Event Challenges Horse Trainers

By Ted Harbin bwmary-rose-full-pic-riding-paint

NORCO– For centuries, training horses has been a major part of ranch work worldwide. The key, all horsemen say, comes in the early stages of a colt’s development. Such is the foundation for Colt Starting Challenge USA, an association of two-day competitions that feature trainers utilizing Natural Horsemanship methods with young horses. The next event is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24th, and continues at 6–10 p.m. Saturday Feb. 25th, at the George Ingalls Covered Arena in Norco, CA.  Tickets are $15 per night.

Sundquist is a five-time Champion Trainer who has excelled at numerous challenges, most recently at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo event in Denver, Colorado, where he walked away with the winning Champion Trainer Buckle. “In the first two days, the colt is able to learn new things really fast,” said Sundquist, 24, now in his sixth year of training professionally. That quick timeline becomes quite evident during the Colt Starting Challenge. Each trainer is matched with a horse via random draw; the colts have not been started and have never been saddled nor bridled. The trainers will work with the animals over the course of two two-hour sessions set up over two days, and judges will determine which of the trainers wins.

“We will have two hours of work the first day with a half-hour break in between,” said Russell Beatty, who founded the Colt Starting Challenge USA. “This is all done with an audience, and each contestant has a microphone so that when it’s their time to talk, they can say what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. “The second day has two 45-minute sessions with a break in between. After the second session, we tear down the round pens, set up our obstacle course and the contestants ride their horse through the obstacle course. The winner gets a buckle.” The contestants love the ideaFor more information see www.coltstartingchallengeusa.com