Road to the Horse 2018 Judges

Road to the Horse hunts the globe in a quest to bring together the best of the best. Only one competitor will walk away with the World Championship of Colt Starting title and that is determined by only those individuals who are qualified to judge the world’s finest. As Road to the Horse continues its voyage in uncharted waters, individual judges are unique as the event itself. Each individual on the Road to the Horse Judge’s Panel is an expert in their discipline. A unique blend of diverse talents that stretches from the round pen, to the dressage arena.

In a pursuit to reach its own exceptionally high standards, Road to the Horse has created a cutting-edge digital judging system where each professional lends their experience and expertise, as they judge every step taken from beginning to end. Their reputations will be on the line, when they determine who will walk away with the world’s most coveted horsemanship title.

The Road to the Horse 2018 Judges Panel consists of these talented individuals:  Yvonna Barteau, Jack Brainard, Dr. Jim Heird, Mike Kevil, Cody Lambert, and Jeff Williams.

2018 Judges include…

Yvonne Barteau

Yvonne Barteau is one of this nation’s most celebrated riders and a lifelong horse trainer. After a start in both Western and Hunt Seat riding as a teenager Yvonne spent seven years in the Racehorse industry eventually becoming a trainer in that field. She then spent several years starting horses and fixing behavior problems before being hired on as the Principle Trainer and a Feature Performer for the Arabian Nights Dinner Theater in Orlando Florida. It is during that time frame that she met, and married her husband and business partner, Kim Barteau.

Since then, she has earned her USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals as well as her Gold, Silver and Bronze freestyle bars. Her Business KYB Dressage has trained over a dozen horses to the Grand Prix Level and over 50 to Prix St George. Yvonne has qualified horses and riders for World Championships and World Cups and earned dozens of National and Regional titles. In 2015 her long-time training project and friend, the Holsteiner stallion GP Raymeister, was named Most Winning Horse in USDF history. Yvonne Barteau has published two award winning books. Her recent release The Dressage Horse Manifesto is the second of two books she has authored on horses. Ride the Right Horse, examines the impact of human and horse personalities and how they work together. Yvonne has also authored multiple screenplays, including The Spirit of the Horse, All the Kings Horsemen, and Dream Upon A Horse. In 2017, Yvonne’s film, Into the Spotlight Part Two Horses without Humans, won Best Equine Film at the Equus International Film Festival.

Yvonne and her husband Kim are based out of Maple Park, Illinois. They recently opened KYB Connected which is an online interactive learning site with information on everything from grooming to finishing a Grand Prix horse! Road to the Horse 2018 will represent Yvonne’s second year judging the World Championship of Colt Starting

Jack Brainard

judgejackA true veteran judge of colt staring, Jack Brainard has never missed a year at Road to the Horse. He has judged every competitor, at every event.

Trainer, Breeder, Judge, Leader, Teacher, Author, Mentor and Friend are all accurate labels of Jack Brainard of Tioga, Texas, long known for his contributions to the equine industry and his lifelong commitment to horses and the people who enjoy them.

Jack Brainard has bred and trained horses for over 53 years and judged for a variety of national horse associations for over 40 years. These Associations include Paint Horse, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Palomino, NCHA Cutting and NRHA reining shows, both in the U. S. and abroad.

He has bred or trained horses that have won world titles in a variety of disciplines, including reining, cutting, roping and pleasure riding. During the Nixon administration, Jack Brainard was one of 15 appointed members of the U.S. Horse Industry Advisory Committee who met with the Secretary of Agriculture.

In 2003 Jack Brainard was named “Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture.” In 2010, he was honored with the Western Horseman of the Year Award. He currently is a board member of the Equine Program at Texas A&M University at Commerce, Texas, and has received the Industry Leader Recognition Award at the Texas Equine Industry Conference at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Jack Brainard, at 94, still leads an active life. Most days he can be found schooling numerous horses, teaching students, or traveling the roads to conduct one of his many clinics. His students marvel at his “easy to understand” presentation of the prerequisites and elements of the “flying lead change,” his positive and motivating approach to both horse and rider, and his never-ending enthusiasm for doing what he truly loves. He is as graceful on a Country & Western dance floor as he is in the saddle. The excitement and positive energy that continually flows from Jack to both his horses and students is rare in men half his age. He says that he hopes to be teaching and riding when he is 100!

Dr. Jim Heird

Dr. Jim Heird is executive professor and coordinator of the equine initiative and holder of the Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M University. Immediately prior to Texas A&M, he was Director of Teaching and Outreach for the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University. He also served as Director of the Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program and as Chairman of the Management Committee of the Y Cross Ranch, a 50,000-acre ranch owned by Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in animal husbandry and a M.S. in animal genetics. His doctorate is in equine behavior from Texas Tech University. Dr. Heird has an international reputation in the field of equine sciences. He has lectured on numerous topics both nationally and internationally. He has been a successful judging team coach, teacher, researcher, and extension specialist. He has presented numerous lectures in the US and internationally on equine behavior, conformation, selection, judging and genetics. In 2005, he was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Tennessee. In 2007, he was named an Honorary Vice President by the by the Quarter Horse Association of Uruguay. In 2009, he was named Horseman of the Year by the Colorado Horse Council. In 2017, Dr. Jim Heird was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He also became a Director of the National Advisory Board for the National Collegiate Equestrian Association and a Director of the Texas Racing Hall of Fame in 2017.

Dr. Heird has combined his academic career with leadership and successful competition in the horse and livestock industries. He has trained world champion youth riders and shown world champion horses. He served as Chair of the National Wild Horse and Burro Commission. He has been an American Quarter Horse judge since 1976. He is a past chairman of AQHA’s Judges Committee, the versatility ranch horse sub-committee, the AQHA show committee and the show council he is presently chairman of the AQHA welfare commission and the international committee. Dr. Heird was an AQHA Director from Colorado prior to moving to Texas where he is presently an AQHA Director from Texas. In 2015, he was elected to serve as a member of the AQHA Executive Committee and in March of 2018 became President of the AQHA, the World’s Largest Breed Association. Road to the Horse 2018, will be Dr. Heird’s fifth year to judge the World Championship of Colt Starting.

Mike Kevil

As a child Mike Kevil rode horses for leisure, and it wasn’t until his high school years that this pastime took a new direction. He headed to Colorado where he worked, and developed what he calls the “foundation of his training.” Riding and handling a variety of horses showed Mike that nothing compares to a hands-on experience. He began working with Gene LaCroix, an Arabian horse trainer, who refined his fundamentals further, teaching Mike about timing and feel, softness and pressure and giving a reason to everything you do. He was also fortunate to have worked for some of the great cutting horse trainers, Don Dodge, Shorty Freeman, and Matlock Rose.

For 40 years Mike has developed his own training practices that include patience, consistency and understanding the horse. Before the modern-day term “Horse Whisperer” Mike was a master of this art. Today, he has numerous horses in his training program and a full waiting list. Although he admits that he does not get hung up on terms such as “Horse Whisperer,” he continually strives to become a “good hand.”

“There is natural horsemanship in traditional training and traditional training in natural horsemanship,” Mike said.
Mike is the noted author of “Starting Colts, a Western Horseman Book” and its DVD counterparts, “Starting Colts” volumes one and two available through Western Horseman. Road to the Horse 2018 will mark Kevil’s seventh year judging at Road to the Horse.

Cody Lambert

judgecodyCody Lambert, a Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee and ten time National Finals Rodeo qualifier in bull riding and saddle bronc riding. Cody started his professional rodeo career in 1980 and has earned numerous titles throughout his career.

Cody was a PBR Co-Founder and qualified for the first three PBR World Finals. After the 1996 PBR World Finals he retired from competition and was awarded the PBR Ring of Honor making him one of the first recipients along with Ted Nuce, Jim Shoulders and Harry Tompkins. During his career, Lambert also is credited for inventing the protective vest the bull riders and other rodeo contestant use.

Even with his career direction in rodeo, Cody has a long and storied history in the world of horses and continues to use those skills today. His father, Cliff, was the first winner of the All American Futurity, riding Galobar to the win in 1959 and continues as a trainer at Ruidoso Downs today, sharing his advice and wisdom with Cody and his other son, also a jockey, Casey. An accomplished horse trainer in his own right, Road to the Horse 2016 will represent Cody’s fifth year judging the World Championship of Colt Starting.

Cody currently serves as Vice President of The PBR Board of Directors, as well as the organizations livestock director. Lambert created the PBR judging program and teaches the judging seminars. He was also instrumental in bringing instant replay into professional bull riding. Cody takes pride in bringing the best bulls from all over the country and insuring that the highest caliber of bucking bulls is selected to compete in each PBR Built Ford Tough Series event.

Cody lives in Bowie, Texas with his wife Leanne. They have one son Riley, daughter in law Lindsey and grandson Daxton.

Jeff Williams

judgejeffJeff Williams makes his home in Post, Texas, on land that has been in his family for three generations.

Not only does Jeff have an in-depth and lifelong understanding of the elements that create a perfect foundation for a developing colt, this is a cowboy who lives every day in the saddle. This combination, makes him the perfect candidate for the Road to the Horse 2016 Judges Panel. Jeff historically employs two young cowboys full time, who assist him in starting colts for numerous long-time clients that include the Haythorn Ranch, King Ranch, Beggs Ranch, Matador Ranch, Espuela Ranch, and the Muleshoe Ranch; most of these ranches have been clients for over 20 years.

Jeff and his hands have averaged starting fifteen to twenty green colts a month for over twenty years. Their operation also finishes out horses used in various, nationally sanctioned competitive events. Jeff emphasizes that the finished product is an all–around, quiet, using horse.

He is best known for producing working ranch colts. Jeff has had decades of tremendous success in some of the most prestigious sales. Jeff is a certified judge for the Ranch Horse Association of America and has been since the inception of the organization. He has judged the National Finals for the Ranch Horse Association of America and has been a long-time judge for numerous sanctioned Futurity events.

Jeff has been married to his wife Jami for 33 years and has been blessed with two children and a granddaughter.