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A California takeover at the Makeover

Don Douglas and Bay Joe capture top Mustang crown at Norco

Special to the Horsetrader - June 2nd, 2011 - Show & Event News
Don Douglas of Paicines and Bay Joe show off their working cow horse skills in the Finals of Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco May 13-15.

Rhonda Hole photo

Don Douglas of Paicines and Bay Joe show off their working cow horse skills in the Finals of Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco May 13-15.

NORCO — The Extreme Mustang Makeover returned to Southern California and showcased the Mustangs’ superior ability to navigate the trails in the foothills of Norco and the urban obstacles around town. On Saturday night, Don Douglas of Paicines and his Mustang Bay Joe were crowned champions of the event.

After a stellar performance of displaying incredible working cow horse maneuvers, Douglas and Bay Joe received a combined score of 249.5 from judges Sheila Varian, Vickie Bass and Ken McNabb. Their score bested reserve champs Joseph Misner and Mustang Rio Bravo by two points.

Bay Joe is a 3-year-old bay gelding gathered from the Silver King Herd Management Area in Nevada. Douglas started training horses when he was 17 years old. He spent his 20s and early 30s in Montana starting colts for local ranches while he was a ranch cowboy. He was influenced by Ray Hunt at that time. After coming to California, he has professionally trained, shown and given horsemanship clinics for the past 23 years.

Douglas receives the champion’s prize-winning treatment.

Douglas receives the champion’s prize-winning treatment.

In addition to being named champion, Douglas also received the Silver Bullet award, which recognized the highest placing trainer who was 50 years old or older. Nicole Thompson of Agua Dulce, California, received the Rookie Award, and Michelle Davis of Bloomington, California, received the Young Gun Award for being the highest placing trainer who is 18-21 years old. Douglas, Thompson and Davis each received a custom Gist belt buckle to recognize their achievements.

On Sunday, all Mustangs competing in the event were offered for adoption. Rio Bravo was the highest adopted horse with a winning bid of $11,000 by Laura Sinton. Rio Bravo is a 3-year-old gray gelding also gathered from the Silver King Herd Management Area. Bay Joe fetched a bid of $1,950 and was adopted by Cathy M. Beitler.

The Norco trainers picked up their Mustangs Feb. 11-12 and had approximately three months to halter break and saddle train the horses for the competition.

Norco lived up to its Horsetown USA moniker, and the Extreme Mustang Makeover contestants were able to showcase their Mustangs’ talents on the steep hills near the Ingalls Event Center and on the urban trail course that took the Mustangs through the heart of the horse-friendly town.

With more than 30,000 American Mustangs waiting to be adopted in BLM facilities, the Mustang Heritage Foundation is stepping up its efforts to help these American legends find adoptive homes. In 2011, the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Extreme Mustang Makeover events will continue to showcase the talents of the American Mustang from California to Tennessee and points in between.

Extreme Mustang Makeovers test the horsemanship skills of trainers who have just 90 days to take a wild American Mustangs from untouched to competing in saddle competition. Gaining a wild horse’s trust and teaching it the skills needed to shine in competition and be appealing to adopters is never an easy task, but adding to the challenge is the fact that Extreme Mustang Makeover trainers have less than three months to prepare for the competition.

In addition to the stop in California, Extreme Mustang Makeover events will be held in Fort Collins, Colorado; Tsaile, Arizona; Fort Worth, Texas; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover is sponsored by Pfizer, Western Horseman magazine, Ram Trucks, Martin Saddlery, Smith Brothers, Vetericyn, Gist Silversmiths and the American Competitive Trail Horse Association.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, www.blm.gov, created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event 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 opportunity to adopt one of these treasured animals.

Since the inception of the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has placed nearly 3,000 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 Mustang Heritage Foundation or Extreme Mustang Makeovers, visit www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.

More results: http://www.extrememustangmakeover.com/norco.php

Remaining 2011 Extreme Mustang Events:
Date Event – City, State
June 10-12, 2011 Extreme Mustang Makeover – Ft. Collins, Colorado
August 12-14, 2011 Extreme Mustang Makeover – Tsaile, Arizona
September 16-17, 2011 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover – Fort Worth, Texas
October 21-23, 2011 Extreme Mustang Makeover – Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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