Horse rescued from starvation – that went on to win 2016 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’ – leaves Colorado and arrives at permanent home in Webster, NY

Feb 23, 2017 | Member News

February 23, 2017, Brighton, Colorado – ‘Cactus’ – the incredible quarter horse rescued from the largest case of
equine starvation and neglect in U.S. history – found his happy ending this week when he left Colorado and arrived at
this new permanent home in Webster, NY on Sunday. After his rescue and rehabilitation through ‘Dumb Friends
League Harmony Equine Center’, Cactus went on to make a full recovery and win the 2016 ‘Equine Comeback
Challenge’ at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo with his trainer, Jason Patrick, of Whispering Willows Ranch.
“Cactus is a very special horse and I decided to keep him a while longer after he won the ‘Equine Comeback
Challenge’ to make sure he was ready to be placed in the right home,” said Jason Patrick, horse trainer and owner of
Whispering Willows Ranch in Steamboat Springs, CO.
“It took a while to find the right people for Cactus and I’m happy he has found the right home.”
The ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’ matches rescue horses with renowned horse trainers from all over the country to
showcase the incredible abilities of rescue horses. The ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’ features horse and trainer pairs
competing in a 120 day transformation process that is one of the most popular events held at the annual Rocky
Mountain Horse Expo.
Cactus was adopted by Jeff and Morgan Hamman, of Webster, New York (outside of Rochestor). Cactus will spend his
days roaming a 30-acre ranch with another rescue horse and owners that are passionate about saving rescue animals.
“Cactus is a very special horse and a real lover. Although it takes time to earn his trust, he is very affectionate and
loving when he gets to know you,” said Jeff Hamman, Cactus’s new owner.
Cactus was one of more than 200 horses seized from a ranch in Conroe, Texas in 2015 by animal welfare authorities.
When discovered, the horses were weak, emaciated and many suffering from open wounds and hoof problems. The
horses were divided up and taken in by numerous horse rescue organizations across the country. Cactus was one of
59 horses taken in by ‘Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center’ in Denver.
To see a list of the rescue horses participating in this year’s ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’ at the 2017 Rocky Mountain
Horse Expo, go to or see
attached list of horses and trainers.
For more information, contact:
Mariah Hammerschmidt, Spokesperson, A Home for Every Horse, which holds the ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’
Cell: 303-253-6400 or [email protected]
Jason Patrick, Cactus’s Trainer, Owner of Whispering Willows Ranch
Cell: 970-846-5455 or [email protected]
Jeff Hammon, Cactus’s New Owner
Cell: 585-755-7044 or [email protected]
Garret Leonard, Director of Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center
Cell: 303-489-5945 or [email protected]
Colorado Horse Council
22 S. 4th Avenue, #106
Brighton, Colorado
Note to Journalists
Photographs and videos of Cactus and other horses rescued from Conroe, Texas can be uploaded from this DropBox
About the ‘Equine Comeback Challenge’ by ‘A Home for Every Horse’
A Home for Every Horse introduces the Equine Comeback Challenge; a program designed to help provide rescue
horses with a solid and subsequently the opportunity for these horses in need to receive a new job and a chance at a
forever home. The Equine Comeback Challenge allows rescue horses to attend full time training with trainers from all
over the country showcasing the ability of rescue horses. The Equine Comeback Challenge features horse and trainer
pairs to compete in a 120 day transformation process that is sure to provide excitement and also tug at the heart
strings of people all over the world as these horses show their true ability as an equine partner.
The 2017 Rocky Mountain Equine Comeback Challenge is brought to you by A Home for Every Horse and the
Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance. The partnership comes after a joint aspiration to help improve the lives of rescue
horses and bring attention to their talents and abilities.
For more information, go to
About the 2017 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo is a dream-come-true for all horse lovers. With more than 150 different events and 45
clinicians showcasing the amazing ability of the horse over three days, the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo has something
for everyone. Highlights include:
1. The Mane Event: A music and light spectacle demonstrating all that is beautiful and amazing about the horse.
2. Equine Comeback Challenge: Watch how far rescue horses can come after spending 120 days with the
country’s top trainers. This amazing competition provides rescue horses with the opportunity to learn new skills
and a have a chance at a forever home
3. Find Your Dream Horse: Purchase your dream horse through our Select Sale and auctioning of rescue horses
competing in the Equine Comeback Challenge.
4. Mustang Days: See incredible demonstrations of how much these former wild horses can do.
5. Art Sale: Invest in some incredible, one-of-a-kind equine artwork by up-and-coming artists.
6. Trade Show: Learn about new and exciting products and services related to the horse industry.
For more information, go to
About Dumb Friends League Equine Harmony Equine Center
Dumb Friends League, headquartered in Denver, is the largest community-based animal welfare organization in the
Rocky Mountain region—providing a strong, compassionate and steadfast voice for those who cannot speak for
For more information, go to: