2014 Road to the Horse Judges Announced

2014 Road to the Horse Judges Announced

The 2014 World Championship of Colt Starting will be held March 13-16 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Photo: Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Road to the Horse owner and producer Tootie Bland has announced the elite panel of judges for the World Championship of Colt Starting competition which will be held March 13-16 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

“One of the hardest jobs at Road to the Horse is being a judge," said Bland. "Our event brings together the most elite horse trainers from around the world and this year we’re making it even more difficult for the judges with the first ever Road to the Horse Ram Wild Card competition.”

On March 13, last year's wild card competitors will face off at 5:30 p.m. with their 6666’s Ranch colts chosen from the AQHA Remuda one year ago; this event is free and open to the public. Tickets will be required as the event continues on March 14, when the wild card champion will be crowned. That individual will automatically make their way into the Road to the Horse round pen to compete for the 2014 World Championship of Colt Starting title against Dan Steers of Australia, Antoine Cloux of Switzerland, and Jonathan Field of Canada.

The six official judges for the 2014 competition will be head judge Mike Kevil, Bryan Neubert, Cody Lambert, Joe Wolter, Jack Brainard, and Jon Ensign.

Returning as head judge, Kevil has spent over 35 years developing his own training methods focusing on patience, consistency, and developing a deeper understanding of the horse. He is the noted author of “Starting Colts, a Western Horseman Book” and its DVD counterparts, “Starting Colts” volumes one and two. Kevil has traveled the United States and Europe working with all breeds of horses in all disciplines. He works with clubs, associations, schools, neighborhood groups, and prisons, helping people have successful relationships with horses.

Neubert began his career with great horsemen who were eager to share what they had learned with him and he considers himself to be a continual student of the horse. Based in Alturus, Calif., Neubert spends his time conducting clinics at home and traveling the United States and Canada helping horse owners achieve a deeper relationship with their horse through basic horsemanship, colt starting, and cow working clinics.

Lambert is best known for his bull riding skills, but this 10-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee has a lifetime dedicated to understanding the horse. His father was the first winner of the All American Futurity (a race for 2-year-old American Quarter Horse racehorses) and continues as a trainer at Ruidoso Downs, in New Mexico, today. Lambert serves as the Livestock Director of the Professional Bull Riders and makes his home in Bowie, Texas, with his wife Leanne and son Riley.

From Grass Valley, Calif., Wolter is well-known for his patient approach to helping both horses and people. Wolter is an accomplished trainer and competitor in cutting, versatility ranch horse, and ranch roping disciplines. Together with his wife Jimmie, they operate horse training and cattle conditioning ranches in Texas and Montana.

Brainard of Tioga, Texas, is well known for his contribution to the equine industry with a lifelong commitment to horses and the people who enjoy them. Brainard will be presenting the Jack Brainard Horsemanship Award, for the second consecutive year, to the competitor that excels in developing a solid relationship with their 6666 Ranch colt.

Montana horseman Ensign is the newest judge and will make his first appearance at Road to the Horse in 2014. With over 30 years of horsemanship experience Ensign is well respected as a patient and skilled horseman who excels in colt starting.

In addition, Glenn Blodget, DVM, from the 6666 Ranch, and Mike Orman from Ram will join the six official judges to appraise health and body condition of the wild card horses.

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