2009 ends with more fans and adoptions than ever before
The Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) closed 2009 with numbers exceeding all expectations, indicating the American public’s strong affinity for the cause of wild horse adoption.
With more than 1,700 horses adopted through the Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) and the Foundation’s Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) since 2007, Executive Director Patti Colbert says the program is the “real deal.”
“The Mustang Heritage Foundation is proud to have accomplished its 2009 goal of close to 1,000 wild horse adoptions in these challenging economic times,” she said. “Our supporters and sponsors have impacted the lives of wild horses and the incredible horse trainers that gentle them and help get them adopted.”
Supported in 2009 by corporate partners Pfizer Animal Health (formerly Fort Dodge), Western Horseman, Martin Saddlery, Smith Brothers, Daily 72, Roper Apparel, Vetericyn and Equestrian Singles, the Foundation was also strongly partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in placing adoptive horses housed in holding facilities. Ten 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover events were produced in eight states and included 30 unique days of competition and nine adoption auctions seen by more than 50,000 spectators and equine enthusiasts in the past year. In 2010, added support is coming from Gist Silversmiths and Wheaties FuelTM.
The Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) placed more than 500 Mustangs with adopters through talented horse trainers who pick up wild horses, find adopters and receive $700 per horse in financial incentive. These dollars go directly back into the equine expenditures as an economic stimulus to the industry.
“The Mustangs in our program are older, solid-colored horses typically more challenging to get adopted, because the public is attracted to younger horses with color,” Colbert said. “Without a program for adoption, these Mustangs would probably end up in long-term holding, costing the American taxpayer approximately $10,000 for lifetime care of each horse. Therefore, the Foundation has saved taxpayers and the federal government more than $17 million dollars since 2007.”
The Foundation’s social networking sites also saw a significant increase, with the Foundation hosting a “fan raiser” in 2009, reaching its goal of 5,000 fans by December 24, and boasting more than 5,500 by year’s end. The Foundation offered prizes to its Facebook fans for their support, including the grand prize of four tickets to all 2010 Extreme Mustang Makeovers and a $500 voucher for the adoption of a Mustang, which went to Alena Soehnlen of East Sparta, Ohio.
“Thank you so much EMM for this opportunity. I had to ask if this was for real,” said Alena. “I am so honored and thrilled to be selected as the prestigious winner. I am looking forward to learning more about EMM and all it has to offer.”
In 2010, events will be hosted in Oregon, Texas, California, Tennessee, Nebraska and Colorado. In addition, a televised and online adoption of 100 Mustangs will be held through Superior Livestock’s RFD-TV Show. These mustangs will be eligible for $100,000-guaranteed competition in Fort Worth in August.
To learn more, go to extrememustangmakeover.com or call 512.869.3225.
About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover is to increase adoption of BLM-housed American Mustangs through innovative gentling competitions and awareness programs. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition.
About the Bureau of Land Management
The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.