BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 534

Extreme Mustang Makeover - Norco, California 2012

 a smiling woman with horse
Obbie Schlom and Crazy Mary pose for a picture while taking a break after the river climb. Obbie took an unprecedented first and second place ranking in the competition, with horses Crazy Mary and Rosamay.

Norco, California (Horsetown USA) hosted the Fourth Annual Extreme Mustang Makeover in mid-May.  Hundreds of spectators filled the George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center for the Saturday night finals in which the top ten rated contestants competed for the number one slot and $11,500 in prize money.  The trainers had picked up their three- and four-year-old wild mustangs at the BLM Ridgecrest and Litchfield Corrals in February. 

Just 90 days later, they competed in the trail challenge through the hills and streets of Norco.  The competitors were rated on how they and their horses handled a pattern in the arena, the horses’ body conditions, and a rural and an urban trail ride. 

Eighteen-year-old Obbie Schlom of Silverado, Calif. astounded the crowd with her horsemanship, her two horses, Crazy Mary and Rosamay -- and an unprecedented first and second place ranking!  The Norco Extreme Mustang Makeover was Obbie’s first event. For her efforts she earned first and second place prize moneys, splint boots, a belt buckle, and the respect of the event’s judges.

On Sunday morning, hopeful adopters arrived early to look over the mustangs, talk to trainers, and fill out BLM adoption applications.  Thirty-one formerly wild horses were adopted via competitive bid.  The Ridgecrest BLM staff was on-hand to talk to adopters and assist with the application process.  The Wild Horse and Burro Program’s Division Chief, Joan Guilfoyle, made the trip from Washington, D.C. to experience the Norco event.  The BLM and Mustang Heritage Foundation are partners working together to promote the value and trainability of America’s wild mustangs.

a man stands atop his horse's saddle, in an arena 
Frank Despain shows the crowd that he can not only sit on Nelly, but also he can get a better view standing on her saddle.

a girl on a smaller pony follows her mom on a horse
BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program Division Chief Joan Guilfoyle ponies Lollipop to the river bottom.

a man with his horse at a stall
Aaron Smith-Tayson and his horse, Baby Girl, who was adopted for $2,000.

a man guides his horse against an inflated ball
Joe Misner shows the crowd how Reata likes to play soccer

a man's horse stands on a large rock
Frank Despain asks his horse to step up on the rock prior to the adoption

 signs announce horses and their trainers
 Mustang Heritage Foundation provided stall signs introducing the horses and their trainers, but...

...some trainers like Judy Jameson...
a woman poses with her horse
...made up their own signs, like those one for her horse Gypsey:
a sign asks people not to adopt a Gypsy

a horse and rider stop to look a a llama
Cookie checks out the llamas during the urban trail challenge.  Riding her is trainer, Connie Lehr.

a smiling woman on horseback speaks to an arena crowd
Obbie Schlom tells the crowd about her experience with Crazy Mary, with assistance from her dog Prissy.

David Briery, public affairs officer, BLM California Desert District, with information from Amy Dumas, Jo Ann Schiffer-Burdett and Robert Pawelek. Photos by Amy Dumas and Jo Ann Schiffer-Burdett. (Extreme Mustang Makeover - Norco, California - May 18-20, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 534 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.