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March 18, 2015


Mariah Hammerschmidt


Boulder, Colo. – A Home for Every Horse’s Equine Comeback Challenge highlighted the abilities of rescue horses on March 14, 2015 at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo with 11 rescue horses, showcasing their ability to defy all odds and become willing equine partners. Brittnee Woodward along with Forgotten Fortune(Fortune) walked away from the Equine Comeback Challenge as the winner of the event. Fortune was surrendered to the Colorado Horse Rescue Network as an unhandled four-year-old stallion and was gelded just one week before entering 90 days of training with Brittnee at Old Glory Equestrian changing his fate forever.

Following the Equine Comeback Challenge win, Woodward said “…it was a lot of hard work, but this competition is all about the rescue horses, and less about the trainers involved.” Woodward highlights that it is the training that adds value to a horse, not papers.


Woodward and Fortune shared their spotlight with the youngest Equine Comeback Challenge trainer, Tate Welch. Sixth generation cowboy Welch and his Equine Comeback Challenge rescue mare PollyAnna from Mountain Valley Equine Rescue were a big hit the day of the competition. At only 11 years old, Welch placed second at the Equine Comeback Challenge with his precise execution of the Ranch Horse Versatility Trail Pattern.


The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo provided the chance for each rescue horse to show off their ability to become willing equine partners. Each of the 11 trainers, including; Misty Arellano, Danny Benedict, Alisha Cottingham, Jessica Hutsell, Kim Leonard, Byron Light, Sara Light, Alex Schoen, Susan Shields, Tate Welch, and Brittnee Woodward provided the means for the 11 rescue horses—which were all previously listed as unwanted—to showcase their abilities at this one-of-a-kind competition. The trainers, who worked with their horses since mid-December, 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. Many of the Equine Comeback Challenge horses have already been adopted to their new forever homes, a few of the rescue horses are still available to be adopted privately, through each trainer, to approved homes.

A Home for Every Horse was founded in 2011 as a way for—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.

After two successful events in 2014, the Equine Comeback Challenge returned to Denver; this time pairing 11 trainers with 11 horses. These 11 rescue horses were provided by regional rescues; Colorado Horse Rescue Network in partnership with Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue and Spring Creek Horse Rescue, Triple Acres Horse Rescue, Far View Horse Rescue, Mountain View Horse Rescue, CANTER Colorado and Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue. Rescues all over the country have adoptable horses just like those that will be participating in the Challenge event. 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 Rocky Mountain 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. And special to the Equine Comeback Challenge, Cinch Jeans provided shirts for each of the trainers. 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 

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 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 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 is part of the Active Interest Media Equine Network.

About the 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 provides emergency roadside assistance through USRider, and is home to several websites including:,,,,, and


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About Hope Legacy Equine Rescue

Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue was founded in 2008 when we took in our first donkey. Since then they have taken in over 450 horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys.

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