Extreme Mustang Makeover Returning to Horsetown, USA

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The Extreme Mustang Makeover presented by the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program will make its annual visit to Norco, California, May 16-17, 2014. The event will be held at the George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center. This exciting competition challenges trainers to gentle and ride a wild horse in approximately 100 days. A youth division has also been added as a special feature to this year's event.

Forty-two trainers picked up mustang geldings, ages 4 and 5, in mid-February and will spend the spring preparing their horse for the event. These horses, which were virtually untouched by humans, represent wild horse herds located all over the West. Mustang and rider teams will compete in preliminary classes, including: handling and conditioning, a pattern class, and a trail obstacle course, which will include in-hand and riding obstacles. The urban trail, which is exclusive to this event, will take mustangs and riders through the town of Norco for a series of obstacles.

The top 10 horse and trainer pairs will advance to the Freestyle Finals, in which they have the chance to show off their skills and creativity with music, costumes and props. The Freestyle Finals is a thrilling conclusion that showcases the mustangs’ trainability and athleticism. Trainers will compete for an estimated $10,000 in prize money.

Nine selected youth trainers, ages 8-17, will also be competing at this event with mustang yearlings they have adopted. The youth freestyle class is set for Friday evening.

All adult competing mustangs will be available for public adoption on Saturday evening, May 17, immediately following the freestyle finals through a competitive bid auction. The Bureau of Land Management must approve potential adopters before taking a mustang home. Approval can be done on-site and includes facility and horse trailer requirements. All preliminary classes are free, and tickets are $15 for the Saturday night adult Top 10 Freestyle Finals. Please visit www.extrememustangmakeover.com for tickets, event details and adoption requirement information.

The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of our sponsors Ram Trucks, Western Horseman, Zoetis, Vetericyn, Gist Silversmiths, Martin Saddlery and Classic Equine, and Smith Brothers.

The purpose of the Extreme Mustang Makeover is to showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of these rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout the West, where they are protected by the BLM under federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources. Thousands of the removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption. More than 5,000 wild horses have been adopted through Mustang Heritage Foundation events and programs since 2007.

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 Youth and Yearling Challenges 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.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov or call 866-468-7826.