Turning Wild Horses Into Gentle Beasts Means Big Money
While it is wonderful that the intelligence, strength and abilities of the American Mustang will be on display to a much wider audience, a huge concern is what methods will be used to train them. Monitoring the training of each mustang throughout the competition to ensure there will be no abuse would be a monumental task. ~ HfH
From: ABC News
By: Juju Chang, Michael Cappetta and Lauren Effron
A wild mustang trainer from Texas, a former champion in one of the most competitive horse events in the country, faced a new challenge this year.
He had to train his daughter on how to tame and prepare a wild horse for Texas’ Mustang Million competition in just 120 days, all for a chance at winning hundreds of thousands of dollars to help their family.
The Mustang Million is annual event that awards $1 million in total prize money to trainers who can prove they are the best at breaking wild mustangs into trusting partners. Trainers from across the United States flock to Fort Worth, Texas each year for the competition. They are given just four months to tame wild mustangs and perform a stunt with their horse to demonstrate that the once wild animal listens and trusts them.
But there are more than bragging rights on the line. What is really at stake is the future of the legendary wild horses, icons of the American West.
The competition is designed to encourage people to adopt the wild horses. These horses are federally protected, but to prevent overpopulation, the federal government rounds up thousands, puts them in captivity and then tries to place the horses in private homes. According to the Bureau of Land Management, about 33,700 wild horses live on federally managed rangeland across 10 western states.
For this year’s Mustang Million, 190 cowboys and cowgirls gathered at the Will Rogers arena in September to compete. The bidding wars, the injuries and the stunts will be featured in a three-part miniseries, “Mustang Millionaire,” which premieres Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET on Nat Geo WILD and was produced by ABC News’ sister company, Sixty Six Media.