The Mustang Heritage Foundation is excited to announce the return of the Mustang Magic Celebrity Freestyle to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, January 21-22, 2022.
The best trainers and entertainers will return to showcase the talents of their mustangs through a freestyle routine and compete for $50,000 in cash and prizes on Saturday night, January 22.
In an exciting twist, Friday night, January 21, MHF will host a showdown of Mustang Magic Rising Star trainers vying for a chance to compete against the Celebrities on Saturday night.
Along with this one-of-a-kind competition, the weekend will also feature mustang demonstrations that showcase the versatility and trainability of the American mustang.
Tickets for the Celebrity Freestyle and Rising Stars events are available to purchase through the Fort Worth Stock Show. Evening tickets are expected to sell out, so reserve your tickets as soon as possible!
Mustang magic Rising Stars
Isidro Espinoza has been riding and training horses, mules, and burros for more than 30 years. He grew up on a large ranch in Durango, Mexico, where he learned his family’s horse and mule gentling skills. Isidro trains fulltime on his ranch in northeast Arizona, specializing in colt-starting, mustangs, and endurance racing. He is a nine-time Extreme Mustang Makeover competitor with multiple top ten finishes, including the 2021 Kentucky Extreme Mustang Makeover Reserve Championship.
Jeff Cook’s life has always revolved around horses. His bond with horses and natural talent as a horseman led him to showing paints and quarter horses. He watched his first Extreme Mustang Makeover seven years ago, and it was in his blood and heart to give it a try. He now has competed in eight Extreme Mustang Makeovers and finished in the top ten six times, including winning the 2021 Oklahoma Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Luke Castro is a 29-year-old trainer from Norco, California. He has been training and working with problem horses as well as rescuing and rehabilitating horses for nearly six years. Luke credits the American mustang with changing his life and teaching him so much. He has been competing in Extreme Mustang Makeover since 2015 and has been a top five finalist five times, as well as a fan favorite. He was also the 2019 Mustang Magic Champion.
Matt Zimmerman was raised on a cattle ranch in central Nevada, where he encountered mustangs on a regular basis. In 2006, he found his true passion and started his horse training. Matt has competed in 21 Extreme Mustang Makeovers, receiving four champion titles and two reserve championships. Matt and his wife, Stacie, have hosted the Mustang Mania TIP Challenge since 2017 and helped place more than 400 mustangs into private care. They also operate a storefront in conjunction with the Mustang Heritage Foundation and continue to find forever homes for these iconic mustangs.
Emma Minteer has competed in several Extreme Mustang Makeovers, finishing with a champion title, a reserve title, and multiple top tens. Emma and her husband, Jack, own and operate Rose Hill Ranch in upstate NY. They work with horses of all disciplines, including reined cow horses, hunters, colts, difficult horses, and more. Emma is a strong advocate for mustangs, competing with them in reined cow horse events and qualifying one of her adopted mustangs for the 2017 NRCHA World Show.
Mary Kitzmiller is a horse trainer and clinician based in Kemp, Texas. She uses her years of knowledge gleaned from working with the horse industry’s leading professionals to create outstanding performance horses. These skills led her to find success in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition, winning over $50,000 in that event. Mary has also earned the honor of being chosen for Road to the Horse’s Wild Card Competition in 2014 and 2015. It is Mary’s passion to share what she knows with the public through clinics, lessons, and demonstrations. Mary subscribes to one key element in her horsemanship, and that is simply: Follow the horse. The horse is never wrong.
Michael Hurst is a horseman from Philippi, West Virginia. Mike is a clinician, starts colts of all breeds for the public, and works with problem horses. He considers himself a student of the horse and is a proud United States Army Veteran. He believes the American mustang is one of the greatest gifts we have because of their versatility and honesty.
Jonathan “J-Dub” Weisinger
Jonathan “J-DUB” Weisiger is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He has personally trained over 100 American mustangs and has competed in Extreme Mustang Makeover events since the competition’s inaugural event in 2007. Featured as the wild, charismatic mustang wrangler on the television show “Mustang Millionaire,” J-DUB has been able to meet and help hundreds of individuals, connect, train, and compete with American mustangs. According to J-DUB, breaking wild mustangs is tough, challenging, and a ton of fun! Lots of folks can train horses, but it takes a little something extra to train a mustang.
Mustang magic Celebrities
|Jesus “Chewy” Jauregui|
Jesus Jauregui grew up surrounded by horses from a very young age. This led to a passion for horses and horse training. Jesus has competed in many mustang events, including several Extreme Mustang Makeovers.
Katie Ketterhagen has been training and showing horses since her early teens. She fell in love with the mustang after competing in her first Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2012. She has since placed in the Top Ten eight times, including winning champion and fan favorite at the 2016 Fort Worth event. Katie is a full-time horse trainer with her fiancé, Craig Moore. Together, they start colts and fix problems in all breeds and disciplines but take pride in training mustangs.
Nate Eicher is a four-time Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion and Reserve Champion. He has shown in reining, cutting, roping, and obstacle challenges. He specializes in putting a solid foundation on horses at his ranch in Texas. Nate has also judged numerous events, including Extreme Mustang Makeovers, ranch horse shows, the Las Vegas and Texas TIP challenges, and various open shows.
A professional trainer and three-day eventing competitor, Elisa has been riding horses since age two. By the time she was eight years old, she had trained her first horse. In 2012, Elisa attended and won her first Extreme Mustang Makeover with her mustang, Fledge. Elisa now has five personal mustangs: Fledge and Rune her main demo mustangs; Hwin, who is immortalized as a Breyer and has competed up to preliminary eventing; and Eton and Wyeth who are talents she is bringing along in eventing. Elisa’s ultimate goal is to show how amazing mustangs are by competing at the upper levels and the world stage of eventing.
Marsha Sapp is a professional horse trainer and competitive rider residing in Tallahassee, Florida. She is the owner and head trainer at Southern Oaks Equestrian Center, where she also coaches the Florida State University Equestrian team. Marsha is a nationally recognized trainer and clinician, a multiple top five finalist in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, a finalist in the American Horsewoman’s Challenge, a USDF Silver Medalist, and a three-time world champion in western dressage. Her mustang, Cobra, has been honored as 2018 USEF National Horse of the Year, has been inducted into the USEF & Equus Foundation Hall of Fame, and has been honored as a Breyer Horse.
Born in Queensland, Australia, Dan James’ lifelong passion for horses began when he was just six weeks old. Dan has studied with and learned from the best. He has spent his entire career wowing audiences, pushing the bounds of equine entertainment, competing on an international stage, and educating horsemen and women around the world. From winning the “Way of the Horse” at the 2008 Equitana Asia Pacific to winning the 2012 Road to the Horse to winning the Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle Reining in 2014 to representing Australia in the 2018 World Equestrian Games to competing in the 2019 Run for a Million Invitation Freestyle, Dan continues to wow judges, fans, and audiences alike with his incredible training techniques, elite showmanship, and unique understanding of how horses learn.
Madison Shambaugh, also known as “Mustang Maddy,” is an advocate for America’s wild horses and a three-time Extreme Mustang Makeover Freestyle Champion. Her work has been featured in Horse & Rider Magazine, Cowgirl Magazine, Animal Planet, and O-Magazine. In 2020, she was recognized for her efforts in the western industry with Cowgirl Magazine’s Top 30 under 30 award. Mustang Maddy is the founder of the Horse-Human Connection Academy, where she now teaches compassionate horse owners how to connect with their horses using force-free methods. Wherever she goes, Maddy’s message rings true: every horse has a potential for greatness; it is up to us to help them reveal it.