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We take the Road to the Horse Official Program very personally. We’ve racked up countless hours writing, creating, tweaking and editing but who counts hours when you’re following a passion? It’s both our desire to create the best program we can for our fans and our unyielding love for horse, that drives us to not only create an informative publication but one that will be cherished as a keepsake. Road to the Horse was honored to accept top honors in the Business Brand Equine-Related Publication category at the AHP Equine Media Awards on June 17th in Scottsdale, AZ.
The award-winning Road to the Horse 2016 Program was our biggest yet, encapsulating seventy-two color pages with everything a fan would love to know about Road to the Horse including pedigrees on the AQHA Remuda, Road to the Horse history, scorecards, judge’s biographies and even favorite recipes from the competitors!
Road to the Horse was also privileged to accept an additional award of an Honorable Mention in the highly-contested Business Equine-Related Single Print Advertisement category, an advertisement inspired by a stunning portrait photograph of Nadine Bailey, Tootie Bland’s mother.
“We won! Holy cow, we won!” declared Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “There have been a million ‘No, that is not quite right’ to ‘yes that’s it’ in my ‘push until you get it’ fashion to take a typically stagnant, common program that is cranked out at all events and turn it into a memorable keepsake from Road to the Horse to our fans. It is an honor to have won this AHP Award and on a personal note the portrait advertisement of my mother, Nadine Bailey, receives an Honorable Mention! It was a great day for Road to the Horse among the giants of the publishing world.”
We’re made it even easier for you to enjoy Road to the Horse action anytime, anywhere! Simply visit our YouTube Channel and enjoy Road to the Horse footage and bonus material. You’ll find snippets from past events, past entertainers plus interviews with past and current competitors. We’ll be constantly adding new footage so check back often!
View the Road to the Horse YouTube Channel here.
It’s only fitting that the current World Champion of Colt Starting returns to where it all begun! New Zealand international show jumper Vicki Wilson made the trek back to the United States after claiming her first Road to the Horse Championship in March, for two historic reasons. To prepare her recently purchased 2017 World Champion colt BOON RIVER LAD for the thirty hour flight back to her homeland of New Zealand, and to step foot on the famous 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.
After a fairytale ending at Road to the Horse 2017, Wilson vowed to continue his training, making BOON RIVER LAD the very first 6666 Ranch bred horse to call New Zealand home. Their bond was obvious at Road to the Horse and after falling in love with the courageous bay gelding she fondly called ‘Kentucky’, Wilson knew he would have a special place in their show team in New Zealand.
“Matching the world’s best clinicians with the prestigious 6666 Ranch bloodlines continues to produce talented equine celebrities” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Our Road to the Horse Alumni is just outstanding and I know ‘Kentucky’ will be a huge success under the guidance of Vicki Wilson.”
Tootie Bland accompanied Vicki Wilson on her visit to the 6666 Ranch where they toured the veterinary clinic, the broodmare remuda and watched colts under saddle in training. A highlight of the visit for Wilson was the chance to meet the dam of her 6666 Ranch colt, THREE EIGHTS BEDOUIN; a stout grey AQHA dam, who is known as the leader of the broodmare remuda.
“It’s pretty amazing here at the 6666 Ranch” expressed Vicki Wilson. “When you get here you realize how big a setup this is and how many people it takes to operate with 600-700 horses, all healthy and happy and in such amazing condition.”
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.
Road to the Horse 2017 was created in dedication of the cowgirl. “We may have started out to celebrate the cowgirl but what we created was the most inspirational and most exciting Road to the Horse fans have ever seen” stated Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland.
In the closest scoring competition in the history of the event, less than approximately 8 points per judge separated each competitor. There was no mistaking, Vicki Wilson was different but there wasn’t any doubting her horsemanship. Wilson was not only the first competitor from New Zealand, she was the first competitor from an English discipline to not only compete but to walk away with the coveted World Championship of Colt Starting title.
“This isn’t about being a cowgirl anymore, it’s all about horsemanship” stated the first lady of Road to the Horse, Stacy Westfall, as the competition moved into the final round on Day 3.
Wilson’s Road to the Horse journey was far from scripted. After dislocating her left shoulder during Round 1, many fans were unsure if she could even continue. She didn’t just continue, she shined. Wilson may have had to alter her strategy with her 6666 Ranch bred colt Boon River Lad, who she fondly named ‘Kentucky’, but she continued with the grace and grit of a champion. This cowgirl may have had a broken wing, but she certainly showed ‘Kentucky’ how to fly.
“My shoulder is sore but when you walk out there, the atmosphere, the people, everything about it, you don’t even think about it. He didn’t quit and I didn’t quit, that’s what being a cowgirl is all about. I believe our job as riders and trainers around the world is to inspire the next generation, to get kids to believe that anything is possible in this life and if we want something bad enough, you have to work hard and be prepared to sacrifice and chase those dreams” Wilson stated as she admired her Gist Silversmith Championship buckle. “Never stop chasing dreams.”
Rachelle Valentine selected the 6666 Ranch horse gelding Playin A Seven, this playful grey gelding soon became a fan favorite. Sarah Dawson selected Smart Hunt and California cutting horse trainer Kate Neubert claimed the prestigious Jack Brainard Horsemanship Award riding Sixes Captain.
It’s almost a tradition that the winner of Road to the Horse chooses to purchase their colt to continue their training, Wilson didn’t break tradition.
“Yes, ‘Kentucky’ is coming back to New Zealand. It’s a bit of a trip for him, but he deserves it. He will become a new demo and clinic pony, he loves his jumping, so that is something we will develop. He is going to be a pretty cool kid.”
Media photos are available from Road to the Horse 2017, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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* The archive footage of each days event will be made available for on demand viewing. Once each day is ready to view you will receive an email with a link to the archive page. Video will be available for viewing 10 days after receiving the email.
This is not your ordinary broadcast! In true Road to the Horse fashion we’re exploding boundaries and exploring new territory by creating a cutting-edge experience for fans. For the first time ever, James and Cameron will be on hand throughout the live broadcast with a play by play recap, as well as educating fans on the rules and format of the event. They’ll also be interviewing a host of celebrities, past Road to the Horse World Champions and special guests. Blend these two dynamic personalities in a LIVE broadcast and you’re guaranteed a production to leave you smiling!
As fans pack and get ready to flock to the Alltech Arena to witness the very first all-cowgirl World Championship of Colt Starting, at Road to the Horse 2017, Ride the Remuda Productions is busy creating a state of the art LIVE broadcast to bring the action to fans around the world. Not only will fans around the globe take front row seats to eyewitness every minute of the event, they’ll also be enjoying an exclusive colorful commentary by past Road to the Horse World Champions, Dan James and Craig Cameron when they sign in with any electronic device.
Whether you watch it on your iPad, iPhone, smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV, fans will enjoy hassle free streaming and 24/7 customer support. Fans can preregister here for the broadcast and test their computer system to be sure they’ll enjoy problem free streaming when the event kicks off. Can’t watch it LIVE? No problem. Video on demand event footage is available ten days after the completion of the event. To sign up for your exclusive electronic ticket to the action, simply .
Dan James is no stranger to Road to the Horse. The much-loved Aussie import not only wears a coveted Road to the Horse World Championship Gist Silversmith buckle from 2012, he has since returned annually to the event as a fan favorite entertainer. Craig Cameron’s megawatt smile and captivating personality is right at home at Road to the Horse. Capturing an event title in 2006, Craig has returned many times as a celebrity, host and competitor.
Bringing together the finest horsewomen from around the world, the very first Celebration of the Cowgirl at Road to the Horse 2017 is unlike any other World Championship of Colt Starting. Multiple World Champion NRCHA cowgirl and horsewoman Sarah Winters returns as a veteran competitor at Road to the Horse. Fellow competitor and newcomer to Road to the Horse, Kate Neubert comes from a strong family tradition of colt starting and has amassed over $200,000 in NCHA earnings. Hauling from Florida, Rachelle Valentine will also enter the round pen at Road to the Horse for the very first time. Her passion for developing young horses led her to a successful career in the reining horse industry. New Zealander Vicki Wilson, not only enters Road to the Horse as our very first competitor from New Zealand, but this author, TV celebrity and trainer is also the very first international show jumper to bring her helmet and jodhpurs to Road to the Horse.
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The Celebration of the Cowgirl at Road to the Horse 2017 has assembled the best of the best. Pulling the most elite equine professionals from various disciplines, together they will carefully evaluate each competitor to determine the next World Champion of Colt Starting.
The judging of Road to the Horse is based on specific colt starting criteria, while protecting the well-being of the horse. Judging considers that every horse is an individual and that there are many methods of horsemanship that are “natural” or respectful of the horse, its nature and how they learn. Judges watch and score every moment of interaction at Road to the Horse, it is not just the performance in the obstacle course that decides the next World Champion but every step and breath taken from beginning to end.
The Road to the Horse judges include Yvonne Barteau, Jack Brainard, Suzy Jeane, Dr. Jim Heird, Cody Lambert and Jeff Williams. Assisting the judges at Road to the Horse 2017 will be Judges Steward, Stormy Mullins.
Yvonne Barteau is one of this nation’s most celebrated riders and a lifelong horse trainer. She has earned her USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as her Gold, Silver and Bronze freestyle bars. Her Business KYB Dressage has trained over a dozen horses to the Grand Prix Level and over 50 to Prix St George. In 2015, her Holsteiner stallion GP Raymeister, was named Most Winning Horse in USDF history. Yvonne Barteau has published two award winning books. Her recent release The Dressage Horse Manifesto is the second of two books she has authored on horses. Ride the Right Horse, examines the impact of human and horse personalities and how they work together. Yvonne and her husband Kim are based out of Maple Park, Illinois.
Trainer, Breeder, Judge, Leader, Teacher, Author, Mentor and Friend are all accurate labels of Jack Brainard of Tioga, Texas, long known for his contributions to the equine industry and his lifelong commitment to horses and the people who enjoy them. Jack Brainard has bred and trained horses for over 54 years and judged for a variety of national horse associations for over 40 years. A true veteran judge of colt staring, Jack Brainard has never missed a year at Road to the Horse. He has judged every competitor, at every event.
Dr. Jim Heird is Executive Professor and Coordinator of the Equine Initiative and holder of the Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M University. Dr. Heird has an international reputation in the field of equine sciences. He has lectured on numerous topics both nationally and internationally. He has been a successful judging team coach, teacher, researcher and extension specialist. In 2017, Dr. Jim Heird was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
AQHA judge and Professional Horsewoman, Suzy Jeane, has broken many barriers for women striving to be successful in the horse industry. Suzy was the 2005 Professional Horsewoman of the Year, and in 2000, she was the first female president of the National Snaffle Bit Association. Suzy has also shown two Reserve Congress champions in Western Pleasure. Suzy and her husband operate Down the Rail Farm, where they stand several of the top stallions in the nation including Zips Chocolate Chip, Radical Rodder, Chips Hot Chocolate, Radical Revolution, A Sudden Vantage, and Dress Western.
Cody Lambert is a Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee and ten time National Finals Rodeo qualifier in bull riding and saddle bronc riding. Cody started his professional rodeo career in 1980 and has earned numerous titles throughout his career. Cody was a PBR Co-Founder and qualified for the first three PBR World Finals. After the 1996 PBR World Finals he retired from competition and was awarded the PBR Ring of Honor, making him one of the first recipients along with Ted Nuce, Jim Shoulders and Harry Tompkins. Cody currently serves as Vice President of The PBR Board of Directors, as well as the organization’s Livestock Director.
Jeff Williams has been starting colts for numerous long-time clients that include the Haythorn Ranch, King Ranch, Beggs Ranch, Matador Ranch, Espuela Ranch, and the Muleshoe Ranch for over 20 years. Not only does Jeff Williams have an in-depth and lifelong understanding of the elements that create a perfect foundation for a developing colt, this is a cowboy who lives every day in the saddle.
For a complete profile on each individual judge. Click here.
If you’re a Road to the Horse addict, you’ve probably already got your bags packed and your ticket in hand… if you don’t, you need to get packing! For the last two years, the ‘Road to the Horse Thursday’ has been an equestrian star-studded kick-off for all Road to the Horse fans. Road to the Horse 2017 opens like no other equestrian event in the world with personal clinics from four past World Champions, equine celebrities, working dog demonstration, a drill team championship showdown and the very first look at the real stars of the show, the AQHA 6666 Remuda. On Thursday March 23, Road to the Horse throws open the doors to a weekend of mega proportions with the Celebration of the Cowgirl in unprecedented fashion. Festivities start in the beautiful Alltech Arena with non-stop action, education and excitement from 7.30am to 7.00pm!
“Go big or go home has been the battle cry of Road to the Horse for 14 years and this year we have blown the doors off with more equestrian celebrities than there are stars in the heavens! If you’re passionate about horses, you won’t want to be anywhere else on Thursday March 23” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer, Tootie Bland. “When we said we’re celebrating the cowgirl in 2017, we weren’t kidding!”
Who better than the First Lady of Road to the Horse, Ms. Stacy Westfall, to start the Celebration of the Cowgirl with a once-in-a-lifetime personal Cupcake Breakfast on Thursday, March 23, 2017. All fans are invited to an up-close and personal experience with Road to the Horse 2006 World Champion, Stacy Westfall. Hear in her own words how she became the “The First Lady of Road to the Horse.”
Road to the Horse 2017 is excited to welcome back past Road to the Horse World Champions Craig Cameron, Dan James and Nick Dowers as they each host individual personal clinics, stuffed with knowledge, presenting fans with amazing learning opportunities from champions who wear the coveted Road to the Horse Gist Silversmith buckle. Barbara Cox will be joining our celebrities on Thursday. After having to withdraw from the main competition with emergency back surgery, this courageous and gutsy cowgirl is on hand to teach and inspire other cowgirls.
After a Road to the Horse Meet-and-Greet with celebrities and competitors Sarah Dawson, Kate Neubert, Rachelle Valentine and Vicki Wilson, fans will have an opportunity to watch the Double Dan Insider horse Woodford perform. We’ll then meet the stars of the show in our Splash of Panache, when we gallop the AQHA Remuda from the 6666 Ranch onto Road to the Horse dirt, for the very first time!
Road to the Horse 2017 tickets on sale now….
Sarah Dawson, Kate Neubert, Rachelle Valentine and Vicki Wilson have been announced as competitors at Road to the Horse 2017. Road to the Horse 2017 will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, on March 23-26, 2017. Road to the Horse 2017 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
About Road to the Horse 2017 (March 23-26, 2017 – Lexington, Kentucky):
A vision of Steven and Tootie Bland, Road to the Horse was created with passion and perseverance. Steven and Tootie were believers in a message they wanted to share with the world. The message: create a relationship which is based on a foundation of trust with the horse, and everything else can be accomplished. Fans at Road to the Horse, follow the journey and witness an accumulation of a lifetime of passion and knowledge be put to the test as elite clinicians from around the world face off for the coveted World Championship of Colt Starting title. Fans witness partnerships develop before their very eyes, they witness the setbacks and witness the triumphs, as competitors build a relationship with an untouched 3-year-old American Quarter Horse which will then be put to the ultimate test, where only one can walk away with the World Championship of Colt Starting title.
Sponsorship and Media opportunities available by contacting Tammy Sronce at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 940.859.6512.
Call her a dreamer, but for the last decade Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland has working to bring about two completely different worlds together. From the outside their differences are diverse, yet one thing remains true, whether you’re starting a quarter horse for the reining futurity, or a warmblood for the jumping pen, starting a young horse is all about creating a solid and trusting foundation. It’s not about being English or Western, it’s about starting a young horse with love and kindness. It’s about setting each horse up for success, regardless of their projected path. In a long enduring search, Bland’s ‘never give up or give in’ attitude landed her a rock star, an international showjumper, clinician, TV celebrity, author, cowgirl and New Zealand native by the name of Ms Vicki Wilson.
Call her a dreamer, but for the last decade Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland has working to bring about two completely different worlds together. From the outside their differences are diverse, yet one thing remains true, whether you’re starting a quarter horse for the reining futurity, or a warmblood for the jumping pen, starting a young horse is all about creating a solid and trusting foundation. It’s not about being English or Western, it’s about starting a young horse with love and kindness. It’s about setting each horse up for success, regardless of their projected path. In a long enduring search, Bland’s ‘never give up or give in’ attitude landed her a rock star, an international showjumper, clinician, TV celebrity, author, cowgirl and New Zealand native by the name of Ms. Vicki Wilson.
“It took a little longer and was a bit tougher than planned but the dream of English joins Western on one common ground, in one arena for the betterment of all horses is finally here” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Dynamite does come in small packages and Vicki Wilson is one firecracker of a horsewoman that who light up Road to the Horse this year with her own style of colt starting and a world class trust between her and her horses, who leap bareback over 7 foot walls of terror! Even Road to the Horse has outdone itself in the Celebration of the Cowgirl this year!”
In the greatest gathering of crème de la crème of cowgirls to ever share the dirt at Road to the Horse, we welcome not only our very first New Zealand competitor but our first English equestrian, who will gather her jodhpurs and helmet, and embark on an international trek to Lexington, KY, to chase a World Championship of Colt Starting title. Vicki Wilson will join fellow competitors Kate Neubert, Sarah Winters Dawson and Rachelle Valentine in the race for the 2017 World Championship of Colt Starting.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to be invited to compete at Road to the Horse in 2017! It’s such a unique and prestigious event, I’m humbled to be involved” states New Zealand native Vicki Wilson. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my methods of starting horses under saddle, on the other side of the world!”
Vicki Wilson has always had a passion for riding and started her career in an unorthodox fashion at 3 years old, riding and training the family sheep. A few decades on, Vicki is one of New Zealand’s most successful and well-respected show jump riders, being known for her competitive edge and her ability to produce happy horses. She has won countless classes at the highest levels, right through to World Cup, and has consistently been in the winner’s circle since she won her first national title in 2004. At Horse of the Year, Vicki has won the Lowry Medallion five times and the Nationwide Cup nine times – more than any other rider in history. She has represented New Zealand in the winning Trans-Tasman Young Rider team three times and has ridden under the New Zealand flag in Europe, with many wins and placings.
Well regarded for her versatility, Vicki has won many national titles across the Show Jumping, Show Hunter and Showing disciplines, while creating a name for herself in the Southern Hemisphere through bareback and bridle-less demonstrations and jumping displays. Vicki amazed crowds in 2011 jumping a 6ft puissance wall bareback, in 2012 she jumped a car and in 2013 another horse.
Outside of the competition arena, Vicki is one of the country’s top horse trainers. Her specialties lie with fixing problem horses, the domestication of wild horses and colt starting, having started hundreds of horses over the last twenty years. She has a strong philosophy based on producing happy horses who love their work, and takes a holistic approach to horse welfare. Over the years, she has developed a reputation for successfully rehabilitating sore and difficult horses, having learnt that horses generally only show negative behavior as a reaction to pain or fear, and aims to foster confidence; working to find solutions rather than punishing symptoms.
Since 2012, alongside her sisters Kelly and Amanda, Vicki has become widely known for her work with wild horses, having tamed and advocated for the plight of New Zealand’s wild Kaimanawas, the American Mustangs and more recently the legendary Australian Brumbies. The Wilson Sisters made their reality television debut with their top-rated series Keeping up with the Kaimanawas, which has been followed by two documentaries and four best-selling books sharing their experiences working with horses around the globe. Learn more about Vicki Wilson at www.WilsonSisters.nz.
Road to the Horse 2017 tickets on sale now….
Sarah Winters Dawson, Kate Neubert and Rachelle Valentine have been announced as competitors at Road to the Horse 2017. Road to the Horse 2017 will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, on March 23-26, 2017. Road to the Horse 2017 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
UPDATE / RELEASE (12/08/16): Road to the Horse has been in support of the Cox Family through this challenging time. We stand behind this wonderful horsewoman, mother and cowgirl, and we are honored to have the Cox Family at our event in support of the Celebration of the Cowgirl. Message from Barbara Cox below.