Local trainer tapped for mustang competition

This will be the fifth Extreme Mustang Makeover for Sink, 57, who has trained more than 50 BLM mustangs since 1996 and adopted more than 35 of them. He earns his livelihood as an estimator and project manager, and trains horses in his spare time.

Trainers will get 100 days to tame randomly assigned wild mustangs. They will pick up their horses later this month.

They will be competing for $10,000 and a custom-made Gist belt buckle.

The mustangs, wild, untamed and untouched prior to the April pick-up, will compete in July in a series of classes designed to display new skills. The roster includes a handling class, conditioning class, pattern class and combined leading and riding class.

The top 10 qualify for the freestyle finals.

The mustangs participating in the Extreme Mustang Makeover will be available for adoption at an auction scheduled for July 26. To qualify to adopt, individuals must be at least 18 and have no record of animal abuse.

Adoption applications will be approved on site by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages the federal government's wild mustang program.

The purpose of the competition is to shine a limelight on wild mustangs and demonstrate their trainability and versatility.

The animals run 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 animals are made available each year to the public for adoption. More than 5,000 have been adopted through the Mustang Heritage Foundation events and programs since 2007.



Years ago two of my Oregon brothers adopted a couple of mustang mares. Both of them were pregnant. It was fascinating to see how differently each mare raised its foal. The one mare, named Lady, obviously a warm blood, ran anxiously after her foal; he gave her hardly a moment's peace. The baby paid little attention to her whickering; he was carefree, frolicking heedlessly all over the place.

The other mare, Mitsy, a compact, wiry grey, kept tight reins on her colt; she required him to stay at her side, and he obeyed. We felt it was all in the breeding and that the mustang colt would have had a much better chance to survive on the open range than would Lady's colt.

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