• Another Tootie Twist on the Road to the Horse

    rtthHomepageFeaturedImage2018-tootieRoad to the Horse has more twists and turns than a dirt road on the 6666 Ranch! That’s what fans love and what keeps them on the edge of their seats. Tootie Twist, that’s what the fans have dubbed them and we think the name’s quite fitting. Road to the Horse 2018 will not disappoint, we guarantee it! For the first time in the colorful fifteen-year history of Road to the Horse, competitors will be starting two colts. That’s not new, you say, but starting two colts simultaneously is, and that’s the world class challenge for our four world class competitors. Where else can you go to watch the most elite horse trainers in the universe, start two untouched colts at the same time, in one place? Nowhere.

    “When you have four world champions on the roster with a wealth of talent, knowledge, and desire, Road to the Horse must rise to the occasion and meet these champions with a challenge of all challenges!” states Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “We have to give them the chance to dig deep in their soul, draw on every skill good or bad, that they have ever experienced and set the stage so that each of these World Champions will cross horizons of horsemanship that even they didn’t know were possible. These four Road to the Horse World Champions this year are certainly not your mama’s Buick!”

    The competition begins with the selection of two colts from the Road to the Horse Remuda. Each competitor will then complete three working round pen sessions, throughout the weekend. As the competitor is working with one colt, the other colt will be resting in an adjoined pen. This format allows the competitor to maximize their working time, while keeping the colts rested and relaxed. Each competitor will then guide each colt individually through the challenging fourth round, the well-known Road to the Horse obstacle course. Scores will be tallied by the accumulative score on both colts.

    IMG_7019-2horses“I’m super excited for the opportunity to work multiple colts at the same time because this is something, that I’m really familiar with in my training” states Road to the Horse 2018 competitor, Dan James. “In this new style, Road to the Horse fans will be able to witness a skill set they’ve never seen before.”

    “With the new format this year, Road to the Horse is as true and clear as a blue sky, to our roots and mission of making a better life for horses. Once again RTTH will kick another door open on our quest to bring all horse-first horsemanship to the spotlight. I think ya’ll are really going to enjoy this year and walk away amazed” states Tootie Bland.

    All past World Champions, all from different countries, the Road to the Horse 2018 lineup is spectacular. New Zealand international showjumper and defending Road to the Horse 2017 World Champion, Vicki Wilson, is the solitary lady in the mix. She’ll be up against the cowboys but she’s not intimidated in the least.  Representing our friends across the border, Canadian Jim Anderson is both a Road to the Horse World Champion and our Wildcard Champion from 2014. Australia horseman Dan James, may be well-known for his magical liberty demonstrations and Road to the Horse 2012 World Championship but fans affectionately know him now as Swampy’s dad. American Nick Dowers is a cowboy of many talents, Dowers’ buckle case claims World Championship titles from both the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Open Futurity and Road to the Horse 2016.

    Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425.  Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email tammy@roadtothehorse.com.


  • Meet Whispery Pines Percherons

    We’ve seen a lot of things at Road to the Horse, but never a 6 horse black Percheron Hitch. This stunning hitch will take your breathe away! How does it feel to hold the lines of such horsepower? Watch our video below.

    Sam and Kellie Rettinger, owners of Whispery Pines Percherons in Kingsville, OH, have been involved in the equine industry for their entire lives. 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. Percherons performing at Road to the Horse 2018 include Ace, Octane, Tony, Hawke, Candyman, and Super Sam. Learn more at www.WhisperyPines.com.

  • Nick Dowers Completes Road to the Horse 2018 Lineup

    AV8A4183as-web2Expect the unexpected; that’s the Road to the Horse motto fans have grown to love. It’s what drives them to buy tickets before the first competitor is even announced. Each year their wildest imagination about what to expect is blown away by the unimaginable. 2018 will not disappoint. Never has there been competitors from four different countries. Never has every competitor held one previous World Championship of Colt Starting title and never has anyone dared to pit a liberty trainer, reining trainer, reined cow horse trainer and an international show jumper against each other but Road to the Horse mastermind Tootie Bland, didn’t th ink twice.

    Dowers joins the star-studded lineup which includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson, gifted Australian horseman Dan James, and Canadian reining horse sensation, Jim Anderson.

    As Road to the Horse 2016 World Champion Nick Dowers completes the lineup, fans wait patiently, counting the days tortthHomepageFeaturedImage2018-dowers the most anticipated Road to the Horse event yet. Like admirers standing on the Mezzanine waiting for the magic to unfold, in the quiet before the storm.

    “Not only does each competitor carry with them their own hopes and dreams, they’re ambassadors” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Ambassadors for their country, their gender, their discipline, their talent, their training program but most of all for the horse. We’ll be writing history as we celebrate our fifteenth anniversary!”

    While many things set Nick Dowers apart from his peers, his unique training philosophy clearly tops the list. Humble beginnings in Nevada’s Fish Lake Valley taught the 33-year- old cowboy that hard work, patience and perseverance were the tools for success. Dowers began riding at a young age, using horses on his family’s Triple D Ranches in the Great Basin. This background instilled in him a sincere appreciation for the horse as his partner, as well as a belief that work outside of the arena is crucial. After studying under well-respected horsemen and women, Dowers pulled the best from each to develop his own training theories. Equipped with the knowledge he gleaned from mentors like Bryan Neubert, Joe Wolter, Andrea Fappani and Annie Reynolds, Dowers set out to establish a program with a balance of natural KS160447a-webhorsemanship and performance horse training techniques. His end goal is to build a partnership with each horse that results in a balanced and confident athlete. Winning is not everything – the more important measurement of success is the journey Dowers takes to unlocking each horse’s maximum potential.

    Dowers took the cow horse world by storm in October 2013 when he piloted Time For The Diamond to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open World Championship, but the paycheck that accompanied the win was far from the most valuable result of that success. With the performance horse industry’s attention, Dowers could prove to his fellow horsemen that taking one’s time and getting into a horse’s mind could still yield a champion in the show pen.

    TIME FOR THE DIAMOND is the perfect example of a Nick Dowers graduate – he has carried Dowers pack hunting, helped with ranch tasks and dominated in the performance arena, where the stallion is still adding to his nearly $150,000 in lifetime earnings. Longevity is just one of the many positive results that come out of Dowers’ program, which emphasizes compassion and patience from starting a colt throughout that horse’s career. It truly is the best of both worlds.

    In 2016, Dowers captured his first ever Road to the Horse World Championship of Colt Starting, riding the 6666 Ranch gelding SEVEN ATTRACTION, a reined cow horse trainer who was unknown to most Road to the Horse fans, became a household name. Learn more about Nick Dowers at www.NickDowers.com.

    Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425.  Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email tammy@roadtothehorse.com.


  • Road to the Horse 2018 Unmasks Canadian Horseman Jim Anderson

    IMG_3694-jimIt wasn’t until I was handed the assignment to write the details of the release of our next competitor, did the magnitude of Road to the Horse 2018 really hit me.  What other competition in the world pits an international show jumper against a reining horse trainer and a liberty performer? How do I explain that? I like to think I know almost everything about Road to the Horse, but even I don’t know what is about to happen next.

    With the announcement of talented Canadian reining horse trainer Jim Anderson, Road to the Horse 2018 is shaping up to be an unprecedented worldwide showdown. Anderson joins the star-studded line-up which includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson and gifted Australian horseman, Dan James.

    As each competitor steps onto Road to the Horse dirt, they won’t just be representing their own talent, they’ll have the weight of their entire country resting on their shoulders. As the fifteenth anniversary of Road to the Horse is sculptured into an international clash of past World Champions, there’s no doubt it will be one of the most anticipated Road to the Horse events yet.

    “These competitors are as talented and unique as they come! All from different cultures, all from different disciplines and the only thing they have in common, is they’re all battling for their second World Championship of Colt Starting title” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer, Tootie Bland.It’s the perfect equation. They’re patriots now, and each competitor carries with them the heart and soul of a nation.”

    Cinderella, Cinderella. Ask any Road to the Horse fan who our Cinderella is and they’ll tell you, it’s Jim Anderson. Anderson is a Road to the HorseIMG_8961-web warrior. Not only did he have to battle six of the country’s best clinicians in the first ever Road to the Horse 2014 Wild Card Competition, he didn’t even have time to celebrate his win. His win put him directly into the Road to the Horse 2014 round pen, where he fearlessly captured the overall event title.

    “A big part of what makes this event so special is having the fans share those incredible moments of connection, when we’re able to gain our horse’s trust and confidence” testifies Jim Anderson. “I believe Road to the Horse has provided a venue that promotes natural horsemanship in its best form and I hope that we (the competitors), leave our fans inspired to do great things.”

    Born with a rope in his hand and spurs on his boots, Jim has spent his entire life with horses. Growing up in southern Alberta, Canada, on the family ranch, his parents ensured that he was exposed to good horsemanship from a very early age. He took clinics with Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt and upon finishing high school at age eighteen, spent a winter working with Bryan Neubert.

    Jim has won over $130,000.00 in NRHA events and has LTE in excess of $200,000.00 He won both the 2000 European Cow Horse Futurity and Derby Championship as well as the 2000 Italian Reining Derby while working in Europe. After returning home, Jim became a three-time Canadian Supreme Reining Futurity Champion, in addition to bringing home buckles and bronzes from a multitude of other reining and cow events.

    In 2011, Jim marked the first of three consecutive Calgary Stampede ‘Cowboy Up Challenge’ titles, with a Reserve Championship title and then Championship wins in 2012 and 2013. After another win at the Extreme Cowboy Association 2012 World Championship in Texas, Jim then applied and was selected as a Wild Card competitor for Road to the Horse 2014 by Tootie Bland.

    Jim and his wife Andrea (who also trains, competes, and travels for clinics) live at Star Bar Ranch in Alberta, Canada, with their nine horses, two border collies and a small herd of sheep. Together, they’ve developed their Higher Horsemanship Program and share it with people all over the world, traveling for clinics, demonstrations and expos, as well as offering online coaching. Learn more about Jim Anderson at www.HigherHorsemanship.com.

  • Elite Australian Horseman Dan James Returns as a Competitor in 2018

    He’s no stranger to Road to the Horse. The crew loves him, the fans love him, let’s just be honest, everyone loves the charismatic Australian horseman, Dan James! Since his very first appearance at Road to the Horse 2012, fans have had a front row seat to the colorful life of Dan James and his beloved grey 6666 Ranch bred gelding, fondly known as Swampy.

    After winning his Road to the Horse World Championship title in 2012, as one half of Team Australia, James purchased his winning 6666 Ranch bred colt REMEMBER SUNSET and both have embarked on nothing short of an unbelievable journey. Thousands of horse lovers around the world have been left speechless by the unbelievable bond that has formed between Dan James and Swampy, obvious in their mesmerizing liberty demonstrations.

    “For our Fifteenth Anniversary, we’re bringing fans the best of the best from around the globe” proudly states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer, Tootie Bland. “Road to the Horse has been privileged to witness Dan James grow as a horseman, husband and father, and as a past Road to the Horse World Champion, there’s no denying, Dan James is one of the greatest horseman of our time.”

    “I can’t wait to be a part of such a milestone at Road to the Horse and help kick off the 15th Anniversary celebrations” states Dan James. “Road to the Horse has always been such a special event for me and I couldn’t be more excited to return as a competitor in 2018.”

    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 the ‘Dan and DanrtthHomepageFeaturedImage2018-danjames Show’ developing their horsemanship techniques.  In 2009, Steers and James relocated to New South Wales and Double Dan Horsemanship was born.  After winning Road to the Horse 2012, James has continued to excel as a horseman, collecting multiple Kentucky Gold Cup and AQHA Congress Freestyle Reining Championships.

    Now based in the United States, Dan James continues to perform, teach and inspire horse lovers continuing the legacy of Double Dan Horsemanship at the Australian Equine Performance Center, based in Midway, Kentucky. James is joined by his wife, Elizabeth and new-born daughter, Isabella.

    Dan James will join the Road to the Horse 2018 line-up with Kiwi sensation Vicki Wilson, who will return to defend the title she courageously captured in 2017. International showjumper Vicki Wilson, was not only the first cowgirl to capture a Road to the Horse title from her homeland of New Zealand, she was also the first competitor from an English discipline.

    Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425.  Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email tammy@roadtothehorse.com.


  • Hotels Fill Up Fast. Book Your Room Now!


    With such busy schedules, it’s easy to put off booking your hotel room for Road to the Horse 2018 but did you know we’re only 233 days away from kicking off our Fifteenth Anniversary celebrations! To make it easy, we’ve put together a list of hotels that are tried and tested by RTTH crew, so we know you’ll get the best rates and have a great stay at one of our suggested hotels.

    Browse our list of suggested hotels here.
    Learn more about the Kentucky Horse Park Campground here.

  • A RTTH Curveball from 6666 Ranch Sire Natural Bottom

    A note on the Road to the Horse schedule seemed simple enough: 6666 Ranch tour with RTTH crew and Vicki Wilson. Every time there’s a trip to the 6666 Ranch on the Road to the Horse schedule we’re all pretty excited. A tour of the historic 6666 Ranch is on every horse lover’s bucket list and it’s something we’re lucky enough to call ‘work,’ but our recent trip to the 6666 Ranch threw us a curve ball which no-one expected. Well, no-one except Tootie Bland because let’s be honest, she’s usually the one throwing them! This curve ball came in the form of a majestic grey 6666 Ranch stallion called Natural Bottom.

    Dr. Glenn Blodgett had told us about Natural Bottom, we knew him to be an impeccably bred grey AQHA stallion who screamed versatility and athleticism, everything the 6666 Ranch stood for.

    Vicki Wilson and the RTTH crew visited each 6666 Ranch sire, all stunning in their own individual ways and all world class champions in the discipline they excelled in. Like kids in a candy store, we lined up one by one, following the 6666 Ranch Stallion Manager from stall to stall, until we came to the last stallion, Natural Bottom.

    IMG_8950adjsWhen RTTH Owner/Producer Tootie Bland laid her eyes on the regal grey stallion, that’s when months of plotting and planning in the RTTH Office went down the drain. Creating our yearly ‘look’ for each Road to the Horse event is something we take very seriously and for months the RTTH crew had imagined our festive 2018 Mardi Gras design placed on the face of the perfect buckskin horse. The RTTH crew felt like the gold glow from a buckskin would be fitting for our Fifteenth Anniversary, and we already had in our pocket what we thought was the perfect buckskin photograph.

    That’s about the time Tootie Bland blurted out with “Oh my gosh, this may just be one of the most stunning horses I have ever seen, what does everyone think about him using him as our 2018 poster child instead of the buckskin?”

    To be honest, as a RTTH crew member who had spent the last few weeks scrolling through thousands of buckskin photographs to find ‘the one’ Tootie Bland liked, I was not amused but as a RTTH crew member you come to almost expect the odd curve ball. As caught off guard as the RTTH fans are with Tootie Bland’s left ball ideas, you can imagine what gets thrown at the crew!

    Once the initial shock of Tootie’s declaration wore off, we could see exactly why she threw this one at us. What would make a better poster child and program cover for Road to the Horse 2018 than the stunning 6666 Ranch sire who literally took our breathe away. Call her impulsive but yes, Tootie Bland was right on this one!

    So, when you admire the stunning grey stallion in our graphics, you can smile at the curve ball the crew caught and know he really is as stunning in person as he is in his photographs. This grey stallion, who is still currently immersed in a successful show career is truly one-of-a-kind. We look forward to having colts from Natural Bottom run in the AQHA Remuda at Road to the Horse in the coming years!


    NATURAL BOTTOM: 2011 Gray Stallion (Playboys Buck Fever – Natural Ingredient, by Peppy San Badger). 2017 RHAA Senior National Champion. Sired by NRCHA all-time leading sire, PLAYBOYS BUCK FEVER earner of $62,246. His first foals are yearlings of 2017! Learn more here.

    Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425.  Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email tammy@roadtothehorse.com.

  • More RTTH. More Action. More Convenience on the Road to the Horse YouTube Channel

    To watch educational and entertaining footage from Road to the Horse 2017 simply:

    1) Visit YouTube or click here.

    2) Type ‘Road to the Horse Channel’ in the search bar or click here.

    Missing the colt starting action? The Road to the Horse 2017 DVD contains every minute of the Road to the Horse competition, so you don’t miss a minute! Every round, every competitor and every colt is featured in two state-of-the-art over-stuffed DVDs, which are in stock now! Shop here.

  • RTTH Official Program receives Top Honors at AHP Equine Media Awards

    We take the Road to the Horse Official Program very personally. We’ve racked up countless hours writing, creating, tweaking and editing but who counts hours when you’re following a passion? It’s both our desire to create the best program we can for our fans and our unyielding love for horse, that drives us to not only create an informative publication but one that will be cherished as a keepsake. Road to the Horse was honored to accept top honors in the Business Brand Equine-Related Publication category at the AHP Equine Media Awards on June 17th in Scottsdale, AZ.

    The award-winning Road to the Horse 2016 Program was our biggest yet, encapsulating seventy-two color pages with everything a fan would love to know about Road to the Horse including pedigrees on the AQHA Remuda, Road to the Horse history, scorecards, judge’s biographies and even favorite reaward-tophonorescipes from the competitors!

    Road to the Horse was also privileged to accept an additional award of an Honorable Mention in the highly-contested Business Equine-Related Single Print Advertisement category, an advertisement inspired by a stunning portrait photograph of Nadine Bailey, Tootie Bland’s mother.

    “We won! Holy cow, we won!” declared Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “There have been a million ‘No, that is not quite right’ to ‘yes that’s it’ in my ‘push until you get it’ fashion to take a typically stagnant, common program that is cranked out at all events and turn it into a memorable keepsake from Road to the Horse to our fans. It is an honor to have won this AHP Award and on a personal note the portrait advertisement of my mother, Nadine Bailey, receives an Honorable Mention! It was a great day for Road to the Horse among the giants of the publishing world.”

  • Check out our YouTube Channel

    rtthHomepageFeaturedImage2018-youtubeWe’re made it even easier for you to enjoy Road to the Horse action anytime, anywhere! Simply visit our YouTube Channel and enjoy Road to the Horse footage and bonus material. You’ll find snippets from past events, past entertainers plus interviews with past and current competitors. We’ll be constantly adding new footage so check back often!

    View the Road to the Horse YouTube Channel here.