Extreme Rescue Makeover Grand Finale 2013

The Extreme Rescue Makeover Grand Finale was over Memorial Day weekend and it was spectacular!  First thing Sunday morning the trainers signed in.  It was absolutely thrilling for our staff to see the horses!  Simply being able to walk up to them and pet them was amazing, the last time any of our staff had seen these horses in person they were wild and unhandlable.

Tawnee was extremely busy keeping all the paperwork straight.  It was hard from getting overwhelmed with all the paperwork that it takes to keep an event like this running smoothly.

The first part of the event was the Citizenship test, where each horse and trainer had to complete a variety of tasks.  The horses and trainers had to prove that the horses could handle normal day to day things they might encounter without panicking.  The trainers could receive bonus points by asking their horses to do extra things such as walking over the board, a tarp, etc.

Among the citizenship tests was the trailering test.  The horses had to load and stand in a stock trailer calmly, and then back out without the owner stepping into the trailer.  For the bonus points they had to do the same in a 2 horse straight load.

There was also the vet exam citizenship test.  Our Vet-Tech Brittany did a mock physical including lifting all 4 feet, taking temperature, simulating being vaccinated, and more.

Then there was the swinging rope citizenship test.  Horses had to stand calmly while Steven walked around them swinging a rope.  For the bonus point they had to do the same but with a bag on the end of the stick.

The Quincy 4H group was there with Starlet waiting in line for their spot in the citizenship tests.

There was the fly spraying station, where the horses were sprayed down with water in a spray bottle.  There was a total of 5 stations, and we are so proud of all the trainers.  It was easy to tell they had spent a lot of time with their horses and they all did so well.

Finally the arena event was ready to get underway.  Lacy J Dalton performed an amazing rendition of the National Anthem to kick things off in a positive way.

First up was the Compulsory Maneuvers.  The 4H group did a splendid job leading Starlet through all the maneuvers.

Cougar with trainer Kat wasn’t quite ready to be under saddle.  He was one of the more fearful horses and was very wild when Kat started training him.  Kat did an amazing job training him, but he wasn’t quite ready for being under saddle with all the pressure of the crowded arena.  Kat was going to have to return Cougar as she couldn’t afford to keep him and continue his training after the event, however, we would like to thank Lacy J Dalton and her crew for hiring Kat to train the Mustangs in their organization and make it possible for Kat to keep Cougar and continue his training.  Thank you Lacy!

Each horse and trainer were anxiously waiting to do their compulsory maneuvers. Diamond was staring intently at the course, you can imagine he was thinking “Hmm, I can do this.”

The trainers had to do different things during the compulsory maneuvers, one of which was to sidepass over a log.

Tara and Willow did very well and all the horses had to turn on forehand and haunches during the compulsory maneuvers.

All the horses and trainers did great for the compulsory maneuvers, it was just breathtaking watching these horses do so well that just a few months ago were wild and unhandled.

After all the horses and trainers did the compulsory maneuvers and their scores were tallied, the freestyle event began.  Startlet and the 4H group started it off.  Starlett was too little to be riding yet, but they do have her trained where you can put the saddle on her.  She did quite well.

After the freestyle event they were given their Youngster for Youngster awards.  They all did so great!  We look forward to seeing them at our booth at the Horse Expo June 7-9.

Kirsty and Diamond did an amazing job. Kirsty was the last trainer to choose a horse for the competition and had the least time to train Diamond, but in spite of that, she did absolutely amazing.  She started training Diamond the first of March, when the first horse went to its trainer in December.  It was so amazing to see the progress they had made in such a short amount of time.  The partnership of trust that Diamond has with her truly shows what a great horse trainer she is.

Amy and Candle did a great job on the freestyle event too.  Amy waved a tarp around and overhead while Candle galloped around the arena.  Candle was so calm and wasn’t fearful of the tarp at all.

Tara absolutely wowed the crowed and had such an amazing display of horsemanship while she galloped bareback on Willow around the arena with simply a rope halter and leadrope.  One of the judges described it as the ride most of us only dream and wish we could have.  At the end of the amazing ride Tara stood on Willow’s back (she was wearing soft tennis shoes so as not to hurt Willow’s back) and waved a whip overhead and back and forth while Willow stood so calmly without the hint of fear.

Royal and Megan did a great rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood.”  Notice that Royal only has a rope around her neck and is free of any bit, bridle, or halter.

Nikki and Charmer had such a great relationship of trust, it was plain to see.  Nikki led Charmer into the arena with a rope around Charmer’s knee, and she followed Nikki calmly.    They definitely have a great partnership going.

Judy and Miracle Moon did an absolutely gorgeous freestyle set to the song “Amazing Grace.”  It was very appropriate as these horses had gone from wild, unadoptable horses with little or no hope, to well trained riding horses with a bright future ahead of them.

Daisy and Mindy were the last pair to do the freestyle event.  She had lots of props and her music was dead on with her performance.  During one portion she rode Daisy onto a teeter-totter and rode forward and backward, making the teeter-totter go up and down, while the music sang out “I’m shuffling shuffling shuffling.”

While the judges tallied up the final score Daisy and Diamond rode in the arena proudly displaying the American flag while Steve sang “I Salute You,” an original composition, and so fitting for Memorial Day.

Finally the judges were ready to announce the winners.  The whole event went so smoothly, and virtually flawlessly, thanks to the extremely hard work of all of our staff and volunteers, and the trainers.  Now it all came down to announcing the winners.

We had one trainer who was horseless.  She worked extremely hard training Hugh, but he hurt his leg and didn’t have vet clearance to come to the event.  Emotionally she said Hugh wasn’t quite ready for the competition either.  She drove a long ways to come support the event and the other trainers, and was given an Honorable Mention ribbon for her dedication to the Extreme Rescue Makeover and the progress we have seen Hugh make through her video updates.

Kat and Cougar accepted their ribbon and Kat was so happy that she would be keeping Cougar thanks to Lacy J Dalton and her crew, now that she has a long term training job that pays well.

Kirsty and Diamond accepted their placement ribbon.  We feel confident she would have placed higher if she had found out about the competition sooner and was matched up with Diamond sooner, but she did a fabulous job for the short time she had.

Nikki was so happy to accept her ribbon and is a great trainer with a lot of potential with her ability to get such a great bond and trust with a horse.

Miracle Moon accepted her ribbon as Erik Weber took professional pictures of the trainers receiving their ribbons.

Amy was so excited to receive her ribbon and had such a huge smile on her face.

Daisy was the overall winner and received the $5,000 grand prize.  She did such an amazing job from start to finish.  From the beginning of the event she sent her updates in promptly, doing everything she could to earn points.  She took Daisy to a lot of different places for exposure, and all her hard work and training paid off.  Congratulations Mindi, you are the winner of the 1st Extreme Rescue Makeover competition!

Daisy’s new adoptive mom was there to cheer Daisy on, all the way to winning.  Daisy’s new mom had previously met Daisy at Mindi’s home, fell in love, and was approved to adopt her through us.  After the finale she posed for one of the most exciting adoption photo’s we have ever taken.

Tara and Willow got 3rd place and won a ribbon, plaque, and a matching bridle, breast collar and saddle pad set.  Royal and Megan were in 2nd place and won the beautiful donated Circle Y saddle, along with the ribbon and plaque.  It was such an exciting event and we are so pleased with how it all turned out.

At the Grand Finale some people couldn’t help but notice Miracle Moon, the beautiful, graceful white horse.  They just couldn’t help but think about their sister who had recently lost her beautiful white horse to cancer, after trying everything to save her, including chemotherapy.  They called their sister and told her all about Miracle Moon.  That evening she put in her adoption application, and the next morning came to meet Moon.  Judy, Miracle Moon’s trainer, spent a lot of time with them, making sure they were a good match and explaining all of Moon’s behavior and what she needs.  They went on a trail ride, and they all fell in love with her.  The adoption application was approved, and she was so excited to find her new beautiful white horse.  Judy was so happy to see Moon get such a wonderful home.

We all couldn’t help but notice the amazing job Kirsty did with Diamond in such a short time.  We would love to add Kirsty to our team and have another trainer at the shelter.  Steve is great at evaluating horses, but he is very busy with farrier, adoptions, irrigation, and a thousand other tasks he does every single day.  The untrained horses at our shelter desperately need a full time trainer who is dedicated to training the untrained, taking them from being unadoptable to highly adoptable horses.  We are asking for you, our supporters, to please consider helping on a monthly basis to sponsor Kirsty to be the shelters full time trainer.  Please consider becoming a sponsor for $5, $10 or more a month.  To sponsor click on the amount you would like to sponsor.  If you can sponsor more than the listed amount, please contact us.

Again we would like to thank each and every one of the trainers who worked so tirelessly to change each of the horses lives in such a dramatic way.  We would like to thank our judges, Jim, Maggie and Deanna, and all of our staff and volunteers who made the event run smoothly.  We would also like to thank you, our supporters, for making this possible.

The next Extreme Rescue Makeover competition is in the planning stages, if you would like to participate as a trainer, sponsor (corporate or private) or volunteer, please let us know!