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100 Trainers, 100 Mustangs, 100 Days, $25,000

America's wild horses featured in Extreme Mustang Makeover

The image is one often seen in the movies, but this time, it's for real.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management are bringing together America's passion for its iconic mustangs and the challenge of training wild horses to a unique competition, the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to highlight the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. The event will give the public a unique opportunity to see the results of wild horses becoming trained mounts and then participate in a competitive bidding process to adopt one of these treasured animals. Fort Worth will host the Sept. 22 competition.

A total of 100 trainers from 30 states were selected from among 220 applicants in May during a painstaking process. Trainers then claimed their Nevada mustangs June 6 through 9 at BLM facilities in Nevada and Oklahoma.

Trainers will compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition for $25,000 Sept. 22, at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth. The trained mustangs will be judged on conditioning, groundwork, and a "Horse Course" that requires maneuvers and includes obstacles found in trail and recreational riding situations. On Sept. 23, the competing mustangs will be available for adoption through an oral bidding adoption at the Will Rogers Center.

The purpose of the competition 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 Bureau of Land Management under federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources. Thousands of removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption. All of the animals involved in the "Makeover" competition will be available for adoption at the Fort Worth event in September.

Adoption fees will be set by competitive bid with initial fees being determined by the level and quality of training each horse has received. To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18, with no record of animal abuse. In addition, adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. Adoption applications may be obtained and approved on the spot. For complete requirements go to www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/requirements.htm.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover will also become a six-episode series on RFD Television's Wide World of Horses from August to December 2007. The show will share the stories of the mustangs and trainers as they learn to trust in one another and gain competitive confidence.

Date: 7/16/07


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