Synopsis: Fiesta is a 4-year-old mustang from Blawn Wash Utah. She was my draw for the 2019 Mustang Magic competition in Fort Worth Texas. I was invited and selected to compete in this Extreme Mustang Makeover. This is her journey with me from pickup day until the competition.
Trainers and mustangs spend approximately 120 days working together to prepare to compete in a series of classes that will showcase their new skills. The horses will compete in handling and conditioning, a mustang maneuvers class and a trail class. The Top 10 competitors then compete Saturday night in the freestyle finals. At the conclusion of the event all horses will be available to the public by competitive bid. Horse and trainer information, photos of horses, event schedules, tickets and more can be found on the Extreme Mustang Makeover website.
Sam VanFleet works mainly with young horses especially Mustangs, PMU foals, and warmbloods. From gentling them to be quiet and soft, to their first ride undersaddle, and beyond. The hope is to give young horses a quiet calm start, be a great mustang ambassador, and educate people about PMU foals not only by speaking about them, but performing and showing what great hearts they have. By finding forever homes for these horses, more mustangs can get out of holding or more foals can be saved from having a horrible or short life ahead of them.
Sam Van Fleet, 21-years-old, began voulnteering and working with horses at a Draft Horse Rescue in late 2011. She began training horses in 2013/14- from mustangs to draft horses. After showing on the A-circuit jumpers she shifted her focus to mustangs, starting horses undersaddle, and liberty work.
Sam has competed in a few Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions:
2014 Youth Massachusetts (‘Brazil’, Horsemanship Award)
2015 Youth Massachusetts (Reserved Champion ‘Chile’)
2016 Youth Massachusetts (Champion ‘Lynx’, Horsemanship Award)
2017 Massachusetts (Top 10, 8th place ‘Malibu’, Young Gun Award)
2017 Texas In-Hand Open (Reserved Champion ‘Lynx’)
2018 Kentucky (Top 10, 6th place ‘Eevee’)
2019 Texas Mustang Magic (Invitational competition, ‘Fiesta’)
2019 Florida (Top 10, 6th place ‘Boo’, Young Gun Award)
2020 Texas Player’s Choice (12th overall ‘Roulette’, Reserved Champ Young Gun)