Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) launched the first Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge in 2009 to introduce the public to rescue horses while showcasing the horses’ talents. “Far too often people look down on rescue horses, seeing them as unwanted or useless,” says BEHS Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Williams.
“Our goal with the Challenge is to prove that assumption false, and our horses and the Training Challenge participants have made us proud each year! Some of our Challenge horses have gone on to be kids’ horses, competitive trail and endurance horses, and show horses.”
The Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge (the Challenge) is a training competition open to anyone in Texas or a surrounding state who is willing to become an approved foster home for Bluebonnet. It includes five divisions: Professional Trainer, Foster Home/Amateur Showing Under Saddle, Foster Home/Amateur Showing in Hand, Youth, and Senior Foster Home/Amateur Showing in Hand (new for this year).
Contestants spend three months (July-October) working with a horse from the rescue and then demonstrate the horse’s skills in a freestyle competition and over an obstacle course at the Bluebonnet Horse Expo on October 19, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
In addition to the new Senior Foster Horse/Amateur division, this year’s event offers several other improvements including increased prize money, extra points for those horses shown under saddle, and a Difficulty Score which is used to rate the horse’s behavior or training prior to the beginning of the Challenge (so that the judges can better rate each horse’s progress).
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society is accepting applications for participants until July 1 for the 2012 Rescue Horse Training Challenge. Each participant will be assigned a horse in July and will pick up his or her horse around July 15.
The organization is also seeking sponsors in order to offer even more competitive awards to participants. Sponsorship benefits include complimentary admission, advertising privileges, vendor space and more.
Anyone wishing to participate in or sponsor the Challenge can get more information at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?BluebonnetEquineHuma/ee8b373108/a7be1ac9c9/3efd1e7080 under “Challenge” or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (888) 542 5163.