The annual Mustang Heritage Foundation invitational trainers challenge, Mustang Magic, came to a conclusion at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Saturday, Jan. 25. Arianne Hagwood of Torrington, Wyoming, and her 6-year-old mustang mare, Amy, were named champions of the freestyle finals and were awarded $3,500.
Nineteen trainers from California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado and other states traveled to Texas with mustangs they had gentled and trained since September of 2013 to compete for their share of $10,000. The mares, ages 5-7, represented herd management areas from Oregon, California, Nevada and Wyoming.
"Mustang Magic is one of our most exciting events of the year. All of the competing trainers have placed well in previous Extreme Mustang Makeover events and they know how to prepare a mustang for competition and adoption," said Kali Sublett, executive director of the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
Preliminary competition began on Thursday with trainers competing in classes including, mustang maneuvers, handling and conditioning, an obstacle course and compulsory maneuvers. The top trainers then moved on to the freestyle finals, which gave them an opportunity to show their mustang's skills while using choreographed props and music.
Hagwood, who came to the finals with a strong compulsory score, showed her mare's talents in reining and cow work. "Amy is a sweetheart," she said. "I am fortunate to have gotten her for this competition. She tried hard during the prelims and held everything together during our freestyle finals performance. I was especially proud of her run in the compulsory class. She won it by 9 points and gave the judges a chance to see what she could do."
J-Dub Weisiger, a native of Fort Worth, received reserve champion honors riding Fifty Shades of Hay, a dun mare gathered from Divide Basin, Wyoming. Weisiger was also voted fan favorite by the attending crowd and awarded a Gist belt buckle for his freestyle based on the song "What Does the Fox Say?"
The competing mustangs were available for public adoption immediately following the freestyle finals. All 19 mustangs were placed into new homes for an average adoption price of $1,600. For complete event and adoption results visit www.extrememustangmakeover.com.
"We would like to thank the FWSSR, Lone Star Ag Credit and the Bureau of Land Management for helping us present another great event!" Sublett said. "Our trainers did an excellent job preparing their mustangs for adoption and transforming them into valuable equine partners. We wish the adopters well with their new mustangs and are looking forward to our next adoption event taking place here in Fort Worth, Sept. 18-20, 2014, where 75 trained mustangs will be available for adoption."
The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of sponsors Ram Trucks, Western Horseman, Zoetis, Vetericyn, Gist Silversmiths, Martin Saddlery and Classic Equine and Smith Brothers.
Since the first Extreme Mustang Makeover event was held in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has facilitated the adoptions of more than 5,000 gentled American Mustangs. In 2014, the Foundation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management will continue to increase its efforts to raise awareness of adoptions of America’s Mustangs.
2014 Extreme Mustang Makeover Events
May 16-17, 2014, in Norco, California
Sept. 18-20, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas
The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events are to increase the adoption of Mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover events to showcase the recognized value of Mustangs through a national training competition. The nonprofit organization also created the Trainer Incentive Program and the Youth Employment Program to raise awareness about America’s Mustangs. For more information visit www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.
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. For more information visit www.blm.gov or call 866-468-7826.