Event attracts first international competitors
Bertram, Texas, May 7, 2008 - Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center becomes the MustangDome as the Fort Dodge Extreme Mustang Makeover returns to Texas September 18-21. With it comes more than 200 formerly wild American Mustangs and more than 200 trainers hoping to capture their share of the $70,000 purse.
Trainers hail from 38 states across the nation, with the competition attracting international attention as South African trainers George Gresswell and Carol Greyling will make the U.S. their temporary home while they work with their American Mustangs.
“We think we will offer good competition as well as share our proven successful methods and techniques,” said Greyling, who lives in the grasslands region of South Africa in Waterval Boven, where she operates JCC Ranch, offering trail riding and mountain biking to tourists.
The 2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover has actually quadrupled in size since 2007, with 200 Mustangs ranging from three to four years of age included in in-hand and riding competition, while another 200 yearling Mustangs are part of the new Mission 007: Yearling Edition.
“We’re offering a $50,000 purse in the original Extreme Mustang Makeover competition and another $20,000 in the yearling competition,” said Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) Executive Director and event manager Patti Colbert. “The event last year proved that these Mustangs are marketable and trainable, so we have every confidence we’ll be able to provide the public with quality animals during the September 21 adoption and even more importantly, provide more homes for more horses.”
Makeover trainers have 100 days to gentle their Mustangs. The trained mustangs will be judged on conditioning, groundwork, and a "Horse Course" that requires maneuvers and includes obstacles found in trail and recreational riding situations. Yearling Edition trainers will have the same 100 days but will only be required to have their Mustangs trained to lead, maneuver simple obstacles, load in a trailer and lift their feet when asked. Trainers pick up their Mustangs in June in Illinois, Nevada and Oklahoma. Horses are selected for trainers by lottery.
“The Yearling Edition is pretty excited as it allows us to include families and youth,” said Colbert. “Youth are eligible for the lion’s share of that division with $10,000 and we’ve split adults into two age categories at $5,000 each.”
Judging the competition will be former AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year Suzy Jeane of Valley View, TX, as well as well-known clinicians and horsemen John Lyons of Parachute, Colo., Ken McNabb of Clark, Wyo., and Chris Cox of Mineral Wells, Tex. Also joining the judging line-up is 2007 Extreme Mustang Makeover champion and NCHA Hall of Famer Guy Woods of Pilot Point, Tex., along with Texas AgriLife Extension Specialists Pete Gibbs of College Station and Ken Johnson of Fort Worth.
Makeover competition will be divided into three divisions, based on the ability of the handler and the Mustang, with each division increasing in difficulty. Trainers can enter any level and increase their difficulty, but cannot decrease the level of difficulty once they’ve entered.
“These trainers know best how well their Mustangs will perform. We emphasize that these horses need a solid foundation without the competitive pressure moving them faster than necessary,” said Colbert. “With leveled competition, horses that are working well on the ground and under saddle, but still challenged by obstacles, have an opportunity to compete with others of the same ability, while those who have excelled and have all the bells and whistles can really show their stuff in another level.”
All horses competing in the Makeover will be made available for adoption. Potential adopters apply for the opportunity to be included in the competitive bidding process at the event with BLM personnel available to review and approve the application on site. In order to apply, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have no prior conviction for inhumane treatment of animals or violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and be able to demonstrate that adequate housing, food, water and facilities will be available to humanely care for the animal. Specific facility requirements also apply that pertain to type and height of corral as well as shelter from the elements.
The MHF in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to highlight the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. The event will give the public a unique opportunity to see the results of wild horses becoming trained mounts and then participate in a competitive bidding process to adopt one of these treasured animals.
The purpose of the competition is to showcase the beauty, versatility, and trainability of these rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout
the West, where the Bureau of Land Management protects them under Federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources. Thousands of removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption. All of the animals involved in the "Makeover" competition will be available for adoption at the Fort Worth event in September.
About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover is to increase the adoption of mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition.
About the Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for managing 258 million acres of public lands, located mostly in the West. Wild horses and burros roaming public rangelands are managed in a manner consistent with BLM's overall multiple-use mission, as set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 219,000 horses and burros into private care through adoption. For more information, visit wildhorseandburro.blm.gov or call 866-4MUSTANGS.
Mustang Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 703
Bertram, Texas 78605
(512) 355-2737 email@example.com@mustangheritagefoundation.org
Bureau of Land Management
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