A sold out crowd, talented trainers and their mustangs made this Extreme Mustang Makeover one for the books. Fifty adult trainers and 33 youth recently vied for the chance to win top honors at the Fort Worth, Texas, event in conjunction with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. However, it was Bobby Kerr and his mustang Call who earned the championship.
With the most attendance since Mustang Million in 2013, the Will Rogers Coliseum was buzzing with excitement as each top 10 finalist performed their freestyles. Each trainer showcased their mustangs to the best of their abilities, while entertaining the crowd and the judges. Bobby Kerr stole the show aboard his gray mustang gelding, Call, earning a $50,000 check.
“This feels unbelievable,” said Kerr, of Hico, Texas. “This is really an incredible honor. The competition was tough and this just means a lot to me. The money is going to help us a lot and I get to bring home this wonderful horse. Last night, winning the Mustang Magic allowed me to have the money to buy Call, and it’s just really a blessing how it all came together.”
Although Kerr and Call won the show, he admits that training the 3-year-old mustang has not been easy. However, Kerr knew he had found something special in Call, and with time he will turn into the horse he has been looking for.
“He’s been tough, but he’s got the goods,” said Kerr about the Green Mountain, Wyoming, mustang. “When we started, you had to watch out because he would kick you and he tried to buck me off in November at a ranch rodeo. He’s been a very dominant horse, but now he is always nickering to me and looking for me. He’s a lot different than anything I’ve had and I think he is pretty special.”
Kerr garnered a $50,000 check, a Cut Above belt buckle, a Martin Saddle Certificate, a Best Ever Custom Saddle Pad certificate, an NRS Jacket, Classic Equine Sheets, a Western Horseman Print, a Justin Boots Certificate, a Yeti cooler, and a Kimes Ranch Jeans duffle bag for his championship.
All adult horses were available for purchase via public competitive bid. All 50 adult horses were placed into adoptive homes for an average price of $3,500, with the highest selling mustang going for $15,000. Complete event and auction results can be viewed at extrememustangmakeover.com.
Cat Zimmerman, of Archer, Florida, couldn’t think of a better way to end her youth mustang career than by taking home the youth championship. Zimmerman and her mustang, Dakota, were on the top of the leader board throughout preliminary classes. Then, the duo locked in the win with a third-place finish in the freestyle.
“This is really exciting and very emotional. It just feels really amazing,” said Zimmerman of Archer, Florida. “Every time I compete it feels amazing no matter the outcome, but knowing this is my last one, it’s just extra special to me.”
Zimmerman has been working with her red roan yearling, Dakota, for approximately 120 days, and she said he has been different than previous mustangs. In fact, she had to learn ways to encourage him to have energy.
“He’s the laziest mustang I have ever had so I have had to learn different methods to teach myself how to encourage energy from him,” she said of the Devils Garden gelding. “It’s really crazy how much he has changed. Now he is motivated and willing to do things. It’s been a learning experience as it is with every mustang because each one teaches you something different. I really enjoyed this experience with him. He blew me away this weekend and has exceeded my expectations.”
Zimmerman took home a $3,000 check, a Cut Above belt buckle and a Resistol Hat certificate.
The mustangs that competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover for adults were wild mares and geldings 3 to 6 years old that have been living in Bureau of Land Management off-range corrals. Youth trainers worked with yearling mares and geldings for the competition and are randomly paired with their mustang approximately 120 days prior to the competition.
At the competition, the horse-and-rider duos compete in a handling and conditioning class, a pattern class and a trail class. The top 10 adult competitors then compete in a Freestyle Finals performance, and all youth perform freestyle as well.
The 2020 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Texas, is a Mustang Heritage Foundation production and was made possible through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program and presented with the generous support of Western Horseman and the Weisberg Family Foundation.
Visit our website at https://extrememustangmakeover.com/compete for more information and to apply to compete.