Hosts, Entertainers & Guests

The Road to the Horse 2024 is hosted by

Matt West – Official Host

Matt West has proudly hosted Road to the Horse since 2013, and will host the very first dedicated Wild Card Challenge. West can be most commonly heard as live event announcer for the PBR Unleash the Beast tour, the elite tour of the Professional Bull Riders and as the host of his podcast “Matt West Now.” Throughout his career, West has been part of the team for 13 PBR World Finals, has announced The American Rodeo, has been heard in iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden, AT&T Stadium, and The Staples Center in Los Angeles, and traveled not only across the USA, but also in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. When not traveling, Matt and his wife Megan own and operate their gym WESTFIT in Oklahoma and enjoy life in their hometown of Delaware, Oklahoma. Follow Matt on all social media platforms @MattLWest.

Dan James – Horseman’s Host

Dan James is a Road to the Horse fan favorite; fans have been intrigued with the roman-riding Australian horseman since his first performance at Road to the Horse 2012. James has held many titles at Road to the Horse as a past Champion, competitor, and entertainer. He adds Horseman’s Host to his already impressive list of Road to the Horse titles. Born in Queensland Australia on a small cattle farm and starting his first colt in his early teens sparked his hunger to understand more about the horse’s thinking patterns. After studying at Longreach Pastoral College, James began traveling the world to gain a better understanding of the horse. In 2008, James joined his good friend, Dan Steers, in Western Australia at El Caballo Spanish Horse Centre where they performed together each weekend. In 2009, Steers and James relocated to New South Wales and founded Double Dan Horsemanship. Now based in the United States, Dan James continues to perform, teach, and inspire horse lovers at the Australian Equine Performance Center, based in Midway, Kentucky. James is joined by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter Isabella and son Jesse.

Pat Parelli – Presenter

In 1982, Pat Parelli began creating a natural horsemanship program to improve the relationship between humans and horses. Pat promoted the concept of love, language and leadership. Pat’s desire to spread this knowledge to the world rose up in him after watching his mentors Tom Dorrance, and Ray Hunt work with horses. In 1984 Pat began teaching clinics, and in 1991, he coined the name Natural Horsemanship. Natural Horsemanship has become a viable and important aspect of the international horse industry and continues to expand and influence the way in which horses are trained. Pat provides amazing talent for both training horses and teaching people. Today, Parelli Natural Horsemanship and the program has spread to 76 countries, over a million people, and has improved the lives of horses around the world. For more information about Pat Parelli and Parelli Natural Horsemanship, please visit Parelli.com.

Brandi Lyons – Presenter

Brandi Lyons carries on with the most trusted name in the horse industry. Her father John Lyons, pioneered, decades ago, the theory that you must love and respect the riders first. She is a Christian, mother, wife, trainer, teacher, and clinician. Over the last 22 years, she has become admired and respected by horse owners and enthusiasts from around the country. Brandi worked as a trainer while raising her kids for 16 years.  For the past 4 years she has been working on the road giving her world-renowned clinics to many all over the United States and Canada. Brandi shares her life with her husband, JD. They have raised five beautiful daughters. They enjoy spending their time with their bulldogs and horses. Learn more about Brandi Lyons at www.LyonsNoLimits.com.

Mike Major – Presenter

Mike was raised as the son of a cattleman, Buddy Major, and grew up pushing cattle, match racing, and competing in rodeos across New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Colorado. Mike competed on the rodeo scene in both rough stock and timed events where he specialized in bull riding and team roping, and later entered the cutting horse scene. The opportunity of a lifetime came up in the early 1990s when Mike purchased the Flying A Ranch in Fowler, Colorado and found himself running 550 cows and growing his band of ranch horses, including a few mares and three studs, Bright Mito Bars, Joys Double Feature and Leovada Chic. He continued to team rope as ranching allowed but focused on growing his cattle herd and running the ranch. Although horses are a huge part of the Major’s operations, the ranch is a working cattle ranch. Every year, Mike operates a large yearling cattle operation on the Flying A Ranch and on the Rio Puerco Ranch in Belen, New Mexico and enjoys training his own and client’s horses in Bowie, Texas, where he continues to see success in both the AQHA and Stock Horse of Texas show arenas. Mike Major is a two-time Road to the Horse World Champion (2022, 2023). Learn more about Mike Major at www.MikeMajorHorsemanship.com.

Piper Yule – Featured Entertainer 

This talented cowgirl is 12 years old and is known for her signature cow horses, her cowgirl heart and true horsemanship. Known to be as kind as she is tough Piper Yule comes from the hard grass country in Southern Alberta and is a 5th generation cowgirl. When not roman riding, doing liberty horsemanship or trick riding, Piper spends her time team roping and competing in cutting and working cow horse, as well as helping on her family ranch and community. Awards include 3X Canada Pro Rodeo Dress Act of the Year, 3X PRCA Top 5 Dress Act Nominee and PRCA National Finals Rodeo Opening Act. Piper Yule has performed at many big named rodeos such as San Angelo, National Western, Pendleton, Sheridan, Red Bluff, Clovis, San Antonio and headlined for Art of the Cowgirl.

Whispery Pines Percherons – Entertainer 

Sam and Kellie Rettinger have been involved in the equine industry their entire life and are owners of Whispery Pines Percherons in Kingsville, OH. Sam Rettinger grew up with draft horses and began driving and showing them at a young age. In addition to showing, Sam currently trains their horses to work and complete logging projects on the couple’s farm. Kellie Rettinger grew up riding and showing Quarter Horses in hunt seat, western pleasure, gaming, and cutting. After meeting Sam, more than 15 years ago, she began to drive, ride, and show draft horses in saddle seat, western pleasure, and Roman riding classes. The Rettingers bring their horses to several events each year to show in different hitch and riding classes. They also provide carriage rides with their Percherons for a variety of events including weddings, birthdays, hay rides, and winter sleigh rides. Learn more at www.WhisperyPines.com.

Ryan Rose – Guest Clinician & Entertainer

Ryan Rose embarked on his professional horse training and clinician career in 2005, but it wasn’t long before he realized that true success in this field meant becoming more than a trainer – it meant becoming a horseman. Dedicating himself to learning from the best, Ryan has studied with Pat Parelli, Doug Jordan, and Craig Johnson, shaping his approach to horse training. Today, Ryan is much more than a trainer – he’s a mentor and educator in the world of horsemanship. He conducts sought-after workshops and clinics globally and runs a comprehensive training program in Wisconsin. His focus? Cultivating strong, lasting partnerships between horses and their owners, which he does with a mix of skill and passion. Ryan enjoys competing in ranch versatility, showcasing his multifaceted expertise in horse development. Ryan’s influence extends beyond the arena. He’s a celebrated figure online, with a thriving YouTube channel that has attracted over 150,000 subscribers. His Patreoncommunity is equally impressive, boasting over 3,500 members who enjoy exclusive access to horsemanship content, training tips, and perks like unique merchandise and personal Q&A sessions with Ryan. At the core of Ryan Rose Horsemanship is the principle of connection. Whether he’s teaching, competing, or engaging online, Ryan is committed to enhancing the bond between horses and their human partners. Learn more at rosehorsemanship.com

Dr. Emily Rose – Guest Clinician & Entertainer

Dr. Emily Rose, PT, DPT, CERP holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  Dr. Rose is the owner of Reaching Strides Equine Rehabilitation LLC which offers Physical Therapy services from rehabilitation to performance improvement for both horse and rider in Wisconsin and Florida.  Emily also travels nationally and internationally teaching workshops and clinics with a focus on preventative wellness and biomechanics for the sport horse and rider. She is an instructor for the University of Tennessee Equine Rehabilitation Certificate Program, which is recognized as the premiere program in equine rehabilitation globally.  Dr. Rose is an active rider herself and competes in Dressage earning her USDF Bronze Medal rider achievement award. Dr. Rose and her husband, Ryan Rose, own and operate Rose Horsemanship Center in Brooklyn, WI which is a full service training and rehabilitation facility. Learn more at reachingstridesrehab.com.

The Wranglers – Entertainer 

The Wranglers are an elite performance drill team from Allen, Texas. They are back to back National Drill Team Champions and they are the 2022 USEDC Sportsquest International Champions. The Wranglers focus on performing creative drills that illustrate the beauty and athleticism of their horses with an emphasis on entertaining their audience. Good horsemanship and showmanship is at the core of what they do. The Wranglers are primarily a youth drill team with team members ranging in age from 13-22 years old. The team has been coached by April Evans for 12 years and a major component of the team is mentoring young women and providing a positive place for them to grow in their horsemanship. The Wranglers are honored to showcase their performance drill routine for the incredible fans at Road to the Horse 2024. The Wranglers have been featured in Texas Lifestyle Magazine and performed at the Road to the Horse 2022 Wild Card Challenge, Road to the Horse 2023 and at the Art of the Cowgirl.

Laura Green – Singer 

Laura Green-Hart is a horsewoman, mother and singer from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and she once pursued a music career in Nashville in the nineties, but left it to become a wife and mother. She and her husband, Lee Hart, run Hart Training together. They ride, compete and work together.  Their goal is to train and provide performance horses for people who aspire to ride in events like Extreme Cowboy Racing, Ranch Versatility, Working Cowhorse and all around riding. Together they share 6 children and one granddaughter. Laura has had the honor of singing both the American National Anthem and the Canadian National Anthem at several EXCA National and World Championships, the Calgary Stampede, and a few Road To The Horse events, including the 2022 Wild Card Challenge in Ft. Worth where she was also Lee’s pen wrangler. As an Amercan, a mother, and a cowgirl, Laura has great respect and gratitude for our servicemen and women who protect us, for our farmers who feed us, and for our cowboys who strive to preserve a precious lifestyle.  She is grateful for the opportunity to show her respect for America by singing our National Anthem for you all.

Alexandra Harper – Singer

Alexandra Harper- Sharapov resides in Versailles, Kentucky, and is a 2010 graduate of the University of Kentucky. While attending UK she was classically trained in both vocal performance and viola performance and performed with the UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Choirs. She has performed at such notable places as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. She has also performed numerous times in “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” by the UK Opera Theatre program, and various solo performances around the Lexington area. Alexandra is an owner, trainer and exhibitor of American Saddlebred horses and been involved with the horse industry for over 25 years.

Gwendolyn Haag – Singer

Gwendolyn Haag graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville with a Vocal Music Performance major and has performed for various events including the Liberty Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park and USHJA National Championships in Vegas. She rediscovered her love for horses during college and in 2017 bought her first horse, Khalifa. Since then, Gwendolyn has worked with professionals in the equine industry including Hannah Catalino, Luke Gingerich, and Ariana Sakaris, as well as the International Liberty Horse Association (ILHA), Double Dan Horsemanship, and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. She currently resides in Lexington, KY. Photo Credit: Rebecca Beatty 

Sarah Von Nieda – Singer

Sarah Von Nieda is a Lexington native and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. Sarah works as a marketing professional in Lexington. A lifelong horse lover, she recently fulfilled her dream of owning her own horse. In her free time, you can find Sarah singing, kayaking, and spending time with her family, which includes her husband, horse, dog and two cats. She is honored to sing the anthem at Road to the Horse 2024.