Each competitor selects a horse from a group of 3-year-olds supplied by the Four Sixes Ranch, of Guthrie, Texas. Dowers chose Seven Attraction, a sorrel gelding by Playin Attraction. In the final, 45-minute round, the pair completed required maneuvers such as walking, trotting and loping both directions, leading, stopping and turning 180 degrees. They also had to negotiate a trail course, which included various colorful poles to weave through and to jump, a log to drag, a gate to open, and a surprise appearance by someone dressed as Darth Vader. The wacky obstacles are a trademark of Tootie Bland, RTTH producer and founder.
Dowers is the first person to win both a world championship colt starting event and a major futurity. In 2013, he won the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity on Time For The Diamond.
“This is different, but it’s every bit as challenging [as the Futurity],” Dowers says. “It’s a tough competition – there are a lot of variables. I’m really proud to take my horsemanship and win the Futurity, and now to win this, and to be able to tie the two together. That’s huge. Like I’ve said, nothing changes at the higher level. It’s the same horsemanship, just a little different application.”
Dowers added that he will work with Seven Attraction for at least a year. Fred Lenertz of St. Paul, Minnesota, purchased the gelding and asked Dowers to continue training.
“I’m excited about that,” Dowers says. “He’s a really intelligent horse and he tries really hard.”