Expect the unexpected; that’s the Road to the Horse motto fans have grown to love. It’s what drives them to buy tickets before the first competitor is even announced.
Never has there been competitors spanning four different countries. Never has every competitor held one previous World Championship of Colt Starting title, and never has anyone dared to pit a liberty trainer, reining trainer, reined cow horse trainer and an international show jumper against each other but Road to the Horse mastermind Tootie Bland, didn’t think twice.
Dowers joins the star-studded line-up which includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson, gifted Australian horseman Dan James, and Canadian reining horse sensation, Jim Anderson.
As Road to the Horse 2016 World Champion Nick Dowers completes the lineup, fans wait patiently, counting the days to the most anticipated Road to the Horse event yet. Like admirers standing on the Mezzanine waiting for the magic to unfold, in the quiet before the storm.
“Not only does each competitor carry with them their own hopes and dreams, they’re ambassadors” states Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Ambassadors for their country, their gender, their discipline, their talent, their training program but most of all for the horse. We’ll be writing history as we celebrate our fifteenth anniversary!”
While many things set Dowers apart from his peers, his unique training philosophy clearly tops the list. Humble beginnings in Nevada’s Fish Lake Valley taught the 33-year- old cowboy that hard work, patience and perseverance were the tools for success.
Dowers began riding at a young age, using horses on his family’s Triple D Ranches in the Great Basin. This background instilled in him a sincere appreciation for the horse as his partner, as well as a belief that work outside of the arena is crucial. After studying under well-respected horsemen and women, Dowers pulled the best from each to develop his own training theories.
Equipped with the knowledge he gleaned from mentors like Bryan Neubert, Joe Wolter, Andrea Fappani and Annie Reynolds, Dowers set out to establish a program with a balance of natural horsemanship and performance horse training techniques. His end goal is to build a partnership with each horse that results in a balanced and confident athlete. Winning is not everything – the more important measurement of success is the journey Dowers takes to unlocking each horse’s maximum potential.
Dowers took the cow horse world by storm in October 2013 when he piloted Time For The Diamond to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open World Championship, but the paycheck that accompanied the win was far from the most valuable result of that success. With the performance horse industry’s attention, Dowers could prove to his fellow horsemen that taking one’s time and getting into a horse’s mind could still yield a champion in the show pen.
Time For The Diamond is the perfect example of a Dowers graduate – he has carried Dowers pack hunting, helped with ranch tasks and dominated in the performance arena, where the stallion is still adding to his nearly $150,000 in lifetime earnings. Longevity is just one of the many positive results that come out of Dowers’ program, which emphasizes compassion and patience from starting a colt throughout that horse’s career. It truly is the best of both worlds.
In 2016, Dowers captured his first ever Road to the Horse World Championship of Colt Starting, riding the 6666 Ranch gelding Seven Attraction, a reined cow horse trainer who was unknown to most Road to the Horse fans, became a household name.