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Mustang Trainer Begins Cross Country Trek to Makeover

Nevada horseman rides for breast cancer and mustang awareness

Bertram, Texas – Las Vegas, Nev., horse trainer Matt Replogle is making his journey to the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Tex., September 18-21, a different, and perhaps more meaningful one.

While others will be loading their mustangs into trailers, Replogle is making the 1,200-mile journey to Fort Worth riding his yet unnamed mustang to the event in order to raise awareness about the value and trainability of mustangs along with bringing a focus to breast cancer.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover, produced by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, offers a purse of $70,000 to more than 300 trainers from 38 states ranging from age 9 to 64 who are competing with mustang yearlings to three and four year olds. All mustangs in the competition will be placed for adoption.

“After having such a positive and life altering experience with The Western States Mustang Challenge, I was motivated to continue this forward momentum and entered into The Extreme Mustang Makeover,” Replogle, who began his journey August 5, said in a telephone interview. “My goal is to set a new record and in the process demonstrate to the American people how limitless our reach is when we come together as a whole, as in we the people of the United States.”

Replogle, who placed sixth at the Western States Mustang Challenge in Sacramento, Calif., last June, has already entered Arizona and will be crossing through that state to New Mexico into Texas. He’ll make stops in Albuquerque, Amarillo, and Wichita Falls during his journey.

While Replogle credits the Western States Mustang Challenge with changing his perspective on training and horse relationships, he credits fellow Challenge competitor and eight place finisher Janet Titus with helping him better appreciate those who are suffering from breast cancer.

“I chose breast cancer awareness as an additional cause to ride for upon learning that one of the competitors in the Western States Mustang Challenge, Janet Titus, is a breast cancer survivor,” he said. “When Chris Cox asked the crowd of spectators to stand if they have had a friend, family member, or have themselves been impacted by this disease--- I was moved by the majority of people who rose to their feet.”

While he emphasizes the health and safety of the three-year-old mustang will be a priority during his trip, he has already faced personal challenges; riding through the night during a driving rain storm and then being bitten by a rat that, at the same time, was being eaten by a snake.

“The rat bit me on my chap, so it didn’t break any flesh, but it did leave a bruise,” he said. “I got a picture of it and am going to put it on my web site.”

Contributions to fund Replogle’s journey are being accepted, which includes bids to name the mustang that is carrying him to the Extreme Mustang Makeover. Contributions to the Mustang Heritage Foundation can be made by going to mustangheritagefoundation.org and donations to the John Wayne Cancer institute can be made by going to jwci.org. To follow his trek or contribute, go to mattreplogle.com.

About the Mustang Heritage Foundation

The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover are 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.


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