2019 Trainer’s Challenge results are in!!

When we began planning the fifth annual Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab Trainer’s Challenge, we decided to make it a big 5-year celebration.  Not just a celebration of the event itself, but of Pony Tales’ fifth year of saving as many equines that we could and finding them new, loving homes.  Originally planning on 20-25 teams to be competing this year, a record in itself, that number bumped up to 30 in the blink of an eye with the number of amazing people out there who wanted to take in one of the beautiful souls here and help them find that perfect home.  While ecstatic with the turnout of talented trainers, organizing and managing an event of this magnitude was no small task for our small organization.  As happens every year, there are mishaps, trainers who go MIA, horses who get injured, etc.  Just getting from that starting point of the horse going to its trainer to the final competition at the end is perhaps the most trying part.  We went from 30, down to 29, then back up to 30, then down to 28, then back up to 30.  Each time things started to fall apart for a horse, someone stepped up and offered to take them on.  In the end though, only 27 of the original 30 made it all the way through, and only 23 of those 27 were able to compete yesterday.  However, I use the term “only” very loosely.  23 is an incredible number of trainers, all coming together on one day, in one place, for one reason, with one goal: Help these horses find a home. And boy did they ever!!

Of the 23 teams competing yesterday, 14 of the horses were adopted, 3 others have adoptions pending, and 2 of them were placed or stayed with our STAR team.  Additionally, 3 of the horses that could not attend were adopted.  What does all this mean?  Well, it means that out of 27 horses that were once just one of many here at Pony Tales, only 5 of them came back to Pony Tales yesterday!  That is an amazing feat that took everyone involved to accomplish.  I do not even know where to begin to thank everyone who made it possible for 22 horses in one day to either have found their home or be well on their way to finding that home.  You all know who you are and if you were involved at all, even in the smallest way, we cannot even begin to express our gratitude and appreciation for everything you have done.  So many amazing people selflessly giving their time, their energy, their resources, and their hearts to help so many amazing horses.  AND. In addition to those adopted from the Trainer’s Challenge, 4 other horses were adopted this weekend, which makes it 18 horses adopted in just one weekend!!

While this 5 year celebration was the most successful Trainer’s Challenge to date, we are looking to the future and the new path that we are on, and we are happy (yet a bit sad) to announce that this was our final trainer’s challenge.  This new path has opened so many doors for not just us, but the horses we take in as well.  For those who have expressed that they would like to compete next year, don’t fret.  Just because there won’t be another trainer’s challenge does not mean that there will be no opportunity for you to work with and help the incredible number of horses that we will now be able to save.  For more details, please contact our STAR Team leader Bryanna Larson at bryanna@ponytaleswi.org.  And for those of you who were hoping to be able to compete in a show, don’t you fret either.  You can bet there will be fabulous shows highlighting our amazing team of STARs and the horses they are helping find homes!

We are gearing up for our free adoption event coming up this Sunday, June 30, 2019 and are preparing to get out to the auction once again to outbid those killbuyers and save some horses! Your continued support is necessary for us to be able to save as many as possible.  Don’t forget my personal goal of helping 200 horses by next May! Since I made the goal, we have helped 13 horses steer clear of the slaughter pipeline, so we have a long ways to go! Help us reach that goal by donating anything you can.  We cannot do it without you. Thank you all!

And now, the overall results of the 2019 Trainer’s Challenge 5-year Celebration!

Riding Division:

Grand Champion: Emma Jackson with Clifford (Adopted)

Reserve Champion: Jenna Wildner with Lacey (Adopted)

Third Place: Lilly Wisnefske with Kalaiya (Adopted)

Fourth Place: Lindsey Keil with Valentino (Adoption pending)

Fifth Place: Kenzi Brost with Elliott (Adopted)

In-Hand Division:

Grand Champion: Amanda and Liz Schultz with Lucky (Adoption pending)

Reserve Champion: Morgin Lawrence with Ginger (Adopted)

Third Place: Tess Johnson with Anya (Adopted)

Fourth Place: Lea Anne Diesberg with Rusty (Adopted)

Fifth Place: Kinzi Bale with Duke (STAR)

Adoption Results overall:



















Adoption pending:




STAR Team:



Available for Adoption or STARs:




Wild Child