Awards Presentation – 2020 Coolhorse Colt Starting Challenge

What happens when you take six horse trainers and let them draw at random from six fresh fillies, then give the trainers five hours over three days to get their horse to respond to wearing a riding saddle and respond to commands? #WRRR #HorseTraining #WorkingHorses #AQHA #WRCA

Three round pens are set up together so that three trainers work with their registered American Quarter Horses simultaneously for one hour. Then bring in the other three pair to do the same during the morning hours. Repeat the process in the afternoon, then do it all over again for a second day. On the third day, all six pairs go through their paces in and outside of the round pens for final results.

“The fillies each had their own strengths and challenges. They were more prepared to be in that type of environment than completely untouched horses would have been. The judges are extremely seasoned horsemen (Buster McLaury, Joe Wolter, and Jeff Williams) and are more than capable of reading which horses were tougher/easier and judged accordingly. All of the horses were auctioned off at the end of the event with proceeds being split between the #WRCA Crisis fund and Range Riders Foundation Scholarship Fund #WRRR. This one was a first-time event sponsored by Coolhorse, and we’re looking forward to making it an annual event here in Amarillo, TX, each 4th of July weekend.” (By Kris Graef)

Judges evaluate each horse and trainer during all sessions together, the trainers are not allowed to have contact with their horses outside of the formal sessions.

This series of videos will cover all the morning sessions but not the afternoon due to my shooting schedule at the time. The whole location and event were novel to me so some technical difficulties were tough to manage on the fly for quality documentation. If this event comes around again next year I may have to consider using four cameras instead of just one to capture all the action more equally.

The six competing trainers are:
Chance Gainer
Clint Gregory
Dusty Burson
Gatlin Duncan
Obbie Schlom
Taylor Coon

Horses were provided by:
JA Ranch
JM Birdwell
Mikael Nixon
David Williams
Rockin’ JM Performance Horses

The two major sponsors for the challenge were:

Skin – Thumbnail


Scottco – Home

This event was held at the indoor arena at the Will Rogers Range Riders facilities in Amarillo, Texas


The event was held in conjunction with the Working Ranch Cowboys Association #WRCA


WRCA on Facebook –
WRCF on Facebook –

This documentary film is a product of the Heritage Preservation Project.

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Author: editor

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