The Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) is stopping in West Springfield, Massachusetts, June 15-17; Reno, Nevada, June 23-24; and Lexington, Kentucky, July 6-8. This event, produced by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program, is currently seeking youth and adult trainers to participate in the 100-day wild horse training challenge.
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 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 held in off-range facilities and are made available each year to the public for adoption.
Adults, ages 18 and over, and their assigned mustangs will compete in preliminary classes, including handling and conditioning, a pattern class and a trail course with in-hand and riding obstacles, in hopes of winning their share of $25,000. For each event, the top 10 trainers will be selected to participate in the exciting Freestyle Finals performance scheduled for June 17, June 24 and July 8, where competitors showcase their mustang’s skills with costumes, music and props.
Adult mustangs competing in the EMM will be available to the public for adoption via competitive bid immediately following the freestyle finals. BLM representatives will be on-site to approve interested adopters.
Youth trainers, ages 8 to 17, will compete in-hand with 18-24 month old mustangs in three classes, including handling and conditioning, leading trail and a freestyle class. Peter Whitmore, of Orange, Massachusetts, will be hosting the youth division of the Massachusetts EMM. Rebecca Bowman, of Emerson, Georgia, will be hosting the youth division of the Kentucky EMM. Awards and prizes will be determined by event manager. More details to be announced.
There will not be a youth division offered for the Nevada EMM.
Interested horsemen and women are encouraged to visit the EMM website for application and rules. Completed applications must be received by application deadlines listed below to be considered for the event. Selected trainers will pick up their assigned mustangs in March and work to train and gentle the mustangs through the competition date. Trainers for the Massachusetts EMM will pick up their mustangs March 3-4 in Logan Township, New Jersey. Trainers for the Nevada EMM will pick up their mustangs March 10-11 in Palomino Valley, Nevada. Trainers for the Kentucky EMM will pick up mustangs March 17-18 in Ewing, Illinois.
2017 Extreme Mustang Makeover Application Deadlines
West Springfield, Massachusetts – Feb. 3
Reno, Nevada – Feb. 3
Lexington, Kentucky – Feb. 24