(DOSWELL, April 8, 2015)—After Nate Eicher of Reinholds, Pa., was named winner of this year’s Extreme Mustang Makeover challenge at the Virginia Horse Festival, 24 of the 25 participating mustangs were adopted by the public.
Makeover competitors took home wild mustangs in the fall of 2014 and had about 130 days to turn them from wild to mild. The trainers competed during the horse festival, which was held March 27-29 at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. Finals were held March 28. Eicher’s horse was Doc Holiday, a bay gelding from Oklahoma.
Doc Holiday was one of the trained mustangs auctioned to the public to help support the Mustang Heritage Foundation, which aims to facilitate successful adoptions for America’s excess mustangs and burros.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the mustang makeover,” said Glenn Martin, director of livestock and equine events for The Meadow Event Park. “Not only were homes found for these representatives of American history, but the competition provided top-notch entertainment for those visiting the horse festival. Despite frigid temperatures, the stands were full.”
In addition to the mustang adoption, another celebration took place during the horse festival. Visitors marked the March 30 birthday of Thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat, who was born on the property. Throughout the weekend Secretariat’s former exercise rider, Charlie Davis, and Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of owner Penny Chenery, signed autographs, led historical tram tours and mingled with visitors to the festival.
It also was a notable weekend because the week before the festival the Virginia Department of Historic Resources added The Meadow to its Virginia Landmarks Register.
More than 6,500 visitors came to the inaugural horse festival, which was created to celebrate all disciplines and breeds of Virginia horses. More than 80 clinics, demonstrations and seminars were held during the event, and more than 40 people completed a new horse owner certification course offered on site.
“We want the horse festival to offer something for everyone—experienced horse owners to prospective horse owners, and everyone in between,” Martin said. “We feel that the festival offered all of that and more. We can’t wait until next year’s event.”
The second Virginia Horse Festival will be held April 1-3, 2016.
Media: Contact Kathy Dixon, VHF media representative, at 804-290-1137.