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California Desert District
Release Date: 05/07/10
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220  
  Stephen Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-10-60

Bloomington Women Accept Challenge to Train Mustangs in 90 Days

Michelle Davis and Linda Smerber of Bloomington will demonstrate what they each can teach a wild horse in 90 days at the Norco Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge, May 14-15.  They are among 30 trainers from throughout the West who will test their skills and those of their assigned mustangs in a competition through downtown Norco and nearby foothills as they cross streams and encounter obstacles.  The Rural Trail Challenge is Friday, May 14; the Urban Trail Challenge is on Saturday.  Both competitions begin at 8 and are free to the public.

“I’m just 20 years old,” said Davis, “so this is only my second time with the Mustang Challenge.  Last year I took fourth in the Mommy and Me (a contest of mares and their foals).  I’ve trained six mustangs before Siringo – I just like training them and riding them.  Mustangs are the smartest horses – they learn very fast.”

Smerber has taken two state championships.  “My last mustang before Stryker,” said Smerber, “I rode in just six days and ended up with third place.  She was an advanced trail horse.”

Competitions are sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) to showcase the beauty, versatility, and trainability of rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout the West – where they are protected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under federal law.  The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources.  Thousands of horses are then made available each year for adoption to the public. 

In a typical BLM wild horse and burro adoption, mustangs have yet to be trained or gentled.  However, through competitive bid at noon on Sunday May 16, adopters will take home 30 formerly wild horses who have been trained by 30 of the West Coast’s best horsemen and women.

On Friday evening at 7, the 2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover Western Stampede Champion Wylene Wilson of Queen Creek, Ariz. will take on Ray Ariss and Hail Yeah, Norco Horsetown USA Mustang Mascot, in a mustang “smackdown” competition.  Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue will present “Spirit Horses.”  These demonstrations are also free to the public.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., the top ten finalists for this year’s competition will be announced.  The finalists will then perform at 7 p.m., tickets required.  The George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center is located at Sixth and Crestview in Norco.


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos      Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 05-07-2010