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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 383

Napa horse event draws 350

Northern California wild horse adopters and trainers had the chance to show their successes Saturday, May 16, when the Napa Valley Horsemen's Association hosted their second annual Napa Mustang Days.  A BLM wild horse and burro adoption was part of the event, and resulted in nine mustangs and three burros going to new homes.  About 350 people attended the event organized by Nancy and Mike Kerson of Napa. (text continues below)

 Arms outstretched, Kira takes a jump on her mustang
Above, Kira flies over a jump aboard her mustang during an arena show that featured a wide variety of equine demonstrations.  Kira trains her horse at Sunrise Stables in St. Helena.

Lauren West, an accomplished horsewoman from the Arcata area, below, has great success with her adopted mustang, Dixie Running Star.  Lauren adopted Dixie as a two-year-old  from a BLM adoption event in Vallejo 14 years ago and set about training her for gymkhana events.  Last year,  Dixie was named the top overall gymkhana horse division five of the California Horsemen's Association.  In the second photo below, Lauren and Dixie  perform in the arena show.

Lauren West, in cowboy hat next to mustang Dixie Running Star 

Lauren West rides her mustang in the competition

Horse trainer Sue Watkins, a contestant in the upcoming  Western States Extreme Mustang Makeover (June 12-14 at Cal Expo, Sacramento), showed the progress with her mustang, "Ima Your Horse"  -- first photo below.   The mustang has been under sale for only 60 days.    Additionally, Janet Titus, the eighth place finisher in last year's  Western States Mustang Challenge, performed, second photo.  

Sue Watkins rides Ima Your Horse in competition

Janet Titus, wearing a feather in her headband, performs with her mustang

Napa area  equestrian Wendee Walker showed the dressage abilities of her mustang, Yogi, first photo below.  Afterward, Yogi showed that when he is not competing on the dressage court, he is comfortable just being a horse and socializing with children.

Wendee Walker and mustang Yogi show their dressage abilities 

Mustang Yogi meets three younger children

As always, volunteers were a big part of the Mustang Days event.  They halter trained seven mustangs for the adoption event.  One such horse was Sundance, below, shown by his trainer Michelle DeCamp.

Mustang Sundance stands quietly by trainer Michelle DeCamp

Equine enthusiasts also had the chance to learn more about horses and horse training in clinics offered by Sue Watkins, Janet Titus and Midori Morgan, and from training demonstrations held by Lesley Neuman, a highly respected mustang trainer from Lostine, Ore.

Napa resident Nancy Kerson envisioned the Mustang Days event two years ago and enlisted husband, Mike, and daughter, Saanen, to organize events in 2007 and this year.  The Kersons have adopted and trained five mustangs and several burros, and have even taken field trips to visit the herd management areas where their animals were born.

- Jeff Fontana, 5/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 383

Last updated: 05-21-2009