Ben Baldus trains horses at the historic Waggoner Ranch in Electra, Texas. He grew up in Michigan, where he showed pleasure and all-around horses as a youth. He worked for Christian evangelist Lew Sterrett and traveled around the country before moving to Texas several years ago to work with National Reining Horse Hall of Fame member Doug Milholland at the Waggoner Ranch. There, he began training and showing reining horses. He has been a finalist at major NRHA events, including the Futurity and Derby, where he was the 2012 Open Level 1 champion on Dainty Little Step, and the National Reining Breeders Classic.
Professional horseman Al Dunning lives and trains out of the Almosta Ranch northeast of Scottsdale, Arizona. An avid and successful competitor in reining, cutting and cow horse events, Dunning has won more than $912,000. Though he specializes in Western performance events, this American Quarter Horse Association approved judge of 27 years offers horsemanship advice to all riders through his online mentoring program, Team AD International.
National Reining Horse Association champion and United States Equestrian Team medalist Pete Kyle trains out of his Whitesboro, Texas, facility. Kyle is on the United States Equestrian Federation Reining Committee, and currently serves on the board of directors for the American Quarter Horse Association and National Reining Breeders Classic. The trainer and his wife, Tamra, stand reining champion Einsteins Revolution at Kyle Ranch. Recently, Kyle captured the freestyle championship at the Kentucky Reining Cup in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the December issue, cow horse trainer Jake Telford breaks down his circle strategy for a successful pattern. Telford has won more than $1 million in reined cow horse competition, and recently showed Nabsico Roan to the 2012 National Reined Cow Horse Association's Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Bridle Reserve Championship. Telford and his wife, Jessie, share their Idaho home with daughters Shawny and Sierra, who both ride. Look for Telford at the 2012 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in the working cow horse classes held November 2-17.
California trainer Russell Dilday focuses on training cow horses for the nation's top events, including the World's Greatest Horseman competition, an event he has won three times. The horseman has won more than $587,000 in reined cow horse events, much of that on his stallion Topsails Rien Maker. The duo won the World's Greatest Horseman titles as well as a National Reined Cow Horse Association championship in the Open Hackamore class. Dilday trains colts and aged event horses at his Porterville facility, which he shares with his wife Tanna and their sons Colt and Ace. He also conducts clinics and competes throughout the United States.