Madeleine LeClerc of Boyd, Texas, and Eye Brow Cat captivated the audience with a bridleless routine and won the Legends title at the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October 23. The Eastern Extreme Mustang Makeover featured Legends and Idols divisions for adults and a yearling division for youth.
LeClerc and Eye Brow Cat received a total of 114 points from the judges out of a possible 120. LeClerc earned $3,000 for the victory and a custom Gist Silversmith belt buckle. Eye Brow Cat is a 3-year-old bay gelding from Wyoming. LeClercs fiancé Robert Carlson and his Mustang RockNRolla finished second with a score of 112.5.
Virtually untouched by humans just 90 days ago, the Mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover were picked up from Bureau of Land Management facilities in Piney Woods, Mississippi, or Pauls Valley, Oklahoma in July.
Eye Brow Cats nickname became Wildcat when he showed his wild side in the chute when LeClerc was loading him in the trailer to go home for the first time. I didnt have more than tolerance from him for the first nine weeks, LeClerc said. There was so little trust that it was difficult at first. Now we have a bond that is so strong, and he is so loyal.
Taking his bridle off was a gamble this late in the game, she continued. You throw it into his hands.
The gamble paid off as Eye Brow Cat performed flawlessly without bit, bridle or reins.
The night began with a performance by the world renowned Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop. Since 1993, the Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop program has teamed inner-city youth with adopted Mustangs. The Mustangs used in the program were adopted through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Horse Program. At Sundays adoption event, two Extreme Mustang Makeover horses were adopted by the group.
Jumping through a ring of fire and jumping a line of barrels with just a single stride between each jump, Amanda Sharp of Brandon, Mississippi, and Docs Little Brown wowed the crowd in the Youth Yearling division. Docs Little Brown is a 2009 brown gelding gathered from the Green Mountain herd management area in Wyoming. Receiving 113.5 points out of a possible 120, Sharp and Charlie took top honors and received a custom Gist Silversmiths belt buckle and $2,500. Sharp and Charlie also earned a trip to Texas to entertain the crowd at the Mustang Magic event to be held during the Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, January 21-22, 2011.
With just 90 days of preparation, Extreme Mustang Makeover adult participants could choose to compete in the Legends division with more challenging courses or the Idols division depending on their Mustangs level of confidence.
Reddick, Florida, resident Joe Williams and his Mustang Ranchero took top honors in the Idols division. Ranchero is a 3-year-old red roan gelding from Nevada. The judges rewarded the team with 114 points for their free-style performance. Williams earned $2,000 and a custom Gist Silversmiths belt buckle for the victory.
All the Mustangs competing at the Eastern Extreme Mustang Makeover were place up for adoption on Sunday, October 24.
The Mustang Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management 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 the opportunity to adopt one of these treasured animals. For more information on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program visit http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
Since the inception of the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has placed nearly 2,000 Mustangs, and an estimated 100,000 fans have filled the stands and walked the barns of events held across the United States. The 2011 schedule begins with Mustang Magic in Fort Worth, Texas, January 21-22. For more information on Extreme Mustang Makeover events or the Mustang Heritage Foundation, visit http://www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.