Fort Worth Extreme Mustang Makeover Champions Announced
The Extreme Mustang Makeover, a wild horse-training event presented by the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro, made its annual stop in Fort Worth, TX, September 18-20, 2014, at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center. Youth and adult trainers traveled from across the United States to showcase the skills they taught a Mustang in just over 100 days of training.
Adult trainers were assigned an untouched, four to 6-year-old Mustang gelding in May and spent the summer gentling and preparing the horse for competition. Preliminary classes began on Thursday with contestants showing in classes including, handling and conditioning, a pattern class, and a combined leading and riding obstacle class. The top 10 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. A compulsory maneuvers score was also added to determine the overall winners.
Tom Hagwood, the 2013 Mustang Million Legends division champion, repeated his success in Fort Worth winning the adult division championship and taking home a $20,000 prize. Hagwood from Torrington, WY, showed Early Times, a 5-year-old brown gelding from the Twin Peaks, CA, herd management area to the top spot with a freestyle that combined reining and working cowhorse maneuvers. Sid Zacharias of Spooner, WI, followed close behind to win reserve honors and $10,000. Zacharias combined reining and trick riding on Durango The Kid, a 5-year-old gelding gathered from Black Rock Range West, NV, and was voted fan favorite by the attending audience.
Twenty-four youth, ages eight to 17, showcased 2-year-old Mustangs that were adopted before the event in in-hand classes including, handling and conditioning, trail, and freestyle sponsored by Time ‘N Timber Ranch of Tioga, TX. Prize money was then awarded to the top 10 highest combined class scores. Kayden Frazier of Comanche, TX, was the youth division overall champion with gelding, Legendary Keepsake, gathered from Jackson Mountain, NV. Frazier was also chosen fan favorite for her “Ghostbusters” themed freestyle routine. Tanner Thompson of Ben Wheeler, TX, showed Inigo Montoya gathered from Desatoya, NV, to second place.
Special additions to this year’s event included the Mustang Million 3-year-old Futurity and the Mustang Gathering, an all-around show open to all BLM-branded Mustangs. The futurity was an opportunity for adopters who showed a 2-year-old Mustang in-hand at the 2013 Mustang Million competition to show the now 3-year-old horses in trail, a pattern class, and a freestyle demonstration under saddle.
For the first time since 2009 at the September event, the competing mustangs in the adult division were available to the public for adoption Saturday through competitive bid. All 33 Mustangs were placed into adoptive homes for an average adoption price of $1,290.
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, Cowboy Magic and Smith Brothers. Event and award sponsors for the Fort Worth Extreme Mustang Makeover included, SmartPak, Time ‘N Timber Ranch, JW Brooks Custom Hat Company, Sinclair Bits and Spurs and 95.9 The Ranch.
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 2015, 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.
About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
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.
About the Bureau of Land Management
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In fiscal year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands. Visit blm.gov for more information.