Graceland To Be Home For Rescued Horses Adopted By Priscilla Presley


Rescued Horse, Max


To keep the spirit alive as it was in Elvis’ time, there will always be horses at Graceland.

Max arrived at the estate Jan. 10 — two days after what would have been Elvis Presley’s 73rd birthday.

He will never be able to thank Priscilla Presley for adopting him and giving him a new home.  She also adopted his brother, Merlin, who will arrive at Graceland in the spring.

Max will never be able to thank Carol-Terese Naser of Palermo, Maine for saving his life.

Then again, Max is a 3-year-old bay horse.

It all began like this:

Max and his brother, Merlin, a magnificent chocolate-colored creature, were scheduled to be slaughtered — along with four other horses in their family in Quebec — last summer.

Naser, who has had horses of her own since she was a child, stepped into action and rescued all six horses with just days to spare.

“If we hadn’t done this when we did, they’d all be long gone,” said Naser.

Naser and her friend Cathy Cleaveland found out soon enough that it wasn’t easy — or cheap — to care for six horses.  So they decided to start fundraising.

“We sent T-shirts to celebrities we knew were passionate about animals,” Cleaveland said. “We requested they autograph the shirt, then send it back. We were going to auction them.”

Country crooner Alan Jackson, former Catwoman Julie Newmar and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” host Ty Pennington, among others, signed and sent back the shirts for auction, Naser said.

And then came a phone call  from Priscilla Presley that would change Max’s and Merlin’s lives.

An animal lover, Presley told the women she wanted to adopt Max and Merlin to give them a permanent home at Graceland, the nearly 14-acre spread, 23-room mansion in Memphis that Elvis shared with Priscilla and their daughter.



“I have always had a bond with horses,” Presley said in a telephone interview. “Elvis gave me my very first horse. It was the horses that made Graceland home to us.”


Presley, who called herself “the kid who had to rescue all the animals” growing up, said that when she received the T-shirt from Naser and Cleaveland, the story of the near-slaughter struck her.

“It haunted me,” Presley said. “I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to do that.”

Presley, who called Naser’s saving act “an unbelievable labor of love,” said it is her desire to educate people about horse slaughter, including spreading the word to permanently ban the practice.

“Max and Merlin are a symbol of horses who escaped the slaughter,” she said.

They will live out their lives at Graceland for all to know the value of horses in our lives.


Elvis Presley bought his first horses in 1966.  The first horses to come to Graceland were Christmas gifts for Priscilla and some of Elvis’ friends. They were Tennessee Walkers.

Elvis soon bought more horses – and then trucks and trailers – for his friends and bodyguards.

Priscilla remembers playfully, “It didn’t matter if you wanted one or not, you were getting a horse!”

The stable at Graceland was called “House of the Rising Sun” after Elvis’ own horse, a Quarter horse.


Elvis on Rising Sun


Ebony’s Double ~ Tenneessee Walker
Priscilla Presley’s Horse

Elvis sought solace in his land and his horses. Priscilla recalls, “In the morning right after breakfast he was out riding.”

The year 2007 marked the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.  The sound of hoofbeats has never faded from his home.

Graceland now includes the beauty of two rescued horses.


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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a wonderful post……And a very happy ending!

  2. That is pretty darn cool!

  3. Nice story with a great ending. Very cool to see the photo of Elvis on a horse…have never seen that.

  4. Nice pictures, maybe the story will inspire more people to rescue horses. I was surprised to see Elvis on a horse, my mom was a huge fan of his, and I don’t think she even knew about him having horses.

  5. Great Story.


  6. Wonderful. Suppose she will be able to feed the other 100,000 that will be needing homes when they totally ban the slaughter?

    As usual, a celebrity does something that will cost them very little in time, money or emotion and it is applauded. Even tho’ there will be thousands upon thousands more out there who will suffer because of this woman’s actions and those like her.

    Way to go. You should be so proud!

    Dennis Ranch,

    I’m not sure I understand your position or point. It appears to be that we should not attempt to save horses.

    If more people rescued horses destined for slaughter there would be fewer horses “who will suffer”.

    If all celebrities in the world saved just two horses as Priscilla Presley did … I would, indeed, be “so proud”.

    And, if non-celebrities would open their hearts and barns and consider a rescue horse, we could all be “so proud”.

    Perhaps the answer to the alarming number of cast-away horses is to control the “for the fun of it” breeders.

    And if we could convince breeders to stop the over breeding in the hopes of finally getting that special “Triple-Crown” winner, there would be fewer horses discarded.

    If the equestrian world could come to realize there are horses worth their consideration, for many purposes, at the rescue farms and the slaughter houses, we could make this a better horse world.

    And now to your reference to the ban of horse slaughter: Horses are not livestock. They do not belong on a dinner plate.

    And for all animals destined to meet their untimely end, it should be done with dignity and mercy. The present situation cannot be tolerated.


    Earlier Story: Horses Get Second Chance
    Earlier Story: Spare The Horses
    Earlier Story: Rare Caspian Horses Get Second Chance

  7. Go Marvel! I totally agree with your response to that comment! If Priscilla’s actions motivate even one other person to save a horse, inch by inch, there will be progress. By the way, what’s new at Strawberry Lane?

  8. Glad to hear it was a happy ending for those horses. I don’t much care who takes care of them, as long as they get taken care of. It’s good that this celebrity, even though the money is a drop in the bucket for her, looked beyond herself to a creature in need.

    Elvis on a horse … can you imagine getting within 10 feet of a horse, let alone on his back, wearing pure white? That sure wouldn’t last long …

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my site. I look forward to reading yours!

  9. I would love to come and work with your horse rescue operation, i spent 8 yrs saving horses from horrible situations. I hope you continuously save them. Please, if you have a place for people to live and work, I’m someone so worth talking to. I have designed little girls furniture for 30 yrs. and the horses are heaven on earth.

    Thank you.
    Stacey Sherman 954-962-1317

  10. For us that grew up near Graceland, the sight of Priscilla and Elvis Presley riding their horses was common and yes, Elvis often wore white to ride. There were horses at Graceland when Elvis and Priscilla lived there and now thank you to Priscilla for keeping the tradition alive and very generously giving two horses a new lease on life and if more people, celebritys or not, would open their homes and barns not only to horses but to the many cats and dogs that are sitting in shelters just waiting to be put to sleep. Thank you, Mrs Priscilla Presley, you have kept Elvis’s love of animals alive.

    Hello Daisy,
    Thanks so much for your added information about the horses at Graceland from the past. That must be a wonderful memory for you.

    I agree with you, people should make every effort to find their pets in the shelters . They are all deserving of safe and loving homes.


  11. Marvel, Thanks for your story about the rescue..I volunteer every week at a horse rescue in Cumming,Ga. you can see us at Save The Horses. Org.. I will share this story with others.Our #1 goal is to save horses from slaughter and provide forever homes for those who are not adopted.I am apalled when I see a response such as Dennis,Kudos to you for your response. Why do some ignorant people equate slaughter with euthanasia?What have our beautiful animals done to deserve this?Many Thanks..

  12. Elvis would be very pleased with this act by Priscilla. He as well had a passion as any would know for the equine. I love this act of kindness. These horses will continue to be happy for the rest of their lives. I feel they will be spoiled. How much better can life get for them? May God Bless Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley for their wanting to provide equine betterment.

  13. That’s awesome.

  14. Elvis would approve!! He loved his horses.

  15. Im glad to see that the “Presley” Estate will still be a wonderful place. I also reckon, “The King” will be amused.

  16. This story totally warms my heart. I am from Maine and am so happy that Ms. Naser took action to help the horses. I know exactly what Pricilla means when she said the sad stories “keep her up at night.” It’s so wonderful that she is in a position to help. I’m glad to hear that celebrities use their celebrity to make a difference like this rather than just stumble around and act silly in front of the cameras. So for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all animals.

  17. Thank you for being kind to horses!

  18. Thank you for your kindness in caring about those horses. I am from Maine and proud of people who take the time to show an animal respect and dignity.

    Teddy is a horse we rescued last summer. He sustained a devastating leg injury and was not given veterinary care to heal his wound. We found him 18 months after the accident.

    Thank you, thank you for your great compassion and care of “Teddy”. There should be many more people in the world like you.

    Thanks for the link to your blog telling us all about Teddy.

  19. I think it is great what pricilla and lisa marie av done for graceland and now to put the horses on there is just fantastic my husband and i visited graceland two years ago and cant wait to go back

  20. my wife and i are elvis fans and we visited graceland for our 25 th wedding annerversary it was absolutley wonderfull a real dream we think it is the perfect setting for the horses

  21. The Rainbow Bridge Poem needs to be read again.


  23. i visited graceland wot a wonderfull place perfect place for those beautifull animals

  24. ‘Rescued’ a few horses from ‘The Killers’ as a young ‘Buck’. Did not do it for any pretentious reason so noble. Only did it to have a horse, fix it up and sell it for a profit. People have absolutely zero knowledge of the expense and time involved. Within a year, the horse was neglected and back at ‘The Killers’. People like to ‘Feel Good’, about a ’cause’ but are clueless about the dedication, expense and work it entails. Apparently Elvis understood the basics and ‘deligated’ the horses to others.

  25. We had a horse named “Elvis” who came to us in Feb./11 & was just adopted out [this page will be taken down shortly He looks a lot like your Max & we even have a picture of him with his “curled lip”. Thank you for all that you do & I would love to see some updates to this site.

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