Australian horseman and clinician Guy McLean struggled to hold back the tears as he thanked Road to the Horse Producer Tootie Bland and all those who had helped him accomplish his dreams of a second World Championship of Colt Starting. Guy McLean was not the only one struggling to hold back the tears. A sold-out crowd in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park was on their feet in applause, doing the exact same thing.
Fellow competitors Dan James, Obbie Schlom and Sarah Winters made it a photo finish as the event made the move from Murfreesboro, TN to Lexington, KY for the very first time. Cowgirls Obbie Schlom and Sarah Winters were placing first and second after the first three rounds of the World Championship of Colt Starting. Winters was the first competitor to tackle the Obstacle Challenge and with style and grace she displayed amazing horsemanship. She set the bar high and was the second competitor ever to demonstrate cow work during her freestyle time, the first person being her father, 2009 Road to the Horse Champion Richard Winters. Schlom made her mark as a young and talented cowgirl, displaying patience and skill as she guided her 6666 Ranch gelding through each test. Dan James had a gelding that tested his horsemanship skills through the Obstacle Challenge and like a true horseman James always put the best interests of the horse first.
Saturday night the floor of the Alltech Arena opened for a RAM Truck Tailgate Party to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Road to the Horse. Many past competitors of Road to the Horse attended the celebration including Clinton Anderson, Curt Pate, Craig Cameron, Stacy Westfall, Martin Black, Chris Cox, Mike Kevil, Tommy Garland, Ken McNabb, Glenn Stewart and Jonathan Field. Past competitors and sponsors of Road to the Horse donated personal items to be auctioned at the celebration to assist the Equine Services for Heroes Program at the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope with a goal of raising $10,000. Sunday afternoon Event Producer Tootie Bland was honored to present the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope with a check for $97,000 thanks to the generosity and kindness of those at the celebration.
The very first Road to the Horse Wild Card contestants also selected their geldings from the American Quarter Horse Association Remuda from the 6666 Ranch during Road to the Horse 2013. Road to the Horse Fans will have the opportunity to follow these contestants and their progress with their horses into 2014 on www.Roadtothehorse.com or on Road to the Horse Facebook. Road to the Horse 2014 is already shaping up to be as thrilling as 2013.
Those who missed the excitement of Road to the Horse 2013 can watch a replay of the action via webcast brought to you by Horsecity.com from March 19-22, 2013. DVDs from the event will be available June 2013.