man riding a horse
Nick Dowers competing at Road To The Horse 2019. • Photo by Katie Frank.

Road to the Horse to Host First Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge

In the spirit of a legacy of a passion for education crafted over the past 15 years, Road to the Horse will debut a unique competition for college riders early next year in Fort Worth, Texas.

Road to the Horse, in conjunction with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and Western Horseman, will host the inaugural Road to the Horse Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge Feb. 5-6, 2020, on the grounds of the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Three teams will gentle a 6666 Ranch filly over two days of competition, vying for Road to the Horse scholarships and prizes. Those teams will include the top two finishers from the Division I classification and the top finisher of Division II from the Stock Horse of Texas World Championship Show.

Stock horse team coaches will select the team members who will represent their college or university in the Road to the Horse 2020 Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge.

“There is no better way to create a legacy than to invest in the future,” said Ernie King, publisher of Western Horseman. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and Stock Horse of Texas to create an amazing platform to showcase the nation’s top collegiate teams.”

From its beginnings in 2003, Road to the Horse has educated fans on the fundamentals of natural horsemanship. Creating a solid foundation is a key principle of Road to the Horse and there is no place more fitting for education than in the collegiate equestrian arena.

“Stock Horse of Texas is very excited to be a part of this new collegiate competition,” said Stock Horse of Texas Executive Director Jill Dunkel. “We have offered collegiate programs for the last 15 years, and working with Western Horseman and Road to the Horse on this project is a great way to expand opportunities for collegiate riders.”

Spectators will be able to gain entry to the event with their general admission ticket to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo; no additional event ticket is required.

The Road to the Horse Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge is the ideal prelude to Road to the Horse 2020, which is scheduled for March 19-22 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The event will feature the world’s top colt starters, who will compete for a $100,000 purse.

The three main competitors who have been selected for Road to the Horse 2020 are Wade Black, Craig Cameron and Ken McNabb. The event will also feature a Wild Card competition featuring three of the nation’s best up-and-coming colt starters, Wylene Davis, Cole Cameron and Craig Moore.

Nick Dowers of Dyer, Nevada, and Time For a Diamond won 2019’s event in April.

Road to the Horse 2020’s “Back to the Ranch” theme is a celebration of the timeless values of the Western lifestyle, which include authenticity, courage, humbleness, chivalry and a relentless can-do Western spirit.

Tickets for Road to the Horse 2020 are available online at or by calling 800-514-3849. Learn more about Road to the Horse at and follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information.

“A colt starting competition will highlight the great work of these outstanding collegiate equine programs and add an exciting new dimension to the educational experiences their students will encounter,” said Lauren Lovelace Murray, the Fort Worth Stock Show Horse Show manager.