Q & A

Q: What motivated the Wisconsin Horse Alliance to host a Trainers Challenge?

39851702_470949963401801_5379185000501477376_n (1)A: As part of our mission, the Wisconsin Horse Alliance focuses on raising awareness about the importance of equine rescue and adoption, and supporting rescues that carry out this lifesaving work.  Rescuing an equine in need is just the beginning.  For some horses, it can be a very lengthy rehabilitation.  The dedicated professionals at each organization work tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the horses in their care are provided with the necessary special nutrition and veterinary care to fully recover from the condition they’re found in.  The staff and volunteers put a significant investment of their time, training and resources into the horses in order that they will get a second chance at a new life.  All of us in the Wisconsin Horse Alliance have a deep respect and appreciation for each organization’s dedication to helping homeless horses and those horses seized from situations of abuse or neglect.  We want to help these rescues continue to do this lifesaving work.  In response to a survey at two separate “Rescue Roundtable” events hosted by WHA in 2017, equine rescue organizations in attendance were overwhelmingly in favor of participating in a trainers challenge.  Since then, WHA has worked to make this event a reality.

Training is a key element in preparing a horse for success in their new home.  Holding an event like this one, in which experienced trainers are dedicated to enhancing the horses’ adoptability, is critical.  We applaud these talented trainers for using their remarkable skills to make a difference in the lives of rescue horses, and to being a critical part in their journey to a new life!

Lastly, having enough adopters willing to open their hearts and homes is hugely important.  Without adopters, the rescues wouldn’t have space available to rescue more equines in need of their help.  We hope that this event will shed light on the incredible talent and potential of rescue horses and that people will support the rescues (through adoptions or donations) who play such a critical role in their journey to a new life!


Q: Where will the horses come from?

A: The Wisconsin Horse Alliance is excited to partner with the following horse rescues:  Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Hooved Animal Humane Society, Hooved Companion Project, and Holyland Donkey Haven, Inc.


Q: How will the horses be chosen?

A:  Each of the horse rescues will select horses in their care that are most in need of training.  We ask that the horse is safe, sane and sound to begin with.  Our Horse Selection Committee will make the final approvals based on an assessment of the horse’s trainability.


Q: What will happen to the horses after the competition?

A: We hope that all of the horses will find loving, forever home!  Potential adopters are encouraged to follow the progress of each horse/trainer pair on their journey to the final competition.


Q: How do I adopt a horse?

A: Please complete the the adoption application.


Trainer Questions

Q: How do I participate as a trainer?

A: Fill out the online application. They application will be reviewed by our Trainer Selection Committee and invitations to participate will sent out.


Q: What are the qualifications to participate as a trainer?

A: Trainers will be selected based on experience and references.


Q: How long will the trainers have to work with the horses?

A: Trainers will have 90 days to work with selected horses.


Q: What classes will the trainers be judged on?

A: There will be four judged classes:   in hand, walk/trot/canter under saddle on the rail, trail and freestyle.  In addition the horses will be evaluated before the show by a veterinarian and scored on their behavior for the exam.  Trainers will have the option to do in-hand only OR riding classes.


Q: How will the winning trainer be selected?

A: The winning trainer will be the trainer with the highest score based on all 4 classes and the veterinary exam score.  There will be separate prizes for those participating in-hand only (all classes except for walk/trot/canter under saddle)


Q: What is the prize money for the Challenge?

First Place – $2000

Second Place- $1250

Third Place- $750

Fourth Place -$500

Fifth Place- $500


In-hand Classes

First Place – $500

Second Place- $250

Third Place- $250


Q: What is my responsibility as a Trainer?

A: Trainers will be expected to maintain their horse in good health.  They will be financially responsible for the horse’s physical and medical care while in training.


Q: When and where is the show?

October 19, 2019 at the Alliant Energy Center


Q: Will the horses be available for adoption? 

The horses will be available for adoption through their rescue organization.  Follow each horse’s progress during training on our facebook event page, Instagram, and our website! After the show, each horse will go to their forever home with the adopter who has been pre-approved and holds the highest bid the day of the show.  Potential adopters will need to be approved by the horse’s Rescue Organization. Proceeds from the adoption will go to the rescue organization.