News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 387

Trainer wins Extreme Mustang Makeover in tie-breaker

Santa Maria, Calif. horse trainer Katherine Cumberland and her mustang, Wendy, took top honors in the Western States Extreme Mustang Makeover competition held Saturday evening in Sacramento.  The pair narrowly edged out Action, Calif. trainer Joel Sheridan and his mount, Lilly Bet, in a 90-second "mustang smackdown," held after the two trainers tied in the competition of the top 11 trainer-mustang contestants.

Below, Cumberland appears relaxed as she competes in the smackdown, first photo.  In the second photo, Sheridan competes in the horse course competition held prior to the final contest.
woman riders her horse in front of spectators in grandstand
man rides his horse in front of people in bleachers

Horse enthusiasts filled the grandstands of the Cal Expo Trailer Specialists Arena for more than two hours of entertainment in the competition, which was followed by a BLM adoption event.  Participants in an oral auction adopted all 22 horses offered, with Cumberland's Wendy commanding the top bid of $4,000.

The competition provided plenty of action for horse enthusiasts, below:

woman rides standing atop her horse
Amber Bussell, of Oakdale, Calif., competed on Cowgirl's Hotrodd. Her mustang won the best body conditioning honor.

man on horse turns to follow running calf
Bob Britland, of Galt, Calif., drew wild crowd support as he and his mustang, Kanterry, chased down a calf.

man and horse lean into a turn
man holding microphone interviews man standing next to horse
Randall Davis, of Greely, Colo. was another crowd favorite, and also shared his thoughts on the value of mustangs in an interview with Kevin Riggs of KCRA TV, Sacramento.

Woman astride horse as they circle a blue inflatable training ball
Juliane Hanley, of Fall City, Wash. earned high marks with her mustang, Sangria.  Above, she shows Sangria's prowess with a training ball.

One man on horseback leans back and laughts as another man on horseback holds microphone
Famed horse trainer John Lyons was the ring announcer during the competition.  Above, he shares a light moment with trainer Joe Weitekamp, Las Vegas.

The Sacramento event was one of a series of Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions organized by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, which partners with BLM to demonstrate the trainability of the mustang -- America's horse.

- Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District, 6/16/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 387