CHATHAM, Mich. (WLUC) - Forty participants from around the United States competed in the Midwest Horse Fair Mustang Challenge taking place in Madison, Wisconsin. There, Chatham’s own, Naomi Rutter, took home the first place belt buckle and a $10,000 grand prize.
Naomi Rutter had 90 days to adopt an untrained mustang and turn her into a show horse.
"I had to get her used to trailering and going places and having other people touch her and handle her and for her to be acclimated to new places,” said Rutter.
This was Rutter's first time competing in this competition. The Mustang Challenge consisted of three pulmonary courses for points consisting of handling, training and a trail classes. The top ten contenders went on to the free style routine – where Rutter and horse, Steele, performed to Suzy and the Banshee’s Carousel.
"The whole point of the performance was she was supposed to be a carousel horse that came to life, and that I woke up and she was a carousel horse that came to life.”
One of the biggest challenges working with Steele is she is not that motivated.
"She’s very lazy,” said Rutter “And to get her to do something besides walk was a challenge."
Steele wasn't Rutter’s first choice in horse.
"She actually was my third pick and I picked her based off her facial expression in the photo.”
Competitors were shown photos, age, and location of 90 horses and were allowed to pick their top 15.
As for Rutter and Steele, they plan on parting ways. Steele will be headed downstate to be used for mounted police work.