Barrel horse trainer Dena Kirkpatrick grew up on a dairy farm in New Mexico, where her grandfather raised racehorses and her father roped. She was exposed early in her life to Thoroughbreds and racing Quarter Horses, and got her first experience with stock horses when she married Cliff Kirkpatrick 30 years ago and moved to his family’s ranch in Post, Texas.
Since moving from his native Australia to the United States in 1996, Clinton Anderson has captured the attention of horse lovers. His no-nonsense approach to training, which begins with ground work, is the basis for his Downunder Horsemanship.
As head trainer for the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, Chance O’Neal starts colts and trains the ranch’s top prospects for competition. He also shows Four Sixes horses in cow horse and ranch versatility events.
Tom Neel trains performance horses at his facility in Millsap, Texas. He has earned more than $244,000 in reined cow horse, reining and cutting competition.
Trainer and clinician Tom Curtin of Madison, Florida, hosts clinics and camps all over the country. His goal is to share his knowledge of horses, teaching what he’s learned from legendary horsemen, such as Ray Hunt and Buster Welch. His years of experience working on notable ranches, including the Four Sixes, King Ranch, Johnson Ranch and the 7D Ranch, have given him expertise in cow work, colt starting, horsemanship and ranch work.
With racehorse welfare making national headlines, the horse industry is being scrutinized for putting money before the well-being of young animals. Racetrack injuries and deaths may have sparked mainstream interest in the issue, but high-stakes stock horse futurities beg the same question: ARE YOUNG HORSES PUSHED TOO HARD, TOO SOON?