The following is an article I wrote for Examiner.com, Equestrian in Austin, column. Have any of you seen one of these competitions? This one in January will be my first to watch and I’m really looking forward to it. I started a couple of mustangs for two clients back in the ’80’s. They both taught me a lot but one of them so much more. Some horse people look down on mustangs as inferior but why? Maybe they aren’t appropriate for every discipline but a Hanoverian isn’t appropriate as a roping horse. I think it’s a great way to preserve a bit of American history. Don’t miss it if you don’t have to. Maybe I’ll see you there?
The American Mustang gained a new following after Viggo Mortensen rode “Hidalgo” across the sands of Saudi Arabia. There are more than 30,000 mustangs in the Bureau of Land Management adoption program.
This year the Southwestern Livestock Show and Rodeo in Ft. Worth will host twenty-five mustangs with the trainers in the invitational Mustang Magic on January 21-22. Adoption of the newly trained mustangs takes place after the competition.
On Friday, January 21st at the John Justin Arena, Round 1 begins at 2:00 PM and Round 2 at 6:00 PM.
The top mustang trainers from around the United States are in competition at this event with seven trainers from the local Texas towns of Electra, Fairview, Boyd, Hamilton, Marfa, Gainesville and Ft. Worth.
The mustang’s trainers have had a little more than 100 days to teach their mustang the basics for a broke horse. Moving easily at a walk, trot, canter, stopping, backing and maneuvering through trail obstacles are some of those basic skills.
Day two, January 22nd, will showcase the finals and the freestyle event. Last year, Tennessee Thunder, a five year old mustang trained by Chase Dodd, stood while his trainer jumped from a trampoline onto his back and stuffed a basketball into a hoop while the crowd cheered.
There will be many one of a kind experiences at this competition and each year the seats are taken fast so come early.
Admission is free with a paid ticket to the livestock grounds.