The Extreme Mustang Makeover is back in 2020 with an exciting tour lineup bringing the event to three cities across the United States, while continuing to deliver on its mission of finding homes for American mustangs.
The EMM program, created and produced by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse & Burro Program, involves a 100-day competition that challenges trainers to gentle and saddle train wild mustangs to ready them for competition. Through a series of classes and a Top 10 finals competition, trainers display the mustangs’ skills and demeanor, followed by a bidding process where spectators can adopt or purchase one as their own.
“Having personally witnessed the transition of numerous mustangs from wild to mild I can personally attest to the intelligence, trainability and adaptability of these American icons,” said Alex Kappert, MHF executive director. “We’re very excited to be returning to both Lexington, Kentucky, and Fort Worth, Texas, in 2020 and are very much looking forward to showcasing the versatility of the American Mustang for the first time ever in Los Angeles, California.”
In 2020, three EMM events are scheduled for Jan. 23 to 25 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; June 25 to 27 in Lexington, Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park; and Aug. 7 to 8 in Los Angeles, California at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
After being selected to compete for the EMM event, trainers are paired with an American mustang that has been virtually untouched by humans. With approximately three months to gentle and saddle train the mustang, trainers then compete in a series of classes to qualify for the Top 10 freestyle performance to showcase their mustangs’ talents—such as riding without a bridle and standing atop the saddle.
Trainers for the 2020 EMM in Fort Worth, Texas, have already been selected and are currently preparing their mustangs for the January competition where over $130,000 will be distributed to the winners. Tickets for this event are on sale now at www.extrememustangmakeover.com/events/texas. All competing adult horses will also be available for purchase by the public on Jan. 25.
Trainer applications for the Lexington, Kentucky, and Los Angeles, California, events will be available soon at www.extrememustangmakeover.com/compete. Trainer qualifications include having an adequate facility to care for and gentle a wild horse, references attesting to their horse experience and no history of human or animal abuse, neglect or cruelty.
Since establishing the Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2007, MHF has taken the event to 34 cities in 23 states, finding homes for more than 13,000 mustangs along the way. In 2018-19, a record-breaking total of over 2,500 mustangs were placed into private care through the Extreme Mustang Makeover events and through the Trainer Incentive Program, another gentling and placement program offered through the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
Currently, the BLM estimates over 88,000 wild horses roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 western states, mostly in Nevada, Wyoming and California. As their populations grow, events like the EMM encourage public education and adoption of these remarkable animals.
Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of sponsors such as; Western Horseman, Weisberg Family Foundation and Weisberg Stables, Resistol, RIDE TV, RAM Rodeo Series, Martin Saddlery & Classic Equine, NRS, A Cut Above Buckles, España Silk, and Yeti.
For more information about the Extreme Mustang Makeover program or to become a trainer, adopter or sponsor of the event, visit www.extrememustangmakeover.com.