CSU Equine Sciences alumna Cayla Stone will head to Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 14-16 for the 2017 Player’s Choice Extreme Mustang Makeover, to compete for $100,000 in prize money.
Trainers selected to compete in the Makeover get 100 days to train an untouched mustang, and the horse performs a variety of skills throughout the competition. The top 10 perform a musical freestyle to determine the winner. At the conclusion of the competition, all mustangs are available at auction to approved bidders.
Eyeing the Top 10
This will be Stone’s fourth Mustang Makeover. Her latest horse, Leda, is a 6-year-old mustang mare originally rounded up from the wild in Utah. Stone, who graduated from CSU in 2010, has high hopes for Leda going into Fort Worth, where the prize money is bigger and the competition tougher than in Colorado. Stone hopes to beat her two previous Top 10 finishes in 2015 and 2016 at Colorado Makeovers, all while finding Leda her perfect “forever home” and advancing the awareness of the American mustang.
Almost 50,000 mustangs live in the Bureau of Land Management’s off-range holding facilities around the United States. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions in 2007 to increase awareness and adoptions of these horses. Since the launch in 2007, more than 7,500 Mustangs have been adopted through the Foundation.
Beyond the Competitions
When she is not competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Stone operates a training program in Fort Collins at Poudre River Stables. She specializes in the Eventing and Jumpers categories. She purchased both her 2015 and 2016 Makeover horses, and entered both as eventers in the Colorado competitions.
When they are not competing, both mares are favorites of students in her ever-growing lesson program. Stone maintains a bustling schedule training and finding adopters for several other mustangs each year, training mustangs for adopters who’ve found her through the competitions, and teaching students of all skill levels, whether they are a current or potential future mustang lover. She still owns her first horse, Magic, an off-the-track thoroughbred who launched her love of horses and the “tough cases.”