HOMETOWN HERO: Darlene Vincent

SMITHS GROVE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Darlene and Mckenzie Vincent are two Smiths Grove women, with the fortitude of a thousand.

"You don't find very many people that has the kind of heart that Darlene and her daughter does," said Ruth Morrow, coworker and friend.

Darlene works in Bowling Green as a medical assistant, Mckenzie is a high school student both with a love for animals.

"When she rescued these horses, it was just the icing on the cake that validated to me what kind of a spirit, what kind of heart and what kind of person she is," Murrow said.

Darlene and her daughter noticed several horses on a farm near their house that look sick and mistreated.

"They were very skinny, very emancipated, they had barbed wire around their legs, one of them had an infection, she had open sores that weren't treated," Vincent said.

"Just in bad shape," said Vincent. "In that moment I took three plus the eight that we already had."

The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office confirmed several horses were found on a farm in Smith's Grove, malnourished and mistreated. They seized the horses and released three of them to Darlene and her daughter to care for.

"She had the heart and the passion, the fortitude to go get them and said, 'No, this is not acceptable, we will not tolerate this,' and her and her daughter have just made a huge influence in my heart and in my life," Murrow said.

"I've rescued all eleven horses that I have, I have taken them off the slaughter trucks or off of someone who didn't want them anymore," Vincent said.

On top of standing up for animals, she's a women with integrity, and positive role model for her daughter.

"If you're trying to do something big, just always have faith."

Mckenzie's love for animals was ingrained in her since she was a baby, riding since the age of two and showing horses since she was old enough.

"It's a part of me now," Mckenzie said.

One horse in particular, Ariel, had been in poor health but Mckenzie turned her into a prized competitor.

"At the time I got her I was 12, and they were like, "This horse isn't going to amount to anything,' and I said, I'm going to show you," Mckenzie said.

Mckenzie and Ariel went on to win several ribbons and recently won Reserve at the 4th District Show, proving no matter your size and strength you can never count out the underdog.

"They want to help people, and that's what makes these two special," said Morrow.

For her courage, loving nature, and ability to warm the hearts of those around her, we honor Darlene Vincent as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

"It makes me proud to be nominated," Vincent said.

The mother daughter duo hopes to continue their horse rescue efforts and eventually provide horses to children in the 4-H Club who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity.