Local Horse Trainer Selected for Extreme Mustang Makeover
Kendra Hillier from Rockport, MA has been selected to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover held August 5-6, 2016, at the Topsfield Fair Facility in Topsfield. Trainers will have approximately 100 days to gentle a randomly assigned wild horse they picked up in April and compete for an estimated purse of $20,000 in prize money as well as a custom-made Gist belt buckle.
Kendra Hillier has had a lifelong passion for horses. She grew up riding as many horses as she could in Rockport, MA, and gained much experience from riding a huge variety of horses not having the funds to purchase her own until her mid twenties. At 30, Kendra manages a horse farm on over 120 acres in Berlin, MA, she teaches horseback riding lessons at several locations to students of all ages and experience levels, and she has a few horses in training- both Dressage and Western disciplines. In addition, Kendra has been investing several hours per day with her wild mustang, Allura, who is boarded at a quiet, private stable in Lunenburg, MA. Kendra picked up her untouched mustang on April 16, 2016 in Orange, MA and the journey began. It took about a week and a half before Kendra was able to get a halter on the fearful and unsure mare, and even then, Kendra had to create a custom halter for her that she could get on without touching the horse’s most guarded area- her muzzle. About 2 months later, the little mustang mare follows Kendra everywhere. Allura nickers for treats and attention, and gently rubs her face on Kendra when she’s got an itch. The bond of trust and respect that these two have built is something very special. Recently, Kendra was able to take her wild mustang out to a Reining competition at the Big E in Springfield for a long weekend- Allura was great under Kendra’s lead, and the pair even entered the ‘sit a buck’ class, where the rider walk, trots, and canters their horse bareback, trying not to lose a dollar bill that’s placed under the rider’s leg. Kendra has fallen in love with her 6 year old mustang mare from Divide Basin, WY, and hopes to adopt her at the end of the competition.
The purpose of the competition is to showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of these rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout the West, where they are protected by the BLM under federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources. Thousands of the removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption. Over 6,200 Mustangs have been adopted through Mustang Heritage Foundation events and programs since 2007.
The Mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover challenge are mares, and the horses, which were virtually untouched prior to the April pick-up, will compete in Topsfield in August. The trainers and Mustangs will compete in a series of classes that will showcase their new skills. The horses will compete in handling and conditioning, a pattern class and a combined leading and riding class. The top-10 competitors will then compete in the freestyle finals. Tickets and event information about the Massachusetts Extreme Mustang Makeover are available at http://extrememustangmakeover.com/extreme-mustang-makeover-massachusetts/
Mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover will be available for adoption through an adoption auction on August 6. Adoption fees will be set by competitive bid. To qualify to adopt, individuals must be at least 18 with no record of animal abuse. In addition, adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. Adoption applications will be approved on site by the Bureau of Land Management during the event.
The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of sponsors Western Horseman, Ram Rodeo, Vetericyn, Martin Saddlery and Classic Equine, Resistol, and RIDE TV.
About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
The Mustang Heritage Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) public, charitable, nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating successful adoptions for America’s excess mustangs and burros.Extreme Mustang Makeovers are designed to showcase the recognized value of Mustangs through a national training competition. The Mustang Heritage Foundation is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2016 with 10 national event stops! Train, adopt or attend to show your support for the American Mustang. For more information, visit http://www.mustangheritagefoundation.org
About the Bureau of Land Management
Since 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM has successfully placed over 235,000 wild horses and burros into private care.The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 10 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands. For more information, visit blm.gov.
2016 Extreme Mustang Makeover Schedule
March 11-12 Gonzales, LA
April 22-23 Queen Creek, AZ
May 6-7 Jacksonville, FL
May 20-21 Ft. Collins, CO
June 18-19 Reno, NV
July 14-16 Sedalia, MO
July 29-30 Nampa, ID
August 5-6 Topsfield, MA
August 25-27 Virginia Horse Center
September 15-17 Fort Worth, TX