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2 Local Horse Trainer’s Selected for Extreme Mustang Makeover

     Myself, Erin Miller, and Rachel Jones from Calvert County have been selected to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover held during the Virginia Horse Festival, March 27-28, at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA. Trainers have approximately 100 days to gentle a randomly assigned wild horse they picked up this past November and compete for an estimated purse of $20,000 in prize money as well as custom-made Gist belt buckle.

    Rachel Jones, a second time selected trainer for the Extreme Mustang Makeover.  Rachel has been riding and showing horses for over 15 years.  She is a card holding judge and a founding board member for Sophia’s Oasis for Equines, Inc. (S.O.F.E.’s), a horse rescue in Southern Maryland.  She enjoys training un-broken horses and giving them the foundation and fundamentals needed to be a successful and enjoyable horse in any discipline.  She finds working with Mustangs that have not been gentled is more rewarding than domesticated horses because we are the first person that horse actually trusts.

    I am a first time Extreme Mustang Makeover selected trainer and has been training and riding horses for a little of 3 years.  I work for the Department of Defense (DOD) and have recently returned from a volunteer one year deployment in Afghanistan supporting the drawdown efforts.  I have grown up in and around the military my whole life and being able to serve my country and defend my freedom was the greatest honor.  I struggled with many interpersonal doubts and tribulations throughout my early 20’s but it wasn’t until I started working with horses and got my horse, Stormy that I found peace and comfort.  Stormy truly became my therapy and taught me patience, forgiveness and understanding.  I then got involved with Sophia’s Oasis for Equines, Inc. (S.O.F.E.’s) and started learning from some amazing trainers and helping around the barn and it clicked - this was my passion.  Horsemanship, training, rescuing – this is it.  Public service is what I am about - I might not be able to protect everyone or save every horse, but for those I can and will, I give my all! I credit my S.O.F.E. family who took me in, taught me how to train and be the horsewoman I am today.  Check out www.sophiasoasisforequines.org for more information on the local Southern Maryland rescue.

     The Mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover challenge are geldings, and the horses, which were virtually untouched prior to the November pick-up, will compete in Doswell at the end of this month. The trainers and Mustangs will compete in a series of classes that will showcase their new skills. The horses will compete in handling and conditioning, a pattern class and a combined leading and riding class. The top-10 competitors will then compete in the freestyle finals. Tickets and information about the Virginia Extreme Mustang Makeover are available at http://extrememustangmakeover.com/extreme-mustange-makeover-virginia/.

Mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover are available for adoption through an auction on March 28. Adoption fees will be set by competitive bid. To qualify to adopt, individuals must be at least 18 with no record of animal abuse. In addition, adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. Adoption applications will be approved on site by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during the event.

The purpose of the competition is to showcase the beauty, versatility and train-ability 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 range land resources. Thousands of the removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption.  More than 5,000 Mustangs have been adopted through Mustang Heritage Foundation events and programs since 2007. 

   The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through our partnership with the BLM and the generosity of our sponsors Ram Trucks, Western Horseman, Vetericyn, Gist Silversmiths, Martin Sadderly and Classic Equine, Cowboy Magic, Roper Apparel, RIDE TV and Smith Brothers.

   About the Mustang Heritage Foundation

         The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events are to increase the adoption of Mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover events to showcase the recognized value of the Mustangs through a national training competition. For more information, visit http://www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.

  About the Bureau of Land Management

         The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate through the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In fiscal year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion receipts from public lands. Visit blm.gov or call 866-4MUSTANGS for more information.

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