Craig trainer set for Meeker Mustang Makeover competition |

Craig trainer set for Meeker Mustang Makeover competition

Steamboat native Cosette McLaughlin hands off wild mustang Finnegan to its new owner Madison Ostrowski during the auction for the Meeker Mustang Makeover.
Craig Daily Press archive

One trainer from Moffat County, Samantha Papalimu, will compete in this year’s Meeker Mustang Makeover. 

Papalimu, a 33-year-old trainer from Craig, and 20 other trainers will show the progress they have made with their wild American Mustangs during the event. 

Anticipation rises as the day approaches for trainers to show progress they have made during their Mustang Makeover training journey. 

The mission of the Meeker Mustang Makeover is to create awareness of the wild horse population issues by establishing an event that shows the value of the breed as well as give wild horses pulled from the BLM a second chance at a purposeful life. 

To set the scene for Saturday, Aug. 27, during the Meeker Mustang Makeover. The sun will warm the dirt in the arena as mustangs wait to compete with the trainers that have helped them make incredible strides. 

Spectators, trainers, and mustangs will fill the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds in Meeker to enjoy food, vendors, and watch the 2022 Meeker Mustang Makeover trainings compete for prize money and scholarships. 

Each trainer has given time, dedication, and passion into starting these wild horses. After 120 days of training, the trainers will compete to show the skills and value of the mustangs. 

The Meeker community will host the Mustang Makeover event to celebrate the work the trainers have done. People from all over the region and state are invited to watch trainers and mustangs compete. 

Anyone who wants to meet the 2022 trainers before the event are invited to the Mustang Mingle on Friday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds. This will be a chance to talk to the trainers and admire the mustangs while enjoying food, music, and dancing. 

On the day of the event, all 20 trainers chosen will compete in various categories. The event schedule is subject to change.  

Meeker Mustang Makeover schedule

Saturday, Aug. 26

9 a.m. — 10:15 a.m. – Event 1: Yearlings in-hand obstacle & handling

10:15 a.m. — 1 p.m. – Event 2-4: Under saddle mustangs, arena competition, saddling and rail work, obstacle course/cow work

1 p.m. — 3 p.m. – Break (vendors and food available for purchases)

3 p.m. – Opening ceremonies

3:15 p.m. – Youth freestyle

4:45 p.m. – Under saddle freestyle

6:15 p.m. — 7:15 p.m. – Awards presentation

7 p.m. – Auction begins

There will be a $5 admission fee for everyone who wants to attend and youth ages 12 and under get free admission. There will be food, beverage and craft vendors with other purchases available.

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