In August the Times told the story of Dolores, an underfed horse who was rescued in December 2012 by the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.
Maria Schaal of Forest Lake took Dolores home and started training her in May of 2013. At the Washington County Fair, held July 31 to August 4, they took sixth place in the English Pleasure class.
Maria and Dolores competed again in the 2013 Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse on Aug. 17 at the University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center on the St. Paul campus.
There were five classes: halter, pleasure, trail/obstacle, freestyle demonstration and veterinarian/farrier.
In overall scoring, Maria placed fourth out of 14 trainers. Two of the three horses who scored higher than Dolores had been previously trained when they were given to the rescue center, and one was foaled at the rescued center. Dolores, who was untrained until after her rescue, was the highest-scoring horse who had been removed from an abusive owner.
“There were lots of tears when people saw Maria riding Dolores so easily, with Dolores responding so eagerly and trustingly,” said Maria’s mother, Ellen Schaal.
After the competition, Dolores was adopted at the auction by a pre-qualified buyer.