Debra acquired the property known as Liberty Ranch in 2015 and lovingly developed it with her husband, Scott Horner, creating an infrastructure to accommodate animals in need. This was the foundation of Liberty Sanctuary which she founded in 2022 after identifying America’s Forgotten Equines as a population in need of relief, protection and advocacy.
“Our goal is to help save equines from dire circumstances and slaughter. We raise funds to bail them out of kill pens and transport them to our Utah ranch where we can vet them, care for them and work to build trust so they can have a chance at fulfilling lives. We are on the horse’s timetable – trust is built slowly and steadily. Our dedicated group of volunteers are tireless in their passion and work ethic helping to gentle and care for the animals. The eventual goal is to rehome the majority into qualified and caring forever homes,” Debra explained. “The majority of equines sent to slaughter are mostly healthy according to the USDA. The mistreatment and slaughter of these gracious animals is abhorrent and must end.”
Always an animal lover, Debra moved to Utah from the east coast over 20 years ago where she left a career in marketing. She has enjoyed working for companies like Warner Records, BMG, Viacom, Sony Music, Mark Burnett Productions and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. She has also contributed to a variety of local nonprofits before launching Liberty Sanctuary. Debra is an enthusiastic and versatile professional and has had the opportunity to work with a range of respected colleagues from artists to C-suite executives.
At home in the mountains, Debra enjoys life with her husband and animals, skiing, and exploring the outdoors.
Scott Beckstead is one of the nation's leading voices on equine welfare and protection. Formerly, Director of Campaigns for Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action, Beckstead joined Best Friends Animal Society as Legislative Counsel. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Utah State University and his JD from the University of Utah, Beckstead worked as an attorney in private practice for 17 years on the central Oregon coast before going to work full-time in the animal protection sector. During his time on the coast he also served as the mayor of Waldport, Oregon from 2002 to 2007.
He became known for his special expertise in the field of animal law, and has taught that subject at the University of Oregon and Willamette University law schools. In 2000, he co-authored Animal Law, the first casebook on the subject, and continues to teach animal law, wildlife law and policy, Endangered Species Act, and cannabis law and policy as an adjunct professor of law at Willamette University. From 2008 to 2020, Beckstead served in a multitude of roles for the Humane Society of the United States, including Oregon state director, equine protection specialist, and Rural Outreach director; he also helped lead a successful ballot measure campaign in 2016 to ban the trade in endangered wildlife in Oregon.
Because of his close familiarity with horses, livestock, and farm animals, Beckstead provides training to law enforcement agencies on how to handle and work with those animals, and how to investigate equine and livestock cruelty and neglect.
Josh began practicing law at the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago in 2002. There he focused his practice on preparation and trial before federal and state courts of cases involving a broad range of business-oriented substantive law issues. Those issues included breach of contract, torts, products liability, employment matters, construction litigation, real estate and insurance overage. From 2006 to 2012, Josh continued his litigation practice in Atlanta, most recently at Rogers & Hardin, LLP. He has experience defending financial institutions, manufacturers and sellers of consumer products and services, and other large corporate clients. He has represented them in individual suits, class actions, qui tam claims and other complex cases in venues across the nation, including courts located in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, California, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Texas, Delaware, New Mexico, Louisiana and Utah. Josh has also cost-effectively resolved numerous commercial disputes for clients by pursuing creative litigation strategies, and by obtaining favorable results short of trial through arbitration, mediation and negotiation.
Founder of Redhead Marketing & PR, Hilary Reiter Azzaretti is an experienced communications and marketing professional from New York City where she launched her career in the public relations and marketing departments of major record labels.
An avid skier and travel enthusiast, Hilary moved to Park City, Utah in 2001 for a position with the Sundance Film Festival. Hilary then managed public relations for the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau followed by Ski Utah, both of which allowed her to become an active member of the community. She also managed and marketed the successful political campaigns for Park City Mayors Jack Thomas in 2013 and Dana Williams in 2009. Since opening Redhead Marketing & PR in 2010, she has worked with a vast array of industries, including travel and hospitality, real estate, politics, entertainment, lifestyle, technology, non-profit, and luxury products.
Hilary is a member of the invite-only, national association, Public Relations Consultants Group. She earned a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.
From guinea pigs to cats and dogs, Hilary has rescued countless pets since her childhood, including two barn kittens from where she rode horses in Connecticut. Following her college graduation, she adopted a litter of five kittens and has rescued three dogs since living in Park City. When it comes to animals, the word “no” is not in her vocabulary. Hilary and her Roman husband, Marco, are proud parents of a dog and cat.
Scott grew up in rural New Jersey and made his way out west in the mid 80’s while serving in the United States Air Force. After a decade in the Salt Lake Valley, he relocated to Heber City and began caring for and enjoying horses with his wife, Debra.
While typically more at home setting World Records on his racing motorcycle with several hundred horsepower beneath him, Scott has found much joy with just a single horsepower and interacting with the animals and volunteers.
At Liberty Sanctuary, Scott supports daily operations and handles many of the infrastructure projects. In the corrals his calm energy and patience working with the horses is very beneficial in building trust and positive human interaction with all of the rescues. With equines and other animals we rescue, Scott has a true gift and plays a leadership role in making animals feel secure.