North Central Texas College horseman works with a horse.
North Central Texas College horsemen won the day at the Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge. Photo by Road to the Horse

Texas College Takes Top Honors at Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge

North Central Texas College earned prestige as the top ranch horse team in the Road to the Horse Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge during two banner days of spectacular horsemanship at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Feb. 5-6.

North Central Texas College, located in Gainesville, Texas, edged Texas Tech and West Texas A&M in competition that came down to the wire.

The winning team was made up of Addie Coutts, Kadin Hernandez and Josh Briggs, the show’s MVP.

“I am lucky to be surrounded by such truly talented and amazingly poised young adults,” said North Central Texas College equestrian coach Cathy Luse. “This is by far the coolest, most challenging event we’re ever done. To all involved in putting this one-of-a-kind event on, thank you for a memory of a lifetime.”

The Road to the Horse Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge is a prelude to Road to the Horse 2020, which 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.

Road to the Horse 2020 is set for March 19-22 at the Kentucky Horse Park on March 19-22. Tickets are available online at or by calling 800-514-3849. 

Founded in 2003, Road to the Horse strives to entertain and educate fans in the art of natural horsemanship. Road to the Horse challenges the world’s best equestrians to build a partnership with an untrained 3-year-old American Quarter Horse, across three intense days of competition. 

Fans witness the entire journey, from colt selection, to the final obstacle challenge. Road to the Horse features a $100,000 purse and competitors battle for horsemanship’s most coveted title.

In the Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge, true to the traditional Road to the Horse format, collegiate ranch horse teams, each consisting of three full-time students, gentled 6666 Ranch fillies over four rounds of competition. 

During a thrilling final round, each team’s relationship with their filly was tested in a challenging obstacle course. 

“The talent and collaboration witnessed from each ranch horse team was truly impressive,” said Ernie King, publisher of Western Horseman, which puts on Road to the Horse. “Every team finished the obstacle course with time to spare. This was a direct reflection of the level of horsemanship displayed during the competition.”

The 6666 Ranch fillies represented a selection of the industry’s finest Quarter Horse sires, including Bet Hesa Cat, Jesses Topaz, One Famous Eagle, PG Heavily Armed and Wagon Stake. 

North Central Texas College selected a beautiful bay filly named Sixes Stake. Texas Tech chose Penatekas, and West Texas A&M selected Sees An Eagle.

Briggs was awarded the prestigious MVP by judges Barbra Schulte, Craig Cameron, Richard Winters and Horseman’s Host, Ben Baldus. Wyatt Dushay from West Texas A&M was selected to receive the show’s Sportsmanship Award, an honor voted on by fellow competitors. 

“I just want to thank everyone for their support,” Luse said. “I’m amazed by all who came to cheer our team on.”

To learn more about Road to the Horse or to purchase tickets, visit And follow Road to the Horse on Facebook.