A Home for Every Horse’s Equine Comeback Challenge pulled on many heart strings on Oct. 14, 2014, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show with 10 rescue horses showcasing their ability to defy all odds and become willing equine partners. Todd Feaser walked away from the Equine Comeback Challenge as the winner of the event. He and his rescue partner Red showed their outstanding ability to complete the versatility trail pattern with ease and precision; then, Todd’s daughter Fallon provided a helping hand during his freestyle performance, she handed Red to her forever family with three loving and very excited young ladies. Todd stated during the event “I have been asked a million times why I participated in the Equine Comeback Challenge and this [in reference to the hand off between Fallon and Red’s new forever family] is why.”
A Home for Every Horse held the second Equine Comeback Challenge at the 2014 Pennsylvania National Horse Show. A Home for Every Horse paired 10 trainers with 10 rescue horses for 90 days of training in preparation for this one-of-a-kind competition. The trainers, who worked with their horses since mid-July, converged to compete in versatility trail class. Following the course, each trainer had an additional two minutes to showcase, in freestyle form, the work they’ve done with their horses. Following the Challenge event, the horses are available to be adopted privately, through the trainer, to approved homes.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show provided a spectacular stage at one of the largest indoor horse shows in the United States. The 10 trainers, including; Todd Feaser, Jessica Flaherty, Tammy Marsh, Joel Miner, Missy Morris-Rothfuss, Shane Ogden, Melissa Smithmyer, Kimberlee Strauss, Courtney VanderBrook and Erin Zellefrow, provided the means for the 10 rescue horses—which were all previously listed as unwanted—to showcase their abilities.
A Home for Every Horse was founded in 2011 as a way for Equine.com—the World’s Largest Equine Marketplace—to develop a lasting partnership with equine rescues all over the country and use their resources to help find forever homes for the more than 170,000 unwanted horses. At the beginning of 2014, Mariah Hammerschmidt, the Project Coordinator for A Home for Every Horse, realized there was a growing need to assist rescue organizations in their efforts.
“Rescue horses needed a platform and a knowledgeable partner to show the world what they are capable of,” said Hammerschmidt. “With a competition like the Equine Comeback Challenge, rescue horses are given that much-needed opportunity to showcase their abilities and potential”.
In February 2014, the inaugural Equine Comeback Challenge took place at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver, Colorado. After a very successful finish, the need to do a similar event on the East Coast became prevalent. These rescues provided the 10 horses for Equine Comeback Challenge: Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village, Lollypop Farm and the Humane Society of Great Rochester, Second Chance Thoroughbreds Inc., The ANNA Shelter and Triple B Ranch Horse Rescue. Rescues all over the country have adoptable horses just like those that will be participating in the Challenge event.
A Home for Every Horse’s generous partners are on board to help with the East Coast Equine Comeback Challenge in a big way; Purina delivered four bags of grain to each trainer to help the horses achieve optimum performance condition, Tractor Supply Company provided gift cards to each trainer to assist in hay and other supplies, while Zoetis and WeatherBeeta will be providing donations to the forever home each horse finds after the competition. New to the Equine Comeback Challenge, Cinch Jeans will be providing shirts and jackets for each of the trainers.
Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project. If you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeforEveryHorse.com.
This project helps find homes for America’s 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter. Here’s how it works: Begin the search for your next equine partner at Equine.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find a rescue organization in your area.
Visit the site’s “services” section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
Look for upcoming stories on AHomeforEveryHorse.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the A Home for Every Horse project, please fill out the online application at AHomeforEveryHorse.com/join. Equine.com is part of the Active Interest Media Equine Network.
The Equine Network provides, creates, and distributes relevant content and services to passionate horse enthusiasts while connecting them to each other and the marketplace. The Equine Network is the publisher of award-winning magazines: Horse&Rider, EQUUS, Dressage Today, The Trail Rider, Spin to Win Rodeo, American Cowboy, and Practical Horseman. The Equine Network also publishes a proprietary line of books and DVDs for sale through its store, HorseBooksEtc.com. The Equine Network also provides emergency roadside assistance through USRider, and is home to several websites including: EquiSearch.com, Equine.com, MyHorseDaily.com, DiscoverHorses.com, AmericanCowboy.com, and Horse-Journal.com.