Stable Recovery's Spring Meet Gala Boasts Incredible Success

On3 imageby:Daniel Hager04/16/23


Stable Recovery’s Spring Meet Gala took place on Saturday night at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, KY. The program is celebrating 10 months in operation.

If you aren’t familiar with Stable Recovery, it began with the founding of the School of Horsemanship, which was created to teach those who were facing problems with addiction to learn how to train horses. After the hiring of Christian Countzler, Stable Recovery was officially founded to provide a safe and stable living environment for men in early recovery. Think DV8 Kitchen but with horses. Just an awesome cause trying to curve the opioid problem that currently runs rampant in the state of Kentucky.

At its core, this is what Kentucky sports are all about; helping others out to ensure team success. The men who make their way to Stable Recovery aren’t just a team, but a brotherhood. When they spend every minute of every day being each other’s keeper, they make relationships that will span lifetimes.

Horse Trainer Will Walden Tells Harrowing Story

Horse trainer Will Walden comes from a horse racing family. Growing up as the son of WinStar Farm CEO Elliott Walden, the sport was in his blood. Following in the footsteps of his father was obvious, but it didn’t go as smoothly as Will and his family may have hoped. Will had gotten hooked on substances such as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. There were many times that Will ended up in an emergency room or a jail cell. Public intoxication, DUIs, assault, you name it — Will was quickly spiraling into a deeper and deeper hole.

He would occasionally receive treatment, but would eventually return to the substances that he could hardly live without.

“All of my money was assigned to various drugs and alcohol. Fentanyl, crack cocaine, heroin, alcohol,” Walden said. “…There was no money for anything else.”

It wasn’t until he stopped hearing from friends that he finally decided that enough was enough. This is when he got in contact with Christian Countzler, who worked for the Shepherds House in Lexington before founding Stable Made.

The Shepherds House is a drug treatment program that assists residents in gaining life skills that empower them to take responsibility for their lives.

On November 23, 2020, Walden agreed to detox for two weeks before entering a year-long program at the house. This is where Walden completely turned his life around. He got a job at Wendy’s, which humbled the second-generation trainer and showed him that his actions have consequences.

“I keep my Wendy’s hat and uniform in my truck as a reminder of where I could be,” Walden told “At that point of my life I was just so grateful to have some semblance of purpose. There was someone counting on me to show up and I was able to do that. There is a sense of pride.”

Fast forward to May 13, 2022, nearly two years after Walden decided to turn his life around, he led his first champion into the Churchill Downs winner’s circle. He finds himself working with some of the best trainers in the world and he thanks God for that.

“The spiritual maintenance of my daily life is key,” Walden told “I come to the barn first thing in the morning, I feed my horses, I go grab a cup of coffee and sit up by the track by the quarter pole, have my morning prayer and surrender everything out of my own control and give it over to God. It’s worked today and hopefully it will work tomorrow.”

Walden’s wife just gave birth to their first child. “Without this program, none of that is promised.” Will is just one of many men whose life was changed by Stable Recovery and the School of Horsemanship.

Frank Taylor’s Vision

Around the country, the rate of people who stay clean after leaving rehab is just 12%. In Stable Recovery’s 10 months of operation, only two of the 34 people in the program have failed to stay clean, good for a 94% success rate. Frank Taylor, the founder of Stable Recovery, said that starting this program was the best thing he’s ever done, and he’s done a lot of amazing things.

Taylor is one of four brothers to transform Taylor Made Farms into a horse racing empire. His goal is to implement a Stable Recovery all around the country and the world.

Following Saturday night’s proceedings, he was presented with a plaque that read, “In Honor and with Deep Appreciation of the Unselfish Service and Contributions given to Stable Recovery Inc., [their group home] will now and forever be known as the Frank and Kim Taylor House.”

This is what Kentucky is all about.

If you or a loved one is interested in the program, you can contact them at (859) 551-7322 or send them an email at [email protected]

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