Since 2003, the World Championship of Colt Starting has gathered the world’s best colt starters and horses at horsemanship’s most prestigious event. Road to the Horse 2023 Championship Competitors will be judged by a world-class panel of five experts tasked with awarding the title on March 23-26 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Each judge critiques every round of the competition, placing emphasis on the competitors building a strong, solid foundation and trusting partnership with their selected colt. The five talented judges for this year’s Road to the Horse World Championship competition are Lari Dee Guy, Punk Carter, Eric Hoffman, Jesse Westfall, and Jeff Williams.
Lari Dee Guy — A roping industry legend, Guy has 10 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World titles across every roping event. She’s qualified for all three National Finals Breakaway Roping since the event’s inception. A member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Guy makes her home in Abilene, Texas, where she teaches and trains on her family’s working cattle ranch.
Punk Carter — This cutting horse industry icon is esteemed as one of its most respected members and activists. He served as a past president of the National Cutting Horse Association and has been an NCHA director for over 30 years. He was inducted into the NCHA Members’ Hall of Fame during the Futurity in 2002 and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2018.
Eric Hoffmann — The Director of Horsemanship Education and head horsemanship instructor at the Montana Center for Horsemanship and the University of Montana Western, Hoffman has taught horsemanship classes at MCH and Montana Western since 2008. Hoffmann holds an A.A.S. in Equine Management and Training from Laramie County Community College and has earned a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming and Montana State University
Jesse Westfall — Westfall has accumulated multiple National Reining Horse Association and American Quarter Horse Association year-end awards, as well as being a two-time reserve champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Jesse served as an NRHA judge for 14 years and has presided over shows in the U.S., Canada and Australia. He has a strong interest in bloodlines and breeding and is responsible for breeding horses that have won 11 All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships.
Jeff Williams — Williams has been starting colts for more than 40 years for numerous longtime clients that include the Haythorn Land & Livestock, King Ranch, Beggs Ranch, Matador Ranch, Espuela Ranch and the Muleshoe Ranch. Many of the colts he starts bring top bids at prestigious ranch horse sales. Many of the colts he starts bring top bids at prestigious ranch horse sales. Jeff is also a Ranch Horse Association of America event judge.
See a complete biography on each individual judge and championship competitor here.
Road to the Horse 2023 Championship competition takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park on March 23-26, 2023. Tickets are available here or by calling 800-514-3849. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information.