Wyoming trainer sees continued success with a big win at Fort Worth’s Mustang Magic contest
Fort Worth, Texas – During the Fort Worth Stock Show, held Jan. 17 through Feb. 8 at the Will Rogers Coliseum, Wyoming horse trainer Arianne Hagwood took home a first place win in the Mustang Magic event.
“The Mustang Magic is put on each year by the Mustang Heritage Foundation,” says Hagwood. “It is an invitation-only event where 25 trainers were invited.”
This year, 19 contestants showed during the event.
After being selected, Hagwood explains that previously unhandled mares are distributed to trainers by a random computer draw. The trainers are given 120 days to prepare the five- to six-year-old mares for competition.
“I was assigned a six-year-old strawberry roan,” says Hagwood, noting that the mare was gathered from the Beatys Butte, Ore. Herd management area. “I picked her up on our way back from the Mustang Million toward the end of September.”
Hagwood’s husband Tom won the Mustang Million earlier this year.
She began the process of training the mare, naming her Amy with plans to perform to Pure Prairie League’s hit song “Amie” during the freestyle final performance of the competition, providing they advanced to the top 10.
“After two days and four classes of preliminary competition, Amy and I were in the top 10, leading the competition by nine points,” Hagwood says.
The first four classes included mustang maneuvers, handling and condition, compulsory and an obstacle course.
The final event also consists of two portions – the compulsory class and a freestyle event.
“The competitor’s compulsory class carries forward into the finals and counts as 40 percent of the overall score,” she explains. “Basically, the class is a reining pattern where trainers are given 90 seconds to perform 10 maneuvers.”
The remaining 60 percent of the score comes from the freestyle finals. Of that, 30 percent is dedicated toward horsemanship, and 30 percent is awarded for artistic interpretation.
“Our freestyle run included some two-tracking at a trot, stops and turn-arounds before we called for and roped a yearling,” Hagwood says. “We won the finals by nine points overall.”
Hagwood was presented a check for $3,500, a buckle, a handmade saddle blanket and ribbon for the win.
Following the contest, each horse is auctioned to the highest bidder. After deducting a $200 adoption fee, which goes to the BLM, the trainer keeps half of the value of the horse.
“Amy was also the second-high selling horse at $3,500,” she adds.
“It was incredible for us to go back and win the very next Mustang Heritage Foundation competition after Tom and his horse Merv won the Mustang Million in September,” Hagwood comments. “It’s a great feeling.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.