Road to the Horse 2012 International: A Horse of a Different Color
Excerpted from www.roadtothehorse.com
Road to the Horse fans continually ask the question, “What were the scores of the competitors?” While the event program included a score card a couple years ago, never before have the competitor scores been released to event attendees. Featuring a new international team format, Road to the Horse in Murfreesboro, TN on March 9-11, 2012 will be judged and scored a bit differently than in the past, including a live display of the scores at the event.
Gathering the best of the best from across the world, Road to the Horse 2012 International will feature the all-star lineup of Guy McLean and Dan James on Team Australia, Jonathan Field and Glenn Stewart on Team Canada and Craig Cameron and Pat Parelli on Team USA.
“Each team member will be responsible for putting their best foot forward and contributing to the team score. Because Road to the Horse 2012 International is a team effort, we’ll not only be displaying each competitor’s individual round pen and obstacle course scores broken down into judging categories but also the total team scores bigger than life on the Road to the Horse Jumbo-Tron,” says Tootie Bland, Road to the Horse owner and producer.
After the largest ever Road to the Horse remuda comes thundering into the arena in all the glory that the Four Sixes Ranch has to provide, the colt selection process will begin. The competitors will walk two by two into the midst of the remuda, carefully surveying the behavior of each horse in order to determine the best matches for their team. Each clinician will choose a colt with the assistance of their teammate. After their selections, they alone will be responsible for starting the career of their new equine partner.
A grand total of 4 round pen challenges, 2 on Friday and 2 on Saturday, will give competitors the opportunity to display their horsemanship ability and prove exactly why they were chosen to compete in the World Championship of Colt-Starting.
Each round pen challenge will consist of 3 round pens set up in the arena, with one competitor for each team in a round pen. The second competitor on the team will offer guidance, advice and support to their teammate from outside the pen during the session. Although the clinician on the outside of the round pen is not allowed to touch or train his teammate’s horse, he can earn points for teamwork.
Friday will kick off the competition with the first round pen challenges while the second round pen challenges will take place on Saturday. The scores from each competitor will be displayed on the Road to the Horse Jumbo-Tron immediately after each round pen session and will be broken down into individual judging categories.
Sunday will feature all six individual competitors completing their own obstacle course on the colt that they started during the previous two days. After all six obstacle courses have been completed, all course scores will be displayed on the Jumbo-Tron and the totals of all sessions will be provided to determine the winning team.
To further test the merit and confidence of the international teams, Bland will announce an optional “twist” at the event that will award bonus points towards the competitors should they accept the challenge.
“We’ll find out how confident they are in their team and if they are gamblers or not. No one knows what the twist is but me. I always like to throw in a surprise for both the competitors and the attendees. Of course there will still be two mystery obstacles during the obstacle course, but this is an added bonus that will leave you holding on to the edge of your seat!” says Bland.
What is Road to the Horse?
Road to the Horse is a one-of-a-kind experience that combines education and entertainment for an all out horsemanship experience.
The competition has in the past taken three internationally known, elite horse trainers and clinicians and puts them up against each other for the esteemed title of Road to the Horse Champion. These competitors choose a horse out of the remuda, a group of 10 horses, and they begin building a relationship between horse and human.
Unlike a horse show, these competitors are judged not only on a final test of skill, but the means to the end result. The goal of Road to the Horse is to teach horsemen and women that natural horsemanship is a kinder, gentler way of working with horses.
Past Competitors (winner in bold):
- 2003 – Curt Pate, Josh Lyons, Clinton Anderson
- 2005 – Craig Cameron, Clinton Anderson, Van Hargis
- 2006 – Van Hargis, Martin Black, Craig Cameron, Stacy Westfall
- 2007 – Chris Cox, Stacy Westfall, Clinton Anderson
- 2008 – Mike Kevil, Tommy Garland, Ken McNabb, Chris Cox
- 2009 – John Lyons, Tommy Garland, Richard Winters
- 2010 – Richard Winters, Craig Cameron, Ken McNabb
- 2011 – Pat Parelli, Chris Cox, Clinton Anderson
For more information on Road to the Horse, visit their website at www.roadtothehorse.com