It wasn’t until I was handed the assignment to write the details of the release of our next competitor, did the magnitude of Road to the Horse 2018 really hit me. What other competition in the world pits an international show jumper against a reining horse trainer and a liberty performer? How do I explain that? I like to think I know almost everything about Road to the Horse, but even I don’t know what is about to happen next.
With the announcement of competitor and talented Canadian reining horse trainer Jim Anderson, Road to the Horse 2018 is shaping up to be an unprecedented worldwide showdown. Anderson joins the star-studded line-up that includes defending World Champion and New Zealand show jumper Vicki Wilson and gifted Australian horseman Dan James.
As each competitor steps onto Road to the Horse dirt, they won’t just be representing their own talent, they’ll have the weight of their entire country resting on their shoulders. As the 15th anniversary of Road to the Horse is sculptured into an international clash of past World Champions, there’s no doubt it will be one of the most anticipated Road to the Horse events yet.
“These competitors are as talented and unique as they come! All from different cultures, all from different disciplines and the only thing they have in common is they’re all battling for their second World Championship of Colt Starting title,” stated Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “It’s the perfect equation. They’re patriots now, and each competitor carries with them the heart and soul of a nation.”
Ask any Road to the Horse fan who our Cinderella is, and they’ll tell you it’s Jim Anderson. Anderson is a Road to the Horse warrior. Not only did he have to battle six of the country’s best clinicians in the first ever Road to the Horse 2014 Wild Card Competition, he didn’t even have time to celebrate his win. His win put him directly into the Road to the Horse 2014 round pen, where he fearlessly captured the overall event title.
“A big part of what makes this event so special is having the fans share those incredible moments of connection, when we’re able to gain our horse’s trust and confidence,” testified Jim. “I believe Road to the Horse has provided a venue that promotes natural horsemanship in its best form and I hope that we (the competitors), leave our fans inspired to do great things.”
Born with a rope in his hand and spurs on his boots, Jim has spent his entire life with horses. Growing up in southern Alberta, Canada, on the family ranch, his parents ensured that he was exposed to good horsemanship from a very early age. He took clinics with Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt and upon finishing high school at age 18, spent a winter working with Bryan Neubert.
Jim has won over $130,000 in NRHA events and has lifetime earnings in excess of $200,000 He won both the 2000 European Cow Horse Futurity and Derby Championship as well as the 2000 Italian Reining Derby while working in Europe. After returning home, Jim became a three-time Canadian Supreme Reining Futurity Champion, in addition to bringing home buckles and bronzes from a multitude of other reining and cow horse events.
In 2011, Jim marked the first of three consecutive Calgary Stampede ‘Cowboy Up Challenge’ titles, with a Reserve Championship title and then Championship wins in 2012 and 2013. After another win at the Extreme Cowboy Association 2012 World Championship in Texas, Jim then applied and was selected as a Wild Card competitor for Road to the Horse 2014 by Bland.
Jim and his wife, Andrea, (who also trains, competes and travels for clinics) live at Star Bar Ranch in Alberta, Canada, with their nine horses, two border collies and a small herd of sheep. Together they’ve developed their Higher Horsemanship Program and share it with people all over the world, traveling for clinics, demonstrations and expos, as well as offering online coaching. Learn more about Jim Anderson at www.HigherHorsemanship.com.
Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at www.RoadtotheHorse.com or by calling 877-772-5425. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email [email protected].
Road to the Horse is March 23-25, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky.
A vision of Steven and Tootie Bland, Road to the Horse was created with passion and perseverance. Steven and Tootie were believers in a message they wanted to share with the world. The message: create a relationship which is based on a foundation of trust with the horse, and everything else can be accomplished. Fans at Road to the Horse, follow the journey and witness an accumulation of a lifetime of passion and knowledge be put to the test as elite clinicians from around the world face off for the coveted World Championship of Colt Starting title. Fans witness partnerships develop before their very eyes, they witness the setbacks and witness the triumphs, as competitors build a relationship with an untouched 3-year-old American Quarter Horse which will then be put to the ultimate test, where only one can walk away with the World Championship of Colt Starting title.