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MEEKER | Calling all horse trainers: Rio Blanco County announces an exciting new event scheduled during its internationally renowned Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials, a Meeker Mustang Makeover. Designed to showcase the horses of the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area and the training ability of regional horse trainers, both professional and amateur, the event in its first year, will pit six trainers against each other, each with a hair-raising 100 days to start a wild Mustang. With a full crowd in Meeker for the Sheepdog Trials, trainers will have a unique opportunity to show what they can do on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Rio Blanco County/Meeker Fairgrounds.
With $4,000 in cash prizes for winning trainers, participants may also be entitled to a portion of the money their horse sells for when horses are auctioned off at the end of the program.
Interested trainers should immediately contact horse professional and trainer Billy Goedert of Meeker, who will chair the selection committee to pick the six trainers from those who apply for the competition. The final date for application is May 20. Trainers will pick up their horses on June 1 at the BLM office in Meeker, Colorado, and show their mustang magic on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Rio Blanco County Meeker Fairgrounds. Trainers who qualify for the BLM Adoption Incentive Program will receive a $500 stipend from the BLM after the first 60 days of training.
The program is designed to help ready mustangs for adoption and use, while educating the public about the mustang population in northwest Colorado, and the Piceance-East Douglas HMA herds. Horses are all 2 and 3 years old, a prime age for training.
Awards will be given to the top three participants selected by a regional panel of three judges.
The competition will include a set course for each participant and a freestyle segment as well.
“This is a great opportunity for someone with horse savvy and knowledge to showcase their abilities,” said selection committee chair Billy Goedert.
Maym Cunningham, Director of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials said, “We are excited to include this unique, new educational and ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ competition as part of our event.”
Tracy Scott, Piceance Mustangs President said, “We are thrilled with this opportunity to showcase the trainability of these iconic American creatures, while educating the crowd about the unique challenges they face.”
Individuals interested in being trainers should contact Billy Goedert at 970-629-5848 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.