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Nexus Equine, a non-profit organization is partnering with Oklahoma State 4-H in a unique makeover, highlighting 10 Oklahoma 4-H students with 10 Nexus Equine horses. The 10 Finalists will have 90 days to work with their horses, learning new skills together, before reconvening to demonstrate their progress at the finale presentation. This finale will be held on Saturday, June 29th from 10:00am-5:00pm at Heritage Place, 2829 S. MacArthur in Oklahoma City, OK. It is free and open to the public.
All Finalists will present their horse to a panel of 3 judges at the event. The judges will review the individualized goals (set forth on Day 1 of the Challenge) and judge each pair on progress made during the 90-day period. The winner of the finale will receive a $1,500 scholarship as well as many other awards and prizes to all participants. These prizes are in addition to each finalist getting the option to keep their partner horse or return it to Nexus Equine’s adoption program where a new home will be found.
Eligibility requirements included the youth being at least 13 years old and being an active Oklahoma 4-H member that has participated or is enrolled in one or more 4-H Horse educational events and contests. Participants were required to keep financial records as well as a training record. Nexus also communicated weekly with each student being available for questions or issues that might arise.
Applications were reviewed by a panel of equine industry professionals and narrowed down to 10 finalists who were then paired with a horse to participate in the Challenge. All horses in the program were up-to-date on all vaccinations, farrier work and microchipped. Participants and parent/guardians were required to be present on Day 1/March 30 to receive the horse, complete the initial evaluation before the panel of judges, and set goals for the Challenge.
“Nexus Equine has horses in our program that can learn new skills and transition into a second career. Oklahoma 4-H has kids that want to develop their horsemanship skills.” said Rita Hoch, Founder and President of Nexus Equine. “It is the perfect partnership. Organizations working together make more progress in equine welfare than apart. This has been a great experience!”
The Equine Makeover Challenge was made possible by The Right Horse Initiative, a project of the WaterShed Animal Fund of the Arnall Family Foundation.
The initial sponsors include: Western Oklahoma Ranch Horse Association, The World Cutting Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, Sharin Hall Barrel Horses, Chick’s Saddlery, KoolSpeed Feed, Baker Equine Promotions & Western Photography, Yellow 28 Farms, and Heritage Place.
The primary desired impact of the Challenge is to reduce the number of at-risk horses through education, outreach and adoption. People of all ages are invited to come out and see the horses, check out their skills, and meet some of the Challenge sponsors at the finale on June 29th. There will be games and other activities, and children will have the opportunity to take their picture with 28-inch-tall mini horses. Equine professionals will be onsite and available for questions at the free event.
Nexus Equine works to benefit our community by connecting people of all ages to horses. Learn more at www.nexusequine.org