Local equine group hosts Extreme Rescue Makeover

Ellen Hollifield rides FRC Breezalita Lace during the auction portion of the 15th annual Feather River College Production Horse Sale. Lace went for $10,700, making her the top-selling horse of the sale, much to the excitement of her hardworking student trainer. Photo by Carolyn Carter
Feather Publishing


Extreme Rescue Makeover pairs needy horses with talented trainers and loving owners.

  These were Cinderella horses: unwanted, unhandled and, for the most part, unpedigreed. Their situations ranged from less than ideal to deplorable; some were days away from slaughter.

    On Sunday, May 26, these same horses and the trainers who rehabilitated them will demonstrate what a throwaway horse can do, given the chance. The first place trainer takes home a $5,000 cash prize. The winning horse, and its fellow equine competitors, graduate to forever homes — complete with love, care and very likely lots of carrots.

    The Extreme Rescue Makeover is hosted by Horse Plus Humane Society, formerly NorCal Equine Rescue, founded in Genesee Valley. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Indian Valley Riding and Roping Club arena on County Road A22/Arlington Road in Taylorsville (across from the county park). Erik Weber Photography will photograph the competition. Admission is free.

    Horse Plus Vice President Tawnee Preisner said she is pleased to have the competition in Taylorsville, especially considering that seven of the 15 exhibitors have ties to Plumas County. NorCal Equine (now Horse Plus Humane Society) started in Taylorsville 10 years ago. Its current location is near Oroville.

    “When we named ourselves NorCal Equine Rescue, we didn’t realize how big it would get or how many different species we would help. The new name better reflects what we do,” says Preisner.

    The group has rescued 2,700 equines (including mules, donkeys and ponies) since Preisner and her husband began the effort in 2003. It grew from a shoestring operation to a full-fledged humane society organization with staff, volunteers and a 20-acre shelter facility. It typically houses 20 to 40 horses awaiting adoption.

    For information about Horse Plus Humane Society and the Extreme Rescue Makeover, visit

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