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Day of the Mustang

Lake Oswego Hunt hosts an all-day expo and evening show to bring attention to the wild horses

SUBMITTED PHOTO: SARAH WATERS - Tim O'Crowley, a cowboy from eastern Oregon, gets his rope ready for the Kiwi Cowboy Challenge on Saturday at Lake Oswego Hunt. O'Crowley rode a Kiger mustang that had been out of the wild for only a year.Cowboys, horses and the people who love them all had a “wild” time at the Kiger Expo & Mustang Madness event at Lake Oswego Hunt over the weekend.

“It seems like a lot of folks learned about mustangs and were excited to see the horses and their riders working out problems during both competitions,” says Stacey Harnew-Swanson, who organized and directed the exhibition.

The event, which drew an estimated 400 people, featured many entertaining highlights. Tim O’Crowley of Steens Mountain Guest Ranch, a real cowboy from eastern Oregon, displayed some quick thinking in the Kiwi Cowboy Challenge. Riding a Kiger mustang only a year out of the wild and totally unused to spurs, O’Crowley pulled off his boots and rode the bareback horse across the finish line. “Everyone was laughing,” says Harnew-Swanson, who owns the Wild Horse Mountain Ranch in Sherwood.

In the Mustang Colt Starting Competition,expert trainers Emily Weibel of New Zealand and Jonath Robles of the U.S. finished in a draw. Their expertise drew gasps of appreciation from the crowd.

Katie Marten, just 18 years old, provided excitement by riding her horse Biskit to victory in the Kiwi Cowboy Challenge. Her effort included carrying a flag, galloping through a pond and riding bareback. Her reward: a large silver buckle donated by Silver King.

For more about the event or to learn about Harnew-Swanson's efforts to protect wild horses, go to www.mustangcenter.org.