Whether competing in ranch rodeos, cutting or reined cow horse competition, Kelsey Love Thomas has worked hard and earned much success in each discipline. This horsewoman holds nine world titles: She’s a five-time Ranch Horse Association of America world champion, two-time world champion in Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association, a world champion in the Ranch Cowgirls Rodeo Association, and a National Reined Cow Horse Association limited open bridle world champion. In 2020, Thomas was named the first World’s Greatest Horsewoman at Art of the Cowgirl riding her mare, Kit Kay Jerrie, fondly known as “Elvira.”
Kelsey grew up in Parkfield, California, where she high school rodeoed before working for cutting horse trainers Russ and Janet Westfall in California. She later trained horses for Wagon Wheel Ranch in Lometa, Texas. Now, Kelsey and her husband, Buddy, breed, train and sell horses from their home in Rising Star, Texas.
Kelsey has been a longtime fan of Road to the Horse, saying “It’s an incredible opportunity to be invited to an event I’ve admired for such a long time. I already feel butterflies when I think about being in the pen with a colt while a stadium of spectators looks on.”
“Road to the Horse is such a unique event” she adds. “Normally the first few rides on colt happen at home with hardly anyone around. This event completely flip-flops that experience because it gives the general public a firsthand view. It’s the little things that make the big difference when starting a colt, and at RTTH it’s set up for the spectator to take it all in.”
Kelsey is familiar with being judged on her horsemanship skills, and she’s taking what she’s learned in the show pen to this colt-starting competition.
“It’s my job as a competitor to know the score card and what exactly we are getting marked on, no matter if I’m showing a horse under saddle or, in this case, starting a colt. I have to do the best I can with my horse and let the chips fall where they may. It’s a competition, but, in the end, it’s most important to me to leave the horse in a better spot than when we started. I want to build confidence and a connection.”
Learn more about Kelsey Love Thomas at Love Ranch Horses on Facebook here.