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Rescued Horses and 120 Day Training Competition Help Spread Awareness of Horse Abuse and Neglect in the US

Last updated October 14, 2023 by Brad Heath

Attend the Oregon Rescue Challenge or Start a Similar Event in Your Home Region

We have a special place in our hearts for horse rescues here at Double D Trailers.  That is why we recently shared the story of a horse trainer who was able to tame and train a completely wild mustang in just 100 days. 

In this article, we are going to share information about a similar event that is perfect for ambitious trainers and horse rescue operations in the Pacific Northwest states of the US.  Best of all, there is still time to attend the fantastic 2-day finale in June 2018 in Powell Butte, OR! 

If you don’t live in the area, we’d encourage you to learn about this event and advocate for similar competitions in your local area.

From Rescue to Remarkable in 120 Days!

We had the pleasure of speaking with Gayle Park who is one of the organizers of the annual Oregon Rescue Challenge.  She shared, “Oregon Rescue Challenge is a premier equine rescue Trainer Challenge and Adoption event in Central Oregon.  Eleven equine rescues and eighteen Trainer Teams from around the state of Oregon will be competing for prize money and awards during our two day event.”

Spectators will enjoy a free family event with vendors, food, a silent auction, and half time show.  Then, of course, the horses are sure to entertain!

Each of the horses used in this challenge has overcome some sort of hardship or extreme circumstance.  For instance, a 2017 challenge horse named Chai was rescued from a slaughter truck bound for Canada.  Trainer Geraldo Morales chose this little mare as his challenge partner. 

Gayle shared, “Not only did Chai get a chance to heal and show what she could accomplish, but so did her trainer, who was also struggling to build his business and overcome his personal past.  Both became champions!”

Chai went on to get adopted at the 2017 Oregon Rescue Challenge and is thriving with her new family in Central Oregon.  Geraldo’s reputation as a trainer has continued to rise and his business is steadily growing.  He is slated to once again compete at this year’s competition with a new horse.

Every one of the trainer and horse pairs has a similar story of their own.  The day is sure to be an inspiration as spectators learn about each pair and see the results of their hard work together.

What Happens During this Two-Day Challenge?

“The day of the event is filled with the excitement that only a fresh arena, horse manure and sweat can conjure,” Gayle shared.

Each trainer and horse team starts in the afternoon on Friday June 29, 2018 with the Conditioning and Handling / Compulsory Maneuvers portion of the competition.  Spectators will be able to enjoy a fantastic Silent Auction with local vendors.  Plus, the Rim Rock Riders Café will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner food all day long. 

The Oregon Rescue Challenge includes a “Rescue Roundtable” panel that evening which brings together rescue organizations from around the state.  They discuss recent rescue challenges and explore new ways to collaborate and better address the needs of rescue horses in the area. This conversation is vital for horse rescue operations that are struggling to care for, train, and rehome rescued animals.

Saturday will begin at 9:30am with the Trail Course followed by a lunch break and half time show.  The Warm Springs Horse Network youth trainers will perform along with Tribal members riding in tribal regalia.  The late afternoon will feature the Finale with the “not to be forgotten” Freestyle Event.  Trainer and horse combos will perform with music, costumes and surprises. 

Gayle shared, “Trainers will let their creative juices flow to music they have personally selected.  They and their horse partners will excite and entertain the crowd followed by a meet-and-greet period for the public and potential adopters.”

Finally, the day ends with an “Adoption by Competitive Bid” to pre-authorized adopters.  It is sure to be an exciting and heart-warming experience.

These two days will be entertaining and productive since they will help the Oregon Rescue Challenge meet its goals of promoting Awareness, Training, and Adoption of rescue horses.  Last year they hosted around 500 spectators and this year is shaping up to be another successful experience. 

Another benefit of the ORC is the interaction between horse rescue organizations and trainers.  Often, rescues lack the funds necessary to provide professional training for their animals.  This training is vital so that traumatized horses can learn or relearn the skills that will make them desirable riding companions. 

Gayle explained, “This event facilitates matching rescue horses with horse trainers and follows them through the training.”  You can watch the progress of your favorite horse and trainer pair through social media or on the ORC website.

How to Attend or Contribute to the Oregon Rescue Challenge

If live in Oregon, then we would encourage you to attend this exciting and FREE horse affair.  Better yet, if you are considering an adoption, fill out an application on their website so you are able to participate in the Rehoming event on Saturday.

This event is 100% volunteer run, so the organizers are always in need of extra hands.  Monetary donations will help support the Rescue Roundtable working group, stabling costs, and provide the trainers with competitive incentives to continue their important work.  Besides cash donations, the Oregon Rescue Challenge is also in need of Silent Auction items.

Attend the Oregon Rescue Challenge at the Rim Rock Rider Event Center in Powell Butte, OR on June 29 & 30, 2018. 

You Can Make a Difference in Your Own State

We salute the Oregon Rescue Challenge for the important work that they are doing to spread awareness of horse abuse and neglect in our country.  There are hundreds of hardworking rescue operations in the US that are struggling to help horses rebound from desperate situations.  Once these animals are returned to health, the second major challenge begins.  The horse rescues then need to rehabilitate and retrain the horses so they can be adopted out to new homes.

Oregon Rescue Challenge helps put a focus on this retraining aspect by bringing together talented trainers and willing adopters into a single two-day event.

If you are interested in making a difference in your local area, we’d encourage you to check out our Horse Rescue Corner.  This database includes profiles of horse rescue organizations across the United States.  Volunteer your time at a local horse rescue or consider adopting a horse of your own. 

Or, if you’re looking to make an even larger difference, use the Oregon Rescue Challenge as a model to create a similar training competition in your home region.  Each event held, dollar donated, and story shared will help more horses gain a second chance at life.

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