Get Involved with The Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge!

We invite you to be a part of this promising and impactful event for Wisconsin rescue horses! There are a number of ways that you can get involved!

1)  Attend the event! Invite family, friends and horse enthusiasts to this family friendly event!  The event will be held Saturday, September 22 at 10am at the Jefferson County Fair Park in Jefferson, WI. Rally behind 20 rescue horses and professional trainers as they compete for the top cash prizes and recognition.

2)  Donate an item for our silent auction!  Items do not have to be horse-related.  Gift cards/certificate, sports tickets, theater passes, new jewelry, sports memorabilia, etc. are welcome!  if you have an item and would like to donate a good or service  please email us at All donations are tax-deductible!

3)   Sponsor the event! Check out our sponsorship opportunities, ranging from $250 up to $1000! This is a great way to actively promote your business to a large audience, while making a larger impact financially in supporting this event!

4)  Sponsor a horse! Donate as little, or as much as you can to sponsor one of the participating rescue horses. Each of these horses are coming from one of the seven participating Wisconsin horse rescues, and your monetary donation helps them on their journey to a healthier, happier, and deserving life. Please visit to make a donation in any amount, or email us at to get more information about donating.

5)  Adopt a rescue horse! All 20 of these participating horses will have had 90 days of solid, well-rounded, and critical training that will set them up for success in their new homes. You will be able to see them complete with their professional trainers, and will be able to follow their journey leading up to the event.

6)  Participate as a trainer! If you think you have what it takes to train one of these rescue horses, please fill out our online application on This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build your resume as a trainer, as well as have the unique opportunity to work with a rescue horse. Each trainer’s application will be reviewed by our Trainer Selection Committee, and invitations to participate will be sent out. You must be at least 16 years or older to participate, and each trainer will have 90 days to work with his/her horse. Pickup of rescue horses will take place the weekend of June 22. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to build, refine, or practice your skills as a trainer, as you join the journey of these special rescue horses from rescue to the show arena!

Thank you Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation for the beautiful photo!

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Rescues Lineup Announced!


We are thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of participating rescues in this year’s Trainers Challenge! Meet the rescues: Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc., Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary,  and Holyland Donkey Haven Inc. We hope that this event will shed light on the incredible talent and potential of rescue horses and that people will support these rescues (through adoptions or donations) who play such a critical role in their journey to a new life!

What are Rescue Organizations Saying about the Trainers Challenge?

Ponies-11“There is such a stigma linked to rescue horses. Far too many people run from the term “rescue horse”, yet at the same time far too many people like to claim they have “rescued” a horse. The terms, themselves, are relatively interchangeable. But, what we have found as we’ve began our fourth annual trainer’s challenge here at Pony Tales, is that the Trainer’s Challenge takes the “rescue” out of “rescue horse”. When a rescue takes in a horse, the horse is rescued. In other words, they are out of whatever bad situation they were in. We spend weeks, months, sometimes years, getting any particular “rescue horse” rehabilitated and moving on from whatever horrors they may have experienced.

To be fully ready for adoption though, we want to know everything about this horse. What does this horse like best? What “career” will this horse thrive in the most? What home is going to fit them the best? That is where the Trainer’s Challenge comes in. The wonderful trainers who step up and take on the unknowns for zero guaranteed compensation, do it for many reasons. Most just want to help a horse. Some want to help get their name out there. Others just do it for fun. Regardless of their reasons, they take in these horses and they discover every last little bit about them. We already know the basics: what kind of feed they like/do best on, where they sit in the pecking order, who is best with mares or geldings or ponies or alone, etc. But, the last puzzle piece we need to know is what kind of future are these horses going to be the happiest with. The only way to do this, is to work with them extensively. Most rescue organizations do not have the time or manpower or the funds to pay someone to find this out.

The trainers who compete fill in this last puzzle piece and officially take the “rescue” out of “rescue horse”. The horses are no longer rescue horses at this point. These horses are now just horses. We can tell you everything about them that matters. The trainer knows what makes them happy under saddle and what upsets/bores them. A “Trainers Challenge” levels the playing field for “rescue horses”. They may not have the perfect pedigree or the “sunshine and roses” background, but they do have a will to live and a perseverance that is indescribable.

This statewide trainer’s challenge is the best thing that could happen to the horses, the rescues, and the homes out there looking for their perfect match. We could not be any more excited about being involved in this endeavor and we look forward to what the selected trainers will accomplish with our amazing horses.” -Cindy Prince, Executive Director of Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc.


What are the Rescues Saying About the Trainer’s Challenge?

Trigger“I cannot think of anything better than a competitive event where everyone wins! A Trainer’s Challenge not only helps showcase the amazing talent of trainer’s who are out there, but it also showcases the amazing horses that are available through adoption in horse rescues throughout the state. Many people may not give a “rescue” horse a second look, and a Trainer’s Challenge is a great way to show people that just because a horse winds up in a transition in their life, they are no less wonderful of a horse than any horse out there. A Trainer’s Challenge helps rescues tremendously by helping the horses become more adoptable by a wider range of people because of the additional training they receive, and showing people how talented and versatile the horses in rescue really are. The Trainer’s Challenge will have a major positive impact for all of the horses, rescues and trainers involved. What an amazing event to get behind and support to help so many horses, people and rescue!” – Karen Bayerl Co-Director, Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc.