OCALA, Fla. – He isn’t your typical Easter mascot, or even a typical horse.
His name is Ricky Bobby and his interests include going fast, treats and meeting people. Ricky is also a finalist in a national competition to become the next official Cadbury Bunny.
But allow him to tell you a bit about himself:
Ricky’s owner and rescuer, Sara Hauenstein, says the mini-horse is anything but small in personality and heart. He was once up for sale at an auction notorious for attracting people who buy horses to slaughter but was rescued, rehabilitated, re-homed and is now living a life of luxury in his Ocala stable.
Hauenstein said Ricky has always exuded confidence and loves attention, making him the perfect candidate for the next Cadbury Bunny.
“The first portion of the contest required a photo with bunny ears,” Hauenstein said. “When I put the bunny ears on him for the first time he actually looked very pleased with himself. He was ready!”
After the initial photo submission, Cadbury chose semi-finalists who had to create a video. Out of those 4,000 entries, Cadbury narrowed down applicants to just 10 charismatic pets who are all vying for the top spot.
“We definitely have some stiff competition out there,” Hauenstein said. " The other entries did a great job and all of them are super cute! It’s definitely going to be a tough call!"
But why should YOU vote for Ricky?
“I think Ricky should win because he is the whole package: charisma, attitude and comes from humble roots. I think he would be a great ambassador for rescue horses,” Hauenstein said. “He will show the world that just because they may not have a pedigree or cost thousands, it doesn’t mean they can’t accomplish great things!”
The winner of the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts will star in the company’s reboot of the classic Easter bunny commercial and receive a cash prize of $5,000.
Ricky and Hauenstein aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves, but should the mini-horse win, the duo will celebrate with lots of hugs and treats.
“Hopefully it will lead to more opportunities for him to be an ambassador for rescue horses,” Hauenstein said.
To cast your vote for Ricky, visit his page on Cadbury’s site here.