Road to the Horse International 2013 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the World Champion Colt Starting competition with the most extravagant competition yet in Lexington, Kentucky.
A competition untouched by others, tests skill, experience and colt training prowess, Road to the Horse dares four young, elite horse trainers, Guy McLean, Dan James, Sarah Winters and Obbie Schlom, to create a trusting partnership with an untouched 3-year-old Quarter Horse from the renowned 6666 Ranch in Texas. Competitors have just three hours spread out over three days to build a working relationship with their colt. Clinicians work through the process using their own natural horsemanship style giving spectators a chance to learn from the best in the world. With disruptive sounds, exhilarating sights and adrenaline-pumping time constraints each competitor must face the final trial, an obstacle course. Only one will walk away with the Colt Starting World Champion Title.
Unlike the team format of 2012, these horsemen and horsewomen will represent their countries as individuals. Road to the Horse 2012 champions, Australians, McLean and James have their sights on once again being on top of the world.
Americans, Winters, 22, and Schlom, 18, will be the youngest ever competitors, marking only the second time another female competed in the event’s 10 year history. In a battle of Australia versus America, will the title go back to Australia or will the challengers keep it at home?
True horse enthusiasts recognize Road to the Horse as the event of the year. An event so big can only happen in one place; the “Horse Capital of the World”, Lexington, Kentucky. Meet horsemen and women from around the world at the Kentucky Horse Park for a truly unique experience. Now, for the first time ever, Road to the Horse legends will meet in one arena.
“This is the greatest equine event, held in the greatest facility, in the horse capital of the world,” says award-winning producer, Tootie Bland.
The event will expand into the Alltech Arena, home to the 2010 World Equestrian Games, Kentucky Horse Park on March 15-17, 2013. The site boasts an on-site campground, nearby racehorse farms and historical sites.
Road to the Horse has become the hottest ticket in the equine world and historically sells out months in advance. Don’t miss your chance to witness the World Championship of Colt Starting, much like the Super Bowl, being there is an experience that is unforgettable! Tickets for this electrifying event are on sale now and going fast at roadtothehorse.com.
Legendary 6666’s Ranch of Guthrie, Texas, will provide the 2013 Road to the Horse remuda for the third year in a row, testing the horsemanship of competitors, Dan James, Guy McLean, Sarah Winters, and Obbie Schlom.
“This year we’re bringing the best horses that have ever set foot at Road to the Horse,” says accomplished producer Tootie Bland.
Road to the Horse matches the world’s brightest horse trainers with the world’s most athletic horses. The historic Texas ranch is known for producing some of the most iconic performance American Quarter Horses in the industry.
“I’d like to think the horses get better every year,” says 6666’s Ranch resident veterinarian and AQHA executive committee member, Glenn Blodgett, DVM. “But truly this is, I think, a special group. They are really top notch and could be the best so far.”
Blodgett picks the top untouched 3-year-olds to compete in Road to the Horse. At the competition, riders take turns picking their equine partner. The foundation for a successful relationship between horse and rider is laid during their short time in the round pen. The competitors have only three days to turn these 3-year-olds into sure footed and confident companions.
“The main thing I strive for in the selection of the horses for Road to the Horse is selecting horses that are a good representative sample of what we are trying to produce on the ranch today,” says Blodgett. “This event showcases their athletic ability upon their interaction with horse trainers in the arena.”
2012 Road to the Horse champions, Dan James and Guy McLean won the competition aboard 6666’s colts, Remember Sunset, a grey gelding now called “Swampy From Heaven”, and Valliant Paddy, a sorrel who goes by “Aussie”. Both James and McLean were so impressed with Swampy and Aussie, they purchased the colts after the competition to incorporate into their own programs.
“The horses that the 6666’s Ranch brings each year are stunning,” says Bland. “These horses have amazing athletic ability.”
6666’s horses are carefully bred, under the watchful eye of Blodgett, to render cow sense, speed and agility. Some are kept on the ranch; others are trained for racing or performance competitions, and only a select few make it into the Road to the Horse competition.
The 6666’s is part of Burnett Ranches LLC, owned by Mrs. Anne W. Marion, the great-granddaughter of the ranch’s founder: Captain Samuel “Burk” Burnett. The ranch is the recipient of the AQHA All-Time Leading Breeder of Performance Horses, AQHA All-Time Leading Breeder of Race Money-Earners and Winners, as well as the coveted AQHA Best Remuda.