Ever dreamed of being a mustang horse trainer?

Meeker Mustang Makeover seeks trainers for 2021 event

MEEKER | The third annual Meeker Mustang Makeover is on the hunt for horse trainers!

Leah Wood, 11, has competed each of the last two years on a saddle horse, and won first prize with her sister Dena the first year. | COURTESY PHOTO

Last year, 15 trainers from across the state picked up their horses on a dusty afternoon, and 100 days later, performed and competed to show off the contrast from a horse that had never been touched to one that could move cows, handle an obstacle course, and show off its paces in front of a crowd at the Meeker Rodeo Fairgrounds. All horses sold at the end with trainers receiving 50% of the proceeds of their horse, in addition to taking home prize money, scholarship funds, and BLM incentive money.

For 2021, trainers will have 120 days to gentle their unbroken and untouched horse for a unique competition, followed by an online and live auction of all the horses to their forever homes. Last year’s auction, handled by Longhorn Video Auctions, attracted 22,000 views on the website. The event will be livestreamed for those who want to attend virtually, by LevelHead Audio and the Rio Blanco Herald Times.

Last year the Allred family all participated, each with their own mustang: Wade and Rylee Allred shown, also Colt Allred (not pictured.) | COURTESY PHOTO

Tickets for the Meeker Mustang Makeover at the gate will be $5, with children 12 and under free. The event runs all day Saturday, and visitors to Rio Blanco County can then spend the weekend enjoying some of the best trout fishing in the state on the White River, view the unparalleled Trappers Lake, and take in the sights and history of Colorado’s most undiscovered and remote wilderness such as the White River Museum with the story of the Meeker Massacre and remarkable Ute Indian artifacts. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding is just a few miles up the Blue Flower Scenic Trail on Route 8 to take the adventurous into the White River State Park.

Using mustangs from the region, the event includes both 1-year-old and 3-year-old horses, being trained by all ages from 10 and up.

Added to the Youth/Yearling In Hand Event will be an event for Over 60 horse lovers with yearlings in halter as well. Both groups will have to satisfy the requirements of handling an obstacle course for their wild horse yearlings while they perform a creative freestyle performance that they devise.

Following the competition, horses will be auctioned off to the crowd. The payoff for trainers is big: There will be $10,000 in prize/scholarship money and trainers will also receive 50% of the proceeds of their horse’s sale, in addition to the BLM Adoption Incentive Program money of $500 after two months and an additional $500 if they adopt the horse at the end of the year.

The final date applications will be accepted is April 1. Applications are available at meekermustangmakeover.org. Trainers will pick up their horses on May 1 at the Rodeo Fairgrounds in Meeker, Colorado, and show their mustang magic on Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Rio Blanco County Meeker Fairgrounds.

Interested trainers will find the application online at meekermustangmakeover.org

Questions, email Robyn Blackwood Kelley at RobynBlackwood71@gmail.com

Special to The Herald Times

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