Road to the Horse put on a show as top colt starters stormed Cowtown Coliseum in 2021 as it navigated challenges from the global health pandemic. Success of the event and a nostalgic return to the founding venue left fans longing for more. To stay connected to its Texas roots, Road to the Horse expanded its event schedule in 2022, separating the Wild Card Challenge from the Colt Starting World Championship, that is held every March in Lexington, Kentucky. Road to the Horse will host the Wild Card Challenge on September 22-25, 2022.
The Road to the Horse Wild Card Challenge will feature six competitors, colts from the legendary 6666 Ranch and a cash purse of over $25,000. The Wild Card Challenge Champion will also be awarded an invitation to compete as a Championship Competitor at Road to the Horse 2023, where they will battle for their share of the $125,000 cash purse.
“Out of challenges, come opportunity. Road to the Horse 2021 was special, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring an expanded Road to the Horse Wild Card to Texas in 2022,” stated Morris Equine Group President Tina Battock. “We’re thrilled to showcase a diverse lineup of talent and expand the opportunities for colt starters by allowing our Wild Card Challenge Champion a chance to compete for a World Championship title.”
Road to the Horse is proud to welcome these six talented colt starters to the Wild Card roster:
Amanda Wilson: A top New Zealand showjumper and horse trainer who has competed at the highest level in the sport, as well as worked with and trained hundreds of different horses over the years with great success. Wilson’s horsemanship approach is purposely set with the psychology of the horse in mind and has greatly benefited through her own study of human and animal trauma. Her sister, Vicki Wilson, claimed two Road to the Horse World Championship titles in 2018 and 2019.
Kelsey Love Thomas: From ranch rodeo to cutting and reined cow horse competition, this talented horsewoman holds eight world titles. She’s a five-time Ranch Horse Association of America world champion, a two-time world champion in the Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association, and a world champion in the Ranch Cowgirls Rodeo Association. In 2020, Thomas was named the first World’s Greatest Horsewoman at Art of the Cowgirl riding her mare, Kit Kat Jerrie.
Nate Eicher: After training and rehoming BLM mustangs since the age of 12, Eicher found himself immersed in everything equine, where he went on to become a crowd favorite, winning multiple championships in Mustang Heritage Foundation events. Residing in Mineral Wells, Texas, Eicher and his family are dedicated to helping clients achieve a better connection with their horses.
Lee Hart: Based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Hart is a passionate horseman, cowboy, husband, and father. Hart travels and teaches his horsemanship program around the country and abroad, as well as competes in several different equine disciplines. Hart is an accomplished equestrian with multiple Extreme Cowboy Association and Working Ranch Cowboys World Championships.
Daniel Oliveira: Raised in Brazil, Oliveira trained horses in the cow horse and reining industries before making the move to America to chase his dreams. After starting reining colts for Shawn Flarida, Oliveira moved to Alba, Texas, where alongside his family, he operates DnD Performance Horses, specializing in developing reined cow horse colts with a solid foundation.
JR Robles: Robles applies natural horsemanship methods in his training programs, crafting custom programs tailored to each horse’s individual needs. He specializes in reining, cow horse, colt starting and dressage. Robles trains full-time in Sherwood, Oregon, but travels across the country teaching clinics, giving presentations at equine events, and competing at National Reining Horse Association shows.
Road to the Horse Wild Card Challenge tickets will be available to the public starting June 13 to at www.RoadtotheHorse.com. Visit the website to view the event schedule, read full biographies on the competitors and learn more about the event. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information.