Updated: 08/17/2013 5:25 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson
Image: Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation
"An untrained horse is an unwanted horse," said Drew Fitzpatrick, Director of the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.
Saturday, she handed out the ribbons to previously malnourished, neglected and abused horses making their comeback at the University of Minnesota Equine Center.
"That's Hurricane," she said referencing a four-year-old calm, gray horse with a glossy coat. "He came out of a group of 117 horses that were seized by the ASPCA."
Every one of the contestants at the 2013 Trainer's Challenge of the Unwanted Horse were rescued by the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation and rehabilitated by trainers at the University of Minnesota Equine Center.
"Most people can train a dog to sit and be potty trained but riding a horse is a whole different thing," said Fitzpatrick.
In just 100 days with a trainer, the animals are ready for another shot at a proper life.
The arena is littered with pre-approved bidders looking to turn the rescues into their own human companions.
"It's amazing that they take unwanted and malnourished, abused animals and they can turn them out to look like what we just saw," said one spectator.
It's one of the only places you'll see a mule win a prize for beauty. The proof is in the payout with a $4,500 grand prize going to the winner - and each one of the animals has earned it.