Thank you Lexington. And thank you to everyone who attended the event. Congratulations to all the adult and youth trainers and a special congratulations to all the new owners of a mustang.
Adult Division Champion – Courtney Wexler & Kayah
Adult Division Results
Youth Division Champion – Dixie Marrese & Piggly Wiggly
Youth Division Results
Kate Atkinson resides in Taft, Tennessee. She is a Nashville Firefighter who has been rescuing and training horses for 20 years. She enjoys helping transform wild and unruly "throwaways" into trustworthy family members and show horses. Kate works with all breeds, including mustangs, and this is her second Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Staci Barnes lives in Perrin, Texas. She has been training horses most of her life. She has trained and gentled several mustangs and barrel racing horses. With her great supportive husband, Matt and their three kids, Madeleine, Colter, and Ely, she has been able to dedicate her free time to gentling mustangs at their ranch, Fired Up Performance Horses.
Abbey Blair lives in London, Kentucky. She has been riding horses since she was 3 years old. She has trained and interned under many different trainers in different disciplines. Abbey started training horses when she was just 12. Since then, she has had experience in barrel racing, eventing, show jumping, driving, dressage, hunters, mustangs, and miniature ponies.
James Duffey is a 19-year-old from Garwood, New Jersey, and he enjoys working with untrained mustangs. He teaches riding lessons, guides trail rides, and gentles mustangs out of Legacy Riding Stables in Sayreville, New Jersey. He has competed in two previous EMMs, 2017 MA youth division, and 2018 KY adult division. James enjoys taking untouched mustangs and helping them become good citizens of the horse community. "The bond that mustangs form to their person is like no other horse I've worked with," said James. "I like mustangs because they start wild and, with some patience, clear expectations, and trust they become trustworthy companions who will try with all of their heart.”
Abigail Hale lives in Scotland, North Carolina, with her husband, Cody. Her horsemanship began to develop at a young age atop American Saddlebreds, Arabians, and most predominantly, Tennessee Walking horses. As a child she trained her own horses for versatility competitions, and assisted other horsemen ride young colts and work both trail and show horses. By the age of 14, Abigail was being hired to train horses for others, and has been doing so off and on for the past 20 years. Most recently, she has begun developing her knowledge and skills in various methodologies of horsemanship, such as liberty and trick training.
Mike Hurst lives in Philippi, West Virginia. He has been actively training horses for over 18 years using natural methods. Mike starts horses year-round at his training facility in Philippi. He was the 2016 Virginia EMM Reserve Champion, two-time Top 10 Competitor at the EMM’s in Kentucky in 2017 and 2018, and he was Top 10 in the 2018 Mustang Magic. Mike thinks there is nothing better than taking in an untouched horse and transforming it into a willing equine partner. He is also a proud US Army Veteran, father, and telecom employee at Frontier Communications.
Dawson Ives resides with his family in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, on a small horse farm. In 2009, Dawson began colt starting, which led him to his first Extreme Mustang Makeover competition in 2013. That experience triggered his passion for mustangs. He has since helped place mustangs through the Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) and through direct BLM adoptions. In addition to working with mustangs, he enjoys educating his local community about them and helping bring awareness to the various mustang programs. Dawson is excited to be back for his third Extreme Mustang Makeover and to help place another mustang in a loving home.
Gabby Jordan lives in Southborough, Massachusetts. She is an aspiring horse trainer who is looking to kick-start her career in the horse industry. Coming from a family with little knowledge of horses, she has had to work hard to be able to create opportunities for herself. Much of her time has been spent working with young and green project horses. She has found her passion in showing and teaching these inexperienced horses to their full potential.
Hilda Keller resides in Lewisburg, Tennessee. She has been studying natural horsemanship for 10 years and utilizes what she knows from the past and what she is continuously learning to help both horses and humans be the best that they can be. This is Hilda's third Extreme Mustang Makeover and every mustang she handles teaches her more than any domestic horse ever has. In turn, this knowledge enables Hilda to be a better trainer for non-mustangs. Once bitten by the "Mustang Bug," there is no turning back as she will continue to help mustangs and educate the public on how amazing and versatile they are for as long as she is able to.
Dale Lackey resides in Jewett, Ohio. He has been training horses for most of his life, but he knows enough to realize he can still learn from other trainers as well as from the horses.
Lauren LaPierre lives in Pickens, South Carolina. Her dream as a small child was to own her own riding stable and train horses for the rest of her life. Three years ago, that dream came true and she has been training horses and taking care of them ever since. It has been such a thrilling and life-changing adventure for Lauren, and she can't wait for more experiences to broaden her knowledge of these amazing animals!
Talmadge Laughlin resides in Piedmont, Alabama. Raised in the rural south by "cowboy" fathers who competed in local saddle club competitions, Talmadge's fascination with horses began at a young age. He has come full circle from the ways of old-time horse breaking strategies, to the understanding that there is a much better way to build a respectful relationship with a horse. Gaining an understanding of the psychology of horses has enabled him to implement effective gentling and teaching techniques that are safe for the horse and handler.
Melanie Logue lives in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. She has been involved with horses since an early age. She has ridden and trained in most disciplines. She currently competes in competitive trail and western riding.
Brittany Malinoski is the head trainer at Meridian Equine Education Center in Lebanon, Tennessee, where she lives. Brittany has been training horses for several years in multiple disciplines. Her passion for training horses started at a young age catch riding and starting hunter ponies in Pennsylvania. She has since expanded her knowledge in other disciplines such as reining, cowhorse, and ranch riding in which she now trains and competes.
Morgan Marrese resides in Munfordville, Kentucky. Morgan's grandmother started her riding when she was 18 months old and had her showing at the age of 6. She grew up showing equitation, hunter over fences, dressage, and hunter pleasure in the Arabian show circuit. Morgan evented for a few years in her late teens before moving back to her hometown and changing her focus to rescue/retaining work. In 2016 when her daughter was 8 years old, she saw a Facebook flyer for a youth training challenge in Western Kentucky and asked her daughter if she would be interested. She was, and she competed in both 2016 and 2017. After the competition in 2017, her daughter asked her if she would do it with her the following year. She had been impressed with the overall quality and trainability of the mustangs she has worked with, but doing it herself gave her a whole new love for these amazing horses!
Emma Minteer resides in Naples, New York. She has competed in seven Extreme Mustang Makeovers, and was the 2016 and 2017 Champion at the EMM in Massachusetts and placed in the Top 10 in the rest of her events. She and her husband Jack own and operate Rose Hill Ranch in Upstate New York. They work with horses of all disciplines, including Reined Cow Horses, hunters, colt starting and more. Emma is a strong advocate for mustangs. She has competed with them in Reined Cow Horse events and qualified on one of her adopted mustangs for the 2017 NRCHA World Show. She and her husband are also involved with Mission Mustang, a program that pairs combat Veterans and Mustangs so that both can find a new beginning and a second chance.
Meggan Mitchell lives in Vandalia, Illinois. She started working with horses when she was 14. Her first horse was a saddle trained Appaloosa mare. She was spunky and could be quite a handful, but she also had a lot of heart. Then at seventeen, Meggan competed in the youth division of the Extreme Mustang Makeover. She won the Crosswind Challenge, but more importantly she found the horse she's always wanted and the horse that has taught her more than she ever dreamt possible. From there, Meggan has gone on to train more mustangs, work with other horses, and she has been working to build her facilities in order to train even more of these magnificent animals!
Kayla O'Leary is from Center Moriches, New York. When she started working with horses 5 ½ years ago she found that riding and working with them came naturally to her. She spent a year working with a trainer that assisted her in gaining the necessary skills to saddle break young geldings, and also in the process help gentle two mustangs. She also rode green broke horses and helped train them for their owners to ride safely. Kayla has competed in Equine Affaire's Versatile Horse and Rider Competition in both 2017 and 2018 with her mustang mare, Wildfire. She truly believes that this competition will be the perfect place to showcase the skills that she has learned while also providing a mustang a loving home that it deserves.
Emily Penegar lives in Gastonia, North Carolina. Ever since Emily can remember horses have been a huge part of her life. She was riding horses before she could walk. When she was 13, she found her passion for training horses. After graduating high school, Emily started a small horse training business on her farm starting colts and working with problem horses. She loves seeing horses progress through training and being able to build a true connection with them.
Megan Ray resides in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a 31-year-old Navy wife who was born and raised in the great northwest. She has ridden and worked with horses most of her life. At 17, her father bought her first horse. From that moment, she knew she wanted to learn as much about these amazing animals as she could. In 2017, she met Richard Garner whose knowledge and ability to teach changed her horsemanship dramatically. Not only with her own horses, but all horses.
Alyssa Rennebu lives in Eagle, Wisconsin. Since her first mustang in 2013, she has worked with and gentled over 15 mustangs; five of which were for youth competitions. Alyssa has been very successful showing saddle seat in open shows with her first mustang that she trained back in 2014. Through showing off tricks, showing alongside finished show horses, and performing on an equestrian drill team, she has been promoting the American Mustang for years.
Greg Reynolds resides in Benton, Kentucky. He is a retired police officer and former U.S. Army Infantry Officer. He now works at a chemical plant and trains horses when he has the opportunity. He adopted his first two Mustangs in 2000, and has been enjoying the journey ever since. This is his thirteenth Extreme Mustang Makeover and his fifteenth horse trained for the Makeovers.
Kelsey Spencer resides in Wooster, Ohio. She has always known she wanted horses to be the center of her life. She started riding when she was four and now she is 26. Kelsey went to Ohio State for horse management and production. After college, she started specializing in training horses and working with problem horses. From there, she decided to give her first EMM a shot and after that she was hooked. Kelsey knew as a kid she always wanted to do something to make a difference in the world, and she knows she found her path being involved with mustangs. Kelsey is also a TIP trainer, which has been her dream for a long time. She absolutely loves her job.
Carey Stewart resides in Williamston, North Carolina. She teaches at Martin Community College in the Equine Program. Carey has a MED in Equine Education, Bachelor’s in Equine Industry and Business. Associates in Equine Technology, and has been an open show carded judge for the past three years. She has trained horses for several years and loved them all her life. Using a natural horsemanship style of training, not just for the young ones, but for horses that need a tune-up as well.
Nikki Tiesing resides in Auxvasse, Missouri. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst allowing her to recognize and utilize the horse's natural learning tendencies and abilities to create calm, responsive, willing partnerships between horse and rider.
Peggy Riley was born and raised in the Netherlands, but now she resides in Wetumpka, Alabama. Her passion for horses started when she was 8 years old at a local barn. She left her home country in 2006 to live the American dream in Alabama. Together with her husband, who is a farrier of 30 years, they run a small training facility. Peggy works with horses of all breeds, disciplines and backgrounds, but her main focus is on Western Dressage and Mustangs.
Courtney Wexler resides in Williamston, North Carolina. Horses have been a part of Courtney's life for as long as she can remember. Between showing and pleasure riding as well as training and giving lessons, horses have taught her so much. For the last five years, Courtney has been managing a small farm and running a lesson program. She has a degree in Equine Science and she is also a certified riding instructor through the American Riding Instructors Association. When Courtney is not working with horses or coaching, she spends her free time training for spartan races and keeping her physical and mental health strong.
Charlie Workman resides in Hermtiage, Tennessee. He is the head trainer at Sante Creek Ranch located in Northern Middle Tennessee. He abides by horsemanship principles of Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman.
Melissa Cornell lives in Roff, Oklahoma, with her husband Cecil. Melissa's husband has been participating in Extreme Mustang Makeovers for years and has finally convinced her to get in on the experience with him. They share a great love for mustangs and they both enjoy working with them.
Mark Gregory resides in Epworth, Georgia. He has trained horses most of his life. Due to his Cystic Fibrosis his lungs were rapidly deteriorating, causing him to quit training 3 years ago. On May 1, 2017, he received a double lung transplant. In 2018, he started coaching some local youth as a way to get back into horses, and it reignited his desire to train and compete.
Kaylee Kapraun is a horse trainer located in Metamora, Illinois, with a passion for educating horse enthusiasts. She believes that in order to become a great teacher it is important to be an exceptional learner. Kaylee runs a 40-horse operation that includes lessons, clinics, training, and breeding.
Randy Speegle lives in Benton, Tennessee. He has been training horses for 42 years and has won several championships in racking and spotted sport horses. He has specialized in problem horses for more than 30 years. Now, he starts colts and offers clinics. Randy is also the on-site clinician at Loretta Lynn's ranch for their annual week-long trail rides. He has been working for the ranch for eight years.
Genevieve Mallow resides in Keyser, West Virginia. She is a PATH International Therapeutic Riding Instructor and is the owner and operator of Daydream Farm and Daydream Farm Therapeutic Riding in Fort Ashby, West Virginia.
Corie Moore is a Middle School Math teacher and from Columbus, Ohio. She played semi-pro soccer for 10 years on teams in Indiana, Colorado, and Ohio. She has owned, showed, and trained horses for 25 years. Corie trained River last year for the EMM Kentucky and placed 3rd overall. She has an Appendix Quarter Horse named Gus (aka “Frenchmen’s Mudslide”) who is 9 years old, and has had him since he was a yearling. She also has two dogs – Bongo, an 8-year-old Blue Heeler, and Arlo, a 1-year-old Red Heeler.
Alongside his wife Maredith, Colton Woods owns and operates Colton Woods Horsemanship based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Educating horses and people with a lifetime in mind is their mission and they proudly offer one of the most well-rounded programs on the East Coast. From reined cow horses to hunter jumpers and thoroughbreds, ranch horses and reiners, horses in training at CWH learn to do it all. From tracking cattle to going over cavalettis, trail riding to performance arena work, versatility truly prepares these horses with a lifetime in mind.
Sana Anderson lives in Johnsonburg, Illinois. She started out training horses and competing in the hunter/jumper world. From there, her interests grew into training dressage, reining and ranch horses. Now, she owns Anderson Equestrian where she starts young horses, restarts and finishes show horses, instructs clients and has found a passion for behavioral training and liberty.
Mike Cassedy resides in Burlington, Kentucky. He entered in the 2018 Kentucky EMM, but had to withdraw late into the competition when it was determined that his mustang was unsound to ride. He looks forward to working with another mustang as they are his main focus in horsemanship. For him, life is better with the mustang as a partner.
Cecil Cornell and his wife own a small ranch in Roff, Oklahoma, that has horses, mustangs, mules, and minis. Mustangs are Cecil's favorite and he loves working with them, which is partially why they own seven of them. Mustangs have given Cecil so much and taught him even more. He just hopes that maybe he is giving them something in return.
Charlie DeAtley lives in Carlisle, Kentucky. Currently Charlie is the manager and trainer of Stoner Ridge Farm, a full-service training facility where he practices a variety of natural horsemanship techniques to develop well rounded, versatile horses. During his 18 years of working with Rocky Mountains, Charlie has started and trained many horses suitable for the trail as well as for other disciplines including western pleasure, driving, trail obstacle, and show performance. Charlie is the winner of many national and international competitions as well as other prestigious awards, but he continues to enjoy working with young horses as they develop and grow.
Kimber Goodman lives in Lynnville, Tennessee. She is the owner and manager of Circle G Guest Ranch and Event Facility. She is also a trainer and instructor offering the full range of horsemanship, from beginner to advanced.
Keshia Johnson is a lifetime horseman residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She currently serves in the Naval Reserves following nine years of active duty service. Keshia is excited to be competing in her first Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Cavin Graham lives in Lafayette, Georgia with his son, Briley. Combined they have competed in 15 EMM events. Cavin didn't get involved in horses at a young age. In fact, the first time he intentionally loped on a horse he was 31, but horses have done nothing but change his life for the better since he has been around them. He is a 10-time Extreme Mustang Makeover finalist. In 2018, he was named Mustang Magic Champion and it has been the high point of his horsemanship journey. It is an honor for him to train and compete with these amazing horses.
Dominique Wood lives in Eddyville, Kentucky. She has been training horses since she was 15 years old. She joined the Army in high school and left horse training for eight years while serving as a combat medic/flight medic. In 2001, she went back to training horses. She trained her first mustang in 2013. Since then, she has become a TIP trainer and enjoys promoting the versatility and trainability of the mustang to equestrians of all disciplines. She hosts TIP Challenges every year in Western Kentucky that attracts spectators interested in learning about the Management Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Dominique says training mustangs makes her a better person and it is good for the soul too.
Levi Beechy resides in West Branch, MI. He has been professionally training horses for over 14 years and trains using a Natural Horsemanship approach. Levi has been successful from Colt Starting to working on foundation; Cattle Sorting to Reining, and offers Trail Clinics to teach agility and skill refinement. He has devoted his professional life to training, coaching, and guiding horse and rider to expand the special partnership and strengthen their ability as a team. Levi has enjoyed competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover since 2014 and placed Top 10 twice in Kentucky and Texas.
Emily Rose Thiesing lives in Danville, Indiana, where she rides and shows her half-Arabian gelding and two adopted Mustangs. She is a full-time teacher who fulfills her passion for horses by taking care of her own and the occasional training project for fun. She is a former horse trainer and instructor who now enjoys horses as a hobby.
Originally from Costa Rica but now resides in Washington, New Jersey, Gerardo Garro spent most of his childhood working cattle and breaking horses on his father’s farm. He came to the U.S. as a young adult, but it wasn't until 15 years or so later when he was passing through Virginia that he was able to renounce his passion for horses. Since then, he has put down roots in New Jersey where he works with horses and raises his two young children.
ADULT & YOUTH DIVISION JUDGES Additional judges may be added.
Sherrye Johnson Trafton