Road to the Horse Judges

A critical ingredient to the making of the 2017 World Champion of Colt Starting, the Road to the Horse Judges Panel combines the best equine experts across various disciplines. Each judge lends their professional experience and personal expertise to carefully evaluate each competitor based on set competition criteria.

“Road to the Horse judges are selected from every facet of the equine industry. While some have experience with ranch, rodeo and performance horses, others have experience with breeding, educating and research. Combined they create the ultimate judging panel to determine who will win the title, prestige and honor of being named the next Road to the Horse World Champion!” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland.

The judging of Road to the Horse is based on specific colt starting criteria, while protecting the well-being of the horse. Judging takes into account that every horse is an individual and that there are many methods of horsemanship that are “natural” or respectful of the horse, its nature and how they learn.

Judges watch and score every moment of interaction at Road to the Horse, it is not just the performance in the obstacle course that decides the next World Champion but every step and breath taken from beginning to end.

An event like no other, the judges put their reputations on the line deciding who has done the best job developing a partnership built on trust and respect.

2017 Judges include…

Yvonne Barteau

IMG_0298-webYvonne 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 timeframe that she met, and married her husband and business partner, Kim Barteau.

Since then, she has earned her United States Dressage Federation 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. Yvonne and her husband Kim are KYB Dressage and they are based out of Maple Park Illinois. In order to share their knowledge with in so many avenues of Horsemanship they have recently opened KYB Connected which is an online interactive learning site with information on everything from grooming and ground control to finishing a Grand Prix horse!

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

judgejimDr. 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. His research in the areas of equine conformation and equine behavior is recognized throughout the equine industry.  He has presented numerous lectures in the US and internationally on equine behavior, conformation, selection, judging and genetics.

Dr. Heird has received many honors, including the United States Department of Agriculture Honor Award, the Distinguished Service Award from Southern University and A&M University, the Colorado State University Distinguished Service to Diversity Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Department of Animal Science at the University of Tennessee, the Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Horse Judging Team Coaches Association and the Outstanding Advisor Award for Texas Tech University. 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 2014 he was named the first recipient of the Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M.

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. He was an AQHA Director from Colorado prior to moving to Texas where he is presently an AQHA Director from Texas. Road to the Horse 2016, will be Dr. Heird’s third year to judge the World Championship of Colt Starting.

Suzy Jeane

SuzyJeaneweb1Professional Horseman, Suzy Jeane, has broken many barriers for women striving to be successful in the horse industry today. Now training in Phoenix, Jeane was voted 2004 AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year. She was the first female president of the National Snaffle Bit Association in 2000. She is an AQHA and NSBA judge, AQHA Director at Large, Honorary Vice President of the Texas Quarter Horse Association, and currently serves on the Arizona Quarter Horse Executive Committee.

Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jeane graduated with a degree in Animal Science from Louisiana State University. Starting their careers in North Texas, Suzy and husband Joe quickly became active in the area’s thriving horse industry. While breeding, raising, and starting multiple world champions, the Jeane’s made “Down the Rail Performance Prospects” home to many premier stallions. Zippo Pine Bar and his son Zips Chocolate Chip, both AQHA Hall of Famers, topped the Leading Sires lists under the care of this hard working team. The Jeane’s have one son, T. Joe, who is also heavily involved in the family business.

Suzy exhibits in the all-around events and has judged extensively throughout the country, in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She was instrumental in the development of the scoring system implemented for the Extreme Mustang Makeover Competitions, and officiated at several of their events. Road to the Horse will represent Suzy’s first year judging the World Championship of Colt Starting


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.