What a Ride at Road to the Horse 2016
By Amy C. Witt
Western Horse & Gun - June/July
It was electric, exciting and exhilarating as horse lovers from all over the world sat at the edge of their seats watching the king of all cowboys be crowned at the prestigious World Championship of Colt Starting, the Road to the Horse. They were also fascinated by the horsemanship and speed displayed by Mounted Shooters of America All Star Team, who entertained the crowd and took home some impressive prize money – proudly sponsored by Western Horse & Gun.
This year, Clinton Anderson, Richard Winters and Nick Dowers battled for the title as they were challenged by an untouched 3-year old American Quarter Horse from the 6666 ranch. Three of the best horsemen in the world, competed for the coveted title putting each cowboy to the ultimate test while only one walked away with the championship.
Nevada cowboy, Nick Dowers captivated fans and judges with his spirit, inspiring training techniques and humbled personality taking home the 2016 World Champion of Colt Starting title. The beautiful, athletic sorrel colt, Seven Attraction and Dowers created a strong and powerful bond and connection that helped carry Dowers to the top. Not only was he crowned with the World Championship, Dowers was also awarded the Jack Brainard Horsemanship award. Presented by the legend, Jack Brainard himself, the award goes to the horseman or horsewoman that excels in the ability to apply the best method and approach for the horse’s best interest.
Pushing each horse to their fullest potential, this cowboy is no stranger to the winners circle. In October 2013, Dowers and the stallion, Time For The Diamond won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open World Championship title.
The 33- year old cowboy was taught at a young age the importance and appreciation of the relationship and trust between a horse and cowboy as he began riding at a young age, using horses on his family’s Triple D Ranches in the Great Basin. Always aiming for a goal to create a partnership with each horse he comes in contact with, Dowers uses a balance of natural horsemanship and performance horse training techniques while also incorporating the importance of riding and working outside of the arena.
“If you can get a horse to believe in you and know you are honest and faithful to his needs and wants, the horse will build a trust in you that is unbreakable. Once you have that trust the sky is the limit on what the two of you can accomplish.”
With a philosophy focusing on building positive relationships, Dowers is a special cowboy staying true to the American Western heritage and a horsemen who possesses a special touch.
As the 2017 Road to the Horse has been scheduled for March 23-26, the World Championship of Colt Starting will take a special twist, not awarding a cowboy. Perhaps, the queen of all queens will be crowned…a horsewoman, as next year’s competitors will all be women, including Sarah Dawson, Barbara Cox and a third clinician to be announced.