Mustang Yearling Program Offers More Than $20,000

The Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) has a new mission: to place for adoption more than 200 yearling Mustangs while at the same time providing educational funding to youth, as well as cash prizes to adults in the program.

Mission 007, aptly named for the foaling year of the Mustangs, is the yearling edition of the phenomenonally successful Extreme Mustang Makeover first held in September 2007. The 2008 competition, to be held September 18-20 in Fort Worth, Texas, will feature 200 of America's iconic Mustangs and their trainers competing for a purse of $50,000, with an additional $20,000 made available for the yearling edition. There will also be a yearling division held in conjunction with the Western States Wild Horse and Burro expo in Reno, Nev., August 15-17, with a purse of $5,000.

"Our standing room only crowds in 2007 included hundreds of young people who were totally in awe of what these trainers were doing with these Mustangs," said MHF Executive Director Patti Colbert. "With this new program, youth will be able to receive a yearling Mustang that they will gentle to a halter. During the Extreme Mustang Makeover, they will compete for an educational funding purse of $10,000. We'll also have a $5,000 amateur handler division and a $5,000 professional handler division."

Mustangs will be available for release from Reno, Nev., May 16 and 17, Elgin, Texas, May 23-24. Handlers will have until August 15 to gentle their Mustangs for the Reno competition and September 18 for the Fort Worth competition. Applications and complete competition rules are available at or by calling 512/55-3225. The deadline for applications is April 30.

During competition, handlers receive scoring based on the body condition of their American Mustangs, as well as their ability to handle the horse "in hand" through a series of maneuvers which include picking up the horse's feet, maneuvering it through obstacles and loading it into a trailer. Three skilled horsemen will judge the competition.

Handlers will also receive $500 in reimbursements as well as 20 percent of any adoption fee over $125. Yearling Mustangs will be available for adoption to the public following each competition.

The MHF, in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), created the Mustang Challenge event to highlight the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. The purpose of the Mustang competition series 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. One hundred percent of the horses placed for adoption at the 2007 Extreme Mustang Makeover were adopted.

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