We ran into a few friends and clients with their families. It was going to turn into a fun filled afternoon!
The only trainer of the four in the competition that we were familiar with was Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship. We had met Dan James at the Steeplechase last year where he performed a demo. I had never seen anything like it! He and his horses were incredible! Here's a photo from his demo at the Steeplechase.
Here is Dan during the Road To The Horse... His horse (everyone had an unbroke 3 yr old gelding) was difficult and probably needed a slower pace for learning things. He gave a lot of double barrel kicks in protest. Dan pretty much had to lead him through the entire obstacle course that he had written on his shirt so he wouldn't miss anything.
I soon learned the other trainers were amazing as well!
Probably the trainer with the most PR was Obbie Schlom. Obbie is an 18 yr old girl with the wisdom of an 81 yr old horse trainer. She's incredibly mature for her age and amazing in her talents as a trainer. Watch her videos and friend her on facebook! You just have to love a girl whose personal ride is a mule...
The other US competitor was Sarah Winters. Some of you may be familiar with her Dad, Richard Winters. He has a show on HRTV and offers his own horsemanship clinics as well. Sarah was excellent! I think I liked her training style the best although I have to say I liked all of them. Her horse performed very well!
Her horse was such a curious thing and wanted to smell and eat most everything he came across during the obstacle course. But he did everything except going up on the platform. Also, she was the only trainer to ride using a halter instead of a bridle.
Lastly, was the eventual winner. Guy McLean from Australia was amazing! He was great with his horse, added a lot of humor for the audience and he built up his horse's confidence as the ride went on. I loved it! So did the crowd and the judges.
The order of finish for the competition was 1st place, Guy McLean; 2nd place Obbie Schlom; 3rd place, Sarah Winters; 4th place, Dan James. But everyone was a winner, especially the horses and it was a treat for all of us in the audience to see such excellent horsemanship!
As a final note, and to end on a bit of equine humor... please watch Guy McLean on his A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. horse Spinabbey (the Seabiscuit part and the show jumping are my faves)...