Debbie Hanson is a native Virginian who came in to the horse world 17 years ago by means of her daughter. Shortly after her daughter became involved in showing horses, two horse trainers defrauded Hanson and stole her daughter's pony.
Her response led to spearheading an extensive FBI investigation spanning several states, which identified dozens of similar victims. The results included federal felony convictions and prison sentences for the two individuals responsible for the fraud.
Hanson has been advocating for victims of horse fraud and working for sales reform in the horse industry for more than a decade. She brought a bill before the Virginia General Assembly regarding transparency in sales and has lobbied on other horse issues as well.
She served on the Board of Directors for The Horse Owners’ Protective Association (HOPA), which was founded by the late Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables. She also served on the Board of Directors as the Communications Director for the Virginia Horse Council, and as an Ambassador for the Virginia Racing Commission.
Hanson continues to volunteer her time working with victims of horse industry fraud.