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“No one pushed us to make a better Program. We pushed ourselves” Tootie Bland

It’s seems so casual…. Walk through the door of the Alltech Arena, get your ticket scanned. Grab a program. Find your seat. After all, it really is that casual, but what you don’t see is the thousands of hours, the calls and loss of sleep that sits within those 72 pages which you hold in your hand.

The Road to the Horse program is an accumulation of everything Road to the Horse. No, doubt about it! We’re digging up history and writing history at the same time. It’s a momentous task, but it is a labor of love. Here are some fun facts below, that you might find interesting!

We start working on the program in June, the year prior to the actual event. The Road to the Horse 2016 Program information was coordinated in Texas, printed in Colorado and shipped to Kentucky the week of the event.

The Road to the Horse 2016 Program was the biggest yet, with 72 pages. The 2003 Program was a few photocopied black and white pages!

The Program page count has to be in a multiple of 4. Pages of a booklet are created by printing four pages (2 in the front and 2 in the back) on one sheet of paper and then folding that sheet in half. Your final count has to be a multiple of 4.

The last article to go in the Program is our Crew List…we’re always adding new crew members and want to recognize everyone who makes the event happen!

All the fun Word Puzzles get passed around the office months before printing and everyone has to do them… that way we know they can be completed!

The one article gets rewritten the most… Tootie Bland’s Welcome Message. For the very reason that she cares so much about the fans and doesn’t know the best way to express her appreciation and her emotion the derives from the event. Such a difficult emotion to put on paper!

All the photographs from the AQHA Remuda from the 6666 Ranch are taken by Road to the Horse crew, generally in September, prior to the event, after the colts have been selected.

The Road to the Horse 2016 Program featured the favorite recipes from our competitors, that was a first. That was an idea from Tootie Bland’s mother, Nadine Bailey!

Road to the Horse 2016 Program:

If you would like to purchase a Road to the Horse 2016 Official Program, please email Supplies are limited. Cost of $8.00 which includes domestic shipping. Please contact for international shipping rates.


Rachelle Valentine named Third Competitor at Road to the Horse 2017

The cowgirl has long been etched into history. The pioneering women who won the west, paved the way for the modern cowgirl, an evolution worthy of a Road to the Horse celebration! In celebration of the spirit of the cowgirl, the very first all-ladies, World Championship of Colt Starting, will gather the best horsewomen in the world. Road to the Horse 2017 competitors Barbara Cox and Sarah Winters Dawson were announced as competitors during Road to the Horse 2016, and they will now be joined by newcomer, Rachelle Valentine.

With a young filly named Gypsy, Rachelle Valentine began her love affair with horses. During her Michigan childhood, she dreamed of a life in the saddle. Upon high school graduation, she jump-started her career working as an intern with Clinton Anderson. Soon after, she stepped into a position with Dean Locke. Preparing young, talented colts for NRHA competitions, she developed new skills and grew as a horsewoman. After a short hiatus from the training world, Rachelle attended post-secondary schooling, married Josh and had Coda, her little boy. Once relocating to central Florida, Rachelle became an associate trainer with Sean Patrick Training in New Smyrna Beach. Riding reiners, helping equestrians and starting youngsters is what keeps her getting up every day with a big smile on her face.

“I am completely shocked and honored to be invited to Road to the Horse 2017” states Valentine. “This is such a special year to be a part of the event in Lexington, as the equine community celebrates the cowgirl. My intense preparation now begins!”

Joining Floridian cowgirl Rachelle Valentine, will be fellow newcomer, Barbara Cox and Road to the Horse veteran Sarah Winters Dawson.

Barbara Cox, wife of undefeated Road to the Horse World Champion Chris Cox will compete for the title in 2017. Chris Cox is a master of colt starting with World Championships wins in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2015. Now playing the role as Pen Wrangler, Chris will assist his wife as she steps into the spotlight in 2017. Wife, mother and successful Reined Cow Horse competitor, this will mark the very first time Barbara Cox has walked into the round pen at Road to the Horse.

Sarah Winters Dawson, like her father Richard Winters, is a Road to the Horse veteran. Dawson is not only a past competitor at Road to the Horse, she has been her father’s Pen Wrangler every time he has stepped into the round pen at Road to the Horse. Sarah has earned two NRCHA World Championships, was the 2015 Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Champion, along with being a finalist in every NRCHA premiere event. Although cow horses are the main focus of Sarah’s equine business, she also has experience training and showing in the English discipline of Three-Day Eventing. Sarah, along with her husband Chris Dawson operate Dawson Performance Horses in Aubrey, Texas.

Road to the Horse 2017 will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, on March 23-26, 2017. Road to the Horse 2017 tickets are available online at or by calling 877-772-5425. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information

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