Minnie in June, 1996 with owner, Cosette Rich.  Look for them in the show ring this year.

Minnie in December, 1995, had little energy, bad hooves, and rain blisters.  Together with good care and Equine Shine, she shows potential of being the champion she was bred to be.


"Is that for me?" Minnie asks Rita (Gottcha Rita!)

Minnie- A Cinderella Story (article in the Puget Sound Horse and Tack paper)

When Jack and Rita Stecker took their gelding to the Yelm Auction on December 2, 1995, they not only returned home with their gelding, but with a pitiful looking 2 year old filly that Rita nicknamed Minnie.

Minnie caught Ritaís eye, standing in her pen without food or water. But what Rita saw, beyond Minnieís ribs and missing hair, was an own daughter of the great Appaloosa sire, Sir Wrangler. When Minnie was lead through for bidding, the only one bidding against Rita was a meat canner. After flagging him down, she bought her for $390, laughed at by the audience for buying such a sorry looking horse.

With no way to haul Minnie home, John and Collette Hadler went home to get their trailer. Minnie walked right in. By the time they got her to her temporary home at the Tacoma Unit, it was dark, and Minnie was so thirsty she drank a huge bucket of water.

Minnie was fed three times a day, vetted, wormed and given her shots. She had little energy; her feet were bad and she suffered with diarrhea for the first week. She was badly rain blistered, missing huge patches of hair, undergoing baths in iodine medicated shampoo and coat therapy treatments.

In January, Sherry Woolsey told Rita about Equine Shine, a feed supplement Rita then purchased at South End Hardware in Spanaway. She was fed 1 pound of Equine Shine every day, with noticeable improvements within 30 days. By February, Kim Stecker had started Minnie under saddle.

Through Minnieís papers, Rita knew that Minnie was really named Wranglers Streaker, out of a Thoroughbred mare named Florlie Trial, bred by Joe and Jan Bard who own Sir Wrangler. Sir Wrangler horses have won at trail, western pleasure, saddle seat, showmanship and do everything, especially win. The Bardís had sold Minnie, who was sold again to a trainer, who put her out to pasture without much attention.

Minnie proved to be an easy horse to break. Kim worked with her for 2 months, before Rita sent her to Luann LeMon to further her education. Luann put 30 days on Minnie, finding her to be a quick learner with a sweet disposition.

Within just two weeks after buying her, work spread that Rita had a Sir Wrangler horse, and she received calls from as far away as California, asking if she was for sale. But Rita was selective about who Minnieís new owner would be until she saw 14 year old Cosette Rich ride her. "The minute Cosette got on her, it was a match that God made," says Rita.

For over 6 months, Cosette and her mother, Sharon, had been looking for a finished horse. They had taken a video of Minnie at the Tacoma Unit, and then wanted to look at her again when she was at Luannís. When Cosette rode her again, Minnie did everything she was asked to do, and the Richís marveled at her sleek coat that now felt like mink. After seeing Minnie, they were heading up north to look at a show horse for sale, but 45 minutes later they called back. They didnít go up north, they wanted Minnie.

The Richís make their horses part of the family; they are loved and cherished. The combination of that love, the care she was given and the trainer who helped, paid off. Minnie made her debut at a 4-H show at the Pierce County Fairgrounds, coming home with a blue ribbon in Walk Trot (western green horse), with comments on what a gorgeous horse Cosette had.

Now 16 hands tall, she has gained almost 250 pounds since the day she was rescued by Rita. Minnie was once a throw away, but is now destined to be a star. Cosette said she is planning to take her to the nationals within 3 years.