The Road to the Horse 2020 Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge was held in conjunction with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on February 5 and 6, 2020. In a spectacular display of horsemanship, North Central Texas College, Texas Tech and West Texas A&M University went head to head in a competition that came down to the wire. True to the traditional Road to the Horse format, collegiate ranch horse teams, each consisting of three full time students, gentled 6666 Ranch fillies over four rounds of competition. During a thrilling final round, each team’s relationship with their filly was tested in a challenging obstacle course.
Road to the Horse has a passion for education. From its inception in 2003, Road to the Horse has been driven to inspire and educate fans on the fundamentals of natural horsemanship. Creating a solid foundation is a key principle of Road to the Horse and there is no place more fitting for education, than in the collegiate equestrian arena.
“The talent and collaboration witnessed from each ranch horse team was truly impressive,” stated Western Horseman Publisher Ernie King. “Every team finished the obstacle course with time to spare. This was a direct reflection of the level of horsemanship displayed during the competition.”
The 6666 Ranch fillies represented a selection of the industry’s finest Quarter Horse sires including BET HESA CAT, JESSES TOPAZ, ONE FAMOUS EAGLE, PG HEAVILY ARMED and WAGON STAKE. North Central Texas College selected a beautiful bay filly called SIXES STAKE, Texas Tech choose PENATEKAS, and West Texas A&M picked SEES AN EAGLE.
North Central Texas College Head Equestrian Coach Cathy Luse was overcome with emotion and beaming with pride as she talked about her winning ranch horse team, “I just want to thank everyone for their support, I’m amazed by all who came to cheer our team on. I am lucky to be surrounded by such truly talented and amazingly poised young adults. This is by far the coolest, most challenging event we’re ever done. To all involved in putting this one-of-a-kind event on, thank you for a memory of a lifetime!”
Luse’s North Central Texas College team was comprised of Addie Coutts, Kadin Hernandez and Josh Briggs. The Texas Tech Team consisted of Addison Fjelstad Colton Bacca, Zac ONeal, and Coach Justin Stanton. The West Texas A&M Team featured Jennay Terrell, Isaiah Chandler, Wyatt Dushay, and Coach Nate Wolf.
Wyatt Dushay from West Texas A&M University was awarded the Sportsmanship Award, an honor voted on by fellow competitors. North Central Texas College team member Josh Briggs was selected to receive the prestigious MVP Award by judges Barbra Schulte, Craig Cameron, Richard Winters and Horseman’s Host, Ben Baldus.