Local Competitors Ready For Extreme Mustang Makeover Finale

Gary Poe, Maryanna Poe on Aragon’s Onyx, Chloe Fiegen and Charlie James. Photo by Denise Fleischman

The finale of one of the biggest Mustang competitions in the country, the Extreme Mustang Makeover, is taking place on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 in Ocala, and two local competitors from central Palm Beach County will be part of the competition.

After an approval process by the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management, participants were selected to train a wild, unhandled horse in 100 days. All the horses were geldings this year.

Maryanna Poe, 22, is the youngest adult participant. She was born and raised in The Acreage. Horses have always been her passion, and she has a special gift with them. Broken Spurs Horsemanship, which Poe operates, specializes in trick training, behavior problems and building a horse’s confidence.

For the competition, Poe has been working with a Mustang named Aragon’s Onyx. Training has been at Jesse James Ranch in The Acreage.

Competing in the youth competition is 17-year-old Erica Savino, a student at Seminole Ridge High School. A rider since age two, she has worked and volunteered at barns since she was 12 years old. She has her own gentle horse training business, EK Horsemanship, where she focuses on a solid foundation and building a horse’s trust.

Savino has been working with a Mustang named Mr. Steel Your Girl, aka “Steel,” who is set to be adopted by a local family who does drill team work after the competition. She has worked with several other Mustangs previously.

The purpose of the competition, which will take place at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala, is to highlight the usefulness of the Mustang breed and prevent them from ending up in kill pens or slaughterhouses. They are an incredibly smart breed that is easily adaptable to any form of riding or working. Mustangs that compete with the adults will be auctioned off live and online during the event. The participant can also bid on the mustang they trained.

Learn more about the Extreme Mustang Makeover at https://mustangheritagefoundation.org/extreme.