Expect the unexpected; that’s the Road to the Horse motto fans have grown to love. It’s what drives them to buy tickets before the first competitor is even announced. Each year their wildest imagination about what to expect is blown away by the unimaginable. 2018 will not disappoint. Never has there been competitors from four different countries. Never has every competitor held one previous World Championship of Colt Starting title and never has anyone dared to pit a liberty trainer, reining trainer, reined cow horse trainer and an international show jumper against each other but Road to the Horse mastermind Tootie Bland, didn’t th ink twice.
Dowers joins the star-studded lineup which includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson, gifted Australian horseman Dan James, and Canadian reining horse sensation, Jim Anderson.
As Road to the Horse 2016 World Champion Nick Dowers completes the lineup, fans wait patiently, counting the days to the most anticipated Road to the Horse event yet. Like admirers standing on the Mezzanine waiting for the magic to unfold, in the quiet before the storm.
“Not only does each competitor carry with them their own hopes and dreams, they’re ambassadors” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Ambassadors for their country, their gender, their discipline, their talent, their training program but most of all for the horse. We’ll be writing history as we celebrate our fifteenth anniversary!”
While many things set Nick Dowers apart from his peers, his unique training philosophy clearly tops the list. Humble beginnings in Nevada’s Fish Lake Valley taught the 33-year- old cowboy that hard work, patience and perseverance were the tools for success. Dowers began riding at a young age, using horses on his family’s Triple D Ranches in the Great Basin. This background instilled in him a sincere appreciation for the horse as his partner, as well as a belief that work outside of the arena is crucial. After studying under well-respected horsemen and women, Dowers pulled the best from each to develop his own training theories. Equipped with the knowledge he gleaned from mentors like Bryan Neubert, Joe Wolter, Andrea Fappani and Annie Reynolds, Dowers set out to establish a program with a balance of natural horsemanship and performance horse training techniques. His end goal is to build a partnership with each horse that results in a balanced and confident athlete. Winning is not everything – the more important measurement of success is the journey Dowers takes to unlocking each horse’s maximum potential.
Dowers took the cow horse world by storm in October 2013 when he piloted Time For The Diamond to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open World Championship, but the paycheck that accompanied the win was far from the most valuable result of that success. With the performance horse industry’s attention, Dowers could prove to his fellow horsemen that taking one’s time and getting into a horse’s mind could still yield a champion in the show pen.
TIME FOR THE DIAMOND is the perfect example of a Nick Dowers graduate – he has carried Dowers pack hunting, helped with ranch tasks and dominated in the performance arena, where the stallion is still adding to his nearly $150,000 in lifetime earnings. Longevity is just one of the many positive results that come out of Dowers’ program, which emphasizes compassion and patience from starting a colt throughout that horse’s career. It truly is the best of both worlds.
In 2016, Dowers captured his first ever Road to the Horse World Championship of Colt Starting, riding the 6666 Ranch gelding SEVEN ATTRACTION, a reined cow horse trainer who was unknown to most Road to the Horse fans, became a household name. Learn more about Nick Dowers at www.NickDowers.com.
Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email email@example.com.
It wasn’t until I was handed the assignment to write the details of the release of our next competitor, did the magnitude of Road to the Horse 2018 really hit me. What other competition in the world pits an international show jumper against a reining horse trainer and a liberty performer? How do I explain that? I like to think I know almost everything about Road to the Horse, but even I don’t know what is about to happen next.
With the announcement of talented Canadian reining horse trainer Jim Anderson, Road to the Horse 2018 is shaping up to be an unprecedented worldwide showdown. Anderson joins the star-studded line-up which includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson and gifted Australian horseman, Dan James.
As each competitor steps onto Road to the Horse dirt, they won’t just be representing their own talent, they’ll have the weight of their entire country resting on their shoulders. As the fifteenth anniversary of Road to the Horse is sculptured into an international clash of past World Champions, there’s no doubt it will be one of the most anticipated Road to the Horse events yet.
“These competitors are as talented and unique as they come! All from different cultures, all from different disciplines and the only thing they have in common, is they’re all battling for their second World Championship of Colt Starting title” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer, Tootie Bland. “It’s the perfect equation. They’re patriots now, and each competitor carries with them the heart and soul of a nation.”
Cinderella, Cinderella. Ask any Road to the Horse fan who our Cinderella is and they’ll tell you, it’s Jim Anderson. Anderson is a Road to the Horse warrior. Not only did he have to battle six of the country’s best clinicians in the first ever Road to the Horse 2014 Wild Card Competition, he didn’t even have time to celebrate his win. His win put him directly into the Road to the Horse 2014 round pen, where he fearlessly captured the overall event title.
“A big part of what makes this event so special is having the fans share those incredible moments of connection, when we’re able to gain our horse’s trust and confidence” testifies Jim Anderson. “I believe Road to the Horse has provided a venue that promotes natural horsemanship in its best form and I hope that we (the competitors), leave our fans inspired to do great things.”
Born with a rope in his hand and spurs on his boots, Jim has spent his entire life with horses. Growing up in southern Alberta, Canada, on the family ranch, his parents ensured that he was exposed to good horsemanship from a very early age. He took clinics with Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt and upon finishing high school at age eighteen, spent a winter working with Bryan Neubert.
Jim has won over $130,000.00 in NRHA events and has LTE in excess of $200,000.00 He won both the 2000 European Cow Horse Futurity and Derby Championship as well as the 2000 Italian Reining Derby while working in Europe. After returning home, Jim became a three-time Canadian Supreme Reining Futurity Champion, in addition to bringing home buckles and bronzes from a multitude of other reining and cow events.
In 2011, Jim marked the first of three consecutive Calgary Stampede ‘Cowboy Up Challenge’ titles, with a Reserve Championship title and then Championship wins in 2012 and 2013. After another win at the Extreme Cowboy Association 2012 World Championship in Texas, Jim then applied and was selected as a Wild Card competitor for Road to the Horse 2014 by Tootie Bland.
Jim and his wife Andrea (who also trains, competes, and travels for clinics) live at Star Bar Ranch in Alberta, Canada, with their nine horses, two border collies and a small herd of sheep. Together, they’ve developed their Higher Horsemanship Program and share it with people all over the world, traveling for clinics, demonstrations and expos, as well as offering online coaching. Learn more about Jim Anderson at www.HigherHorsemanship.com.