EquiStat Elite $1 Million Rider Matt Mills will join the field in the 2022 Road to the Horse Colt Starting Championship.
Mills, of Scottsdale, Arizona, will compete for the World Championship of Colt Starting title on March 24-27 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. He will join fellow competitors Brandi Lyons and Cole Cameron, in a championship lineup that will include four competitors and a purse of more than $100,000.
“We’re excited to welcome NRHA professional horseman Matt Mills to our Championship Competitor lineup,” said Tina Battock, president of Morris Equine Group, which owns Road To The Horse. “Road to the Horse strives to bring together the industry’s most elite colt starters who are not only standouts in their disciplines, but most importantly, shining ambassadors of the horse.”
Mills said he was excited to compete in the 2022 event.
“Training and showing top reining horses from start to finish has been my focus for years,” Mills said. “I can’t wait to start preparing for this event. I know I will be a better horseman because of it.”
Consistently ranked on the NRHA Top Twenty Professionals list, Mills has accumulated more than $1,097,666 in earnings, according to EquiStat.
His accomplishments include earning the NRHA Intermediate Open Futurity Reserve Champion title; multiple National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) titles; and several large futurity and derby titles including RMRHA Summer Slide, High Roller Reining Classic, SWRHA Futurity and NRHA Cowtown Classic.
One of his most significant achievements entailed winning the 2006 USEF Open Reining Championship in Lexington, Kentucky on Easy Otie Whiz with a career-high score of 231.5. This feat earned Mills a spot on the U.S. Reining Team that claimed a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.
He is known beyond the immediate reining community for his involvement in The Last Cowboy, a reality show that documented several riders as they prepared for the first-ever $1 Million Invitational at the 2019 The Run For A Million horse show.
Mills, who finished in 12th place in the inaugural The Run For A Million, also qualified to compete in this year’s edition.
The horsemanship journey for Mills began when he was introduced to horses at eight years of age by a pony named Dizzy while taking lessons in a small round pen at the Lakewood Equestrian Center in Long Beach, California. As a youth rider, he earned multiple championships throughout California in a variety of disciplines including Western pleasure, horsemanship and trail.
He switched focus to reining in 1996, establishing his own training operation in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition to training and showing futurity and derby horses, he also coaches several successful non-pro and youth riders.
Road to the Horse 2022 takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park on March 24-27, 2022. Tickets are available at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 800-514-3849. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information and stayed tune to find out who will be revealed as the next Road to the Horse 2022 competitor.