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Stephanie Swope and Pierce win inaugural Extreme Mustang Makeover Barrel Slot Race

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Stephanie Swope and her Mustang trainee Pierce were named the champions at the first Extreme Mustang Makeover Barrel Slot Race after placing second in the two judged classes and third in the timed barrel race that was produced in partnership with the Better Barrel Races LLC.

Swope lives in Peck, Kan., and is a fire fighter. She named her Mustang after Pierce Fire Trucks. Pierce is a 2008 sorrel mare that was gathered from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in California. The duo won $10,000 for being named champions. They also earned $300 for placing second in the mustang maneuvers class, $300 for placing second in the exhibition barrel run and $250 for placing third in the timed barrel race.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation's mission to increase adoptions of America's BLM-housed wild horses has always focused on showcasing wild horses' versatile talents and trainability. In 2012, the Foundation launched specialty events including a team roping event and this barrel racing event that was held in conjunction with the Better Barrel Races LLC Oklahoma-Texas Regionals at the Diamond W Arena in Alvarado, Texas. The competition and adoption auction took place Nov. 16 to 18.

In the mustang maneuvers class, where trainers displayed their Mustangs' willingness to complete a pattern and maneuver over obstacles, the top-five were: 1) Heather Plummer and Reality Check (53 points); 2) Stephanie Swope and Pierce (51 points); 3) Jamie Cargo-Ogburn and Sylvia (49 points); 4) Kelli Semar and Magpie (48.5 points); 5) Melissa Griffith and Grace (47.5 points).

In the exhibition class, where trainers displayed their Mustangs' willingness to lope the barrel pattern, the top-five were: 1) Kelli Semar and Magpie (49 points); 2) Stephanie Swope and Pierce (48.5 points); 3) Heather Plummer and Reality Check (47.5 points); 4) Lacinda Bengtson and Mustang Sally (43 points); and 5) Lance Graves and Mustang Sally (39.5 points).

In the Barrel Slot Race, which was a timed class, the top placers were: 1) Lance Graves and Mustang Sally with a time of 19.78; 2) Dusty Voorhies and Stanger with a time of 20.027; 3) Stephanie Swope and Pierce with a time of 20.538; 4) Melanie Kessler and Kat Von D with a time of 20.853; and 5) Kelli Semar and Magpie with a time of 21.055.

The top-five overall winners for the Extreme Mustang Makeover are: 1) Stephanie Swope and Pierce (135.5 points); 2) Kelli Semar and Magpie (129.5 points); 3) Heather Plummer and Reality Check (128.5 points); 4) Lance Graves and Mustang Sally (124.5 points); 5) Lacinda Bengtson and Mustang Sally (119.5 points).

Lance Graves' Mustang Sally was the highest adopted horse at the event. Mustang Sally was adopted by one of Graves' clients for $1,100 and will be continuing her barrel training in Oklahoma with Graves.

The trainers were competing for their share of $25,000 in prize money. The overall champion was awarded $10,000, second-place overall received $5,000, third-place overall received $3,000, fourth-place overall received $2,000 and fifth-place overall received $1,000. The classes each paid $400 for first place, $300 for second place, $250 for third place, $200 for fourth place and $150 for fifth place.

The trainers picked up their Mustangs Aug. 3 and 4 from the Bureau of Land Management facility in Pauls Valley, Okla., and began training for the competition. The horses were still wild and virtually untouched at the time of pickup, so the trainers had to work to gain their trust before beginning the training process. There were no entry fees for the event, and the Mustangs were randomly assigned to trainers. Complete rules and results can be accessed at www.extrememustangmakeover.com/emmslotrace.php.

The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of our sponsors Ram Trucks, Western Horseman, Pfizer, Vetericyn, Roper Apparel & Footwear, Twister Trailer, RES Equine Products, Gist Silversmiths, Martin Saddlery and Smith Brothers.

Better Barrel Races is an organization established in 2003 and is made up of independent producers. Better Barrel Races was created in an effort to better serve barrel racers by cooperating in scheduling shows, putting forth a code of ethics for producers, providing a unified awards program and bringing a big added-money finals to the central United States. These producers--Heartland Tour, WinMore Barrel Races and XL Enterprises--represent many combined years of experience, not only in producing events, but in competing in them as well. To learn more about Better Barrel Races, visit www.betterbarrelraces.com/.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (www.blm.gov) created the Extreme Mustang Makeover events to highlight the recognized value of Mustangs through a national training competition. The events give the public a unique opportunity to see the results of wild horses becoming trained mounts and then have the chance to adopt one of these treasured animals. Since the inception of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has placed more than 3,500 Mustangs, and an estimated 100,000 fans have filled the stands and walked the barns of events held across the United States. For more information on the Extreme Mustang Makeover Barrel Slot Race or other Extreme Mustang Makeover events, visit www.extrememustangmakeover.com. For more information on the Mustang Heritage Foundation's adoption programs, visit www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.

Date: 12/17/2012



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