How to Follow The Road to the Horse Colt Starting Competition (and the Eventer Representing Us All!)

Tik Maynard. Photo credit to Madren Photography

We’re taking an adventure to the wild side (can we even say that, as eventers?) this weekend and following The Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Challenge in Lexington, KY as several well-respected horsemen and horsewomen tackle the task of starting a three-year-old Quarter Horse from scratch, in a matter of days.

Why are we so invested this year? Well, one from our own ranks was selected — just the second English-discipline rider ever to be selected for this competition — to compete this year: 4* rider and trainer Tik Maynard. We caught up with Tik ahead of the RTTH competition in an article here.

“In this competition, you’re teaching a kid on their first three days of school, like in kindergarten,” Tik described. “You’re trying to make it fun for them first, and within that fun, you’re trying to give them a chance to very, very gradually learn some things and very, very gradually set some boundaries for them. But the number one thing is that you’re just trying to make it fun first.”

“It’s really set up to celebrate the Western culture and the cowboy and the Quarter Horse,” he continued. “So it’s a big honor to be invited to be a part of that. Starting the horse on a timeline and getting to know Quarter Horses as opposed to Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods and starting the horse in a Western saddle and Western bridle, will be really challenging. I’m spending a lot of time here getting ready for it.”

There is a free live stream available for viewing, which can be accessed here.

Tik’s part of the competition, which begins with a Wild Card Challenge which will determine one individual to move forward to the finals with the previously-selected trainers, will start on Friday, March 22. After selecting his horse, round pens will be erected for each competitor and they’ll get to work building relationships with their partners around 2 pm ET. This will lead to a culmination round on Sunday to determine the final winner of the lion’s share of the $75,000 purse.

The full event schedule can be found here. You can also take a detailed look at the competition format and scheduling here.

To follow along with Tik, you can access his and Sinead Maynard’s Instagram page here. The Road to the Horse has its own page you can follow here. Our own Gillian Warner is helping crew for Tik this year, and she’ll be hosting an Instagram takeover on our page, @goeventing, on Saturday, so you won’t want to miss that! We’ll also catch up with Tik after the competition concludes for a full debrief.

Best of luck to Tik and his fellow competitors — do us proud!

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