The Wild Card competitor positions at Road to the Horse 2019 are in hot contention! With only three positions available in the Wild Card competition, the Road to the Horse selection committee has been meticulously scouring through the numerous applications that have flooded in. As members of the committee evaluate each applicant, they are searching for that rare horseman who meets all the criteria that Road to the Horse demands in a world champion. Texas cowboy Ben Baldus checked all the boxes.

Ben Baldus may not be a familiar name to Road to the Horse fans, but he’s already made his mark in the competitive arena. Baldus has won more than $260,000 in reining, reined cow horse and ranch versatility competitions. In 2018, Baldus left no doubt he was worthy of his second AQHA world championship in open versatility ranch horse, riding Seven S Woodrow.

“I’m excited to be a Wild Card competitor at Road to the Horse. It’s been something I’ve followed for a long time, and I’ve watched all the competitors over the years and thought about what it would be like to be there” says Baldus. “I think the Wild Card competition will be awesome to be a part of, and I was honored to be invited.”

Baldus has dedicated his life to horsemanship. At the age of 12, he began showing and was introduced to reining and cow horse competition while working for the historic Waggoner Ranch. After several years there, he and his wife, Cameron, established their own business in 2016, training performance horses and conducting horsemanship clinics in Bowie, Texas.

Ben Baldus smiling on horseback in arena

“Ben Baldus is a cowboy who lets his horsemanship do the talking” remarks Road to the Horse Founder/Producer Tootie Bland. “He’s a quiet and confident hand but don’t let that fool you, he has the heart of a lion.”

The Wild Card competitors will take center stage each morning, prior to the start of the main Road to the Horse 2019 competition. Fans will be able to watch every minute of colt-starting action from these talented first-time competitors, as they each bring their own unique style of horsemanship to Road to the Horse. They will each start an untouched Four Sixes Ranch colt, during three days of competition, and the winner is guaranteed a sought-after competitor position at Road to the Horse 2020.

For the first time in the history of the event, two past Road to the Horse Champions will go head to head in a battle for the 2019 World Championship of Colt Starting title. Road to the Horse 2016 World Champion and National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Nick Dowers will challenge international showjumping sensation and two-time Road to the Horse World Champion Vicki Wilson for the title at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, March 22–24, 2019.

Road to the Horse 2019 tickets are available online at or by calling 800-514-3849. For sponsorship information, please contact Kathryn Barkey at [email protected] or call 970-554-2032.

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About Road to the Horse (March 22–24, 2019 — Lexington, Kentucky):
A vision of Steven and Tootie Bland, Road to the Horse was created with passion and perseverance. Steven and Tootie were believers in a message they wanted to share with the world—create a relationship based on a foundation of trust with the horse, and everything else can be accomplished. Fans at Road to the Horse follow the journey and witness an accumulation of a lifetime of passion and knowledge be put to the test as elite clinicians from around the world face off for the coveted World Championship of Colt Starting title. Fans witness partnerships develop before their very eyes and witness the setbacks and triumphs as competitors build a relationship with an untouched 3-year-old American Quarter Horse which will then be put to the ultimate test, where only one can walk away with the World Championship of Colt Starting title.

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