tucker

There are many happy pups at the Winner’s Circle Center too. They may be small in stature, but not in personality! Hampton (long, black hair) was the first of the dachshunds to join and is a Certified Therapy Dog. Hampton enjoys all people, but he especially enjoys children. Many of these dogs were saved from shelters and difficult situations. Sassy I was found running scared in the street of Baltimore. Sassy II has suffered from multiple bouts of paralysis and was brought to a shelter while pregnant. Most shockingly, Scarlett was found tied to a tree and pregnant. She then gave birth to Pitbull puppies. And finally, Sophie was saved from a puppy mill. They may have had rough pasts, but they now have very happy lives and bright futures.



There are lot of feathered friends at the Winner’s Circle Center as well! They have free range of the entire property and can be found hanging out in the gardens or in the barn with Skip, Charlie, Cassie, and Alice.

Learn more about the Winner’s Circle Center by visiting their website

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Voted among The Best by the Lancaster community in Lancaster County Magazine‘s Best of Lancaster Awards

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