Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

December 31, 2013

Local cowboy falls short in television mustang competition

By CLINT FOSTER

The results are in. When the season finale of Mustang Millionaire aired on Nat Geo WILD over the weekend, a champion was crowned and Mineral Wells’ own Travis Dittmer fell just short of the top 20 and a shot at the $1 million prize at the Mustang Million competition in Fort Worth.

Mustang Millionaire followed five cowboys and cowgirls as they bought completely wild mustangs at auction and transformed them into fully-tamed, trusting stunt horses in just four short months. Dittmer was among three road-tested Texan cowboys who starred in the shows first season, culminating in the largest-ever prize in one of the biggest annual mustang-training competitions in the world.

A seasoned, well-respected horse trainer and veteran of mustang competitions since 2008, Dittmer was chosen from a list of 40 names from the Mustang Heritage Foundation to star in the show’s inaugural season, thanks in large part to his infectious personality. The lifelong cowboy – who was sponsored by Walden Farm and Ranch Supply in Mineral Wells – finished 21st out of 200 entries, barely missing the final freestyle competition at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth.

Despite it being the first time for Dittmer to ever not qualify for the finals, he told the Index he was not too upset saying he takes failure “pretty well.”

“I wasn’t that disappointed,” he said. “I showed three horses and it was way too much. I was so exhausted. I wasn’t all torn up about it. I was just glad I could actually go to sleep that night.”

Tom Hagwood, who was not featured on the show, took the grand prize in an emotional finish, while Dittmer’s co-star and 2012 champion Bobby Kerr of Hico took second and third place for a total of over $175,000 in much-needed prize money.

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