Adopting a horse from the MHARF Trainer’s Challenge
Thank you for your interest in adopting a horse from the MHARF Trainer’s Challenge! There are many advantages to adopting a horse that has been through this yearly training competition. First and foremost is the fact that you will be giving a home to an animal who, through no fault of its own, has been previously “unwanted”. Secondly, by the end of the competition, that horse will have had 180 to 200 days of professional training! Of course, the progress each horse makes during the training period is going to vary depending on the individual horse and trainer, but the majority of these horses will have had valuable exposure to many different experiences and situations over the course of their training.
We require anyone interested in adopting a particular horse to communicate with the trainer during the training season. We also HIGHLY encourage visiting the training facility to meet the horse. Whether or not a potential adopter is allowed to ride the horse will be left up to the discretion of the trainer, decisions to be made based on the horse’s current level of training and the rider’s ability (for the sake of your own safety, as well as the best interest of the horse, please be as honest as possible when representing your experience level and ability). Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone under the age of 18 and it is encouraged for anyone over! Making the correct match between horse and adopter is of the highest importance to us because that is the best way to ensure a positive experience for both.
The horses competing in the Challenge are offered for adoption the day of the event by silent auction to pre-qualified bidders. Anyone who has not pre-qualified before the event will be unable to obtain a bidding number. Because the horses are offered at silent auction, there may be more than one bidder on a particular horse. MHARF cannot guarantee that just because a potential adopter is pre-qualified to bid that they will be the winner and therefore able to adopt the horse. We realize this can be a stressful and emotional event and that is why we always switch to a “live” auction format at the end of the bidding period if there are two or more bidders on a horse. This allows each party to bid as high as they would like without worrying that someone will step in at the last second and outbid them. We do this process methodically (don’t worry–there won’t be any fast-talking auctioneers to worry about!) and give each party enough time to make sensible decisions (the last thing we want is for anyone to feel bidder’s remorse!). We have found this practice to be satisfactory to everyone involved.
We open the bidding at the start of the event. There is a table set up with bidding sheets for each horse. Pre-qualified bidders need to stop at this table (located to the right of the seating area) to pick up their bidding number. They can bid at any time throughout the day. The bidding ends at the end of the event (usually around 5:00 p.m.). If there are horses with two or more bidders we then move to the live auction format at that time. Winning bidders are expected to sign adoption paperwork and make adoption fee payment at that time. MHARF accepts payment by cash, check or credit card. Adopters then need to make arrangements with their horse’s trainer for pick up or delivery.
Adopters are responsible for their own hauling or for payment to trainer if trainer is hauling. Please contact us right away if different arrangements need to be made. We prefer that all of the horses who have competed in the Challenge return to their training facility for at least a few days to a week after the competition. We don’t like to see horses moved to a new facility on the same day as the competition because the day itself is full of stressors and new experiences for the horse. It is much better for them to return to a familiar environment where they can eat, drink and rest normally before moving on to their next big adventure!
If you have any other questions about adopting a horse from the Trainer’s Challenge, please Contact Us here! You can find full event information on our Trainer’s Challenge event page. If you are ready to take the plunge and become pre-qualified to bid at the event, please look over our Adoption Guidelines and fill out our Adoption Application!
We look forward to hearing from you!