Ranch Horses

NRSHA Crowns Champions: Meet Ben Baldus

ben baldus riding seven s woodrow

Seven S Woodrow topped a tough field of horses to win the open all-around title with trainer Ben Baldus in the saddle.

Ben Baldus and Seven S Woodrow are superstars in the horse world. While “Woodrow” has a few top titles to his name, he made a legion of fans working as Baldus’ saddle horse help during the 2019 Road to the Horse. But in Guthrie, Oklahoma, at the American Quarter Horse Association Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships and the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance National Show, Woodrow stole the show.

Seven S Woodrow standing with owner Jerry Ward and trainer Ben Baldus.
Owner Jerry Ward, holding trophy, celebrates the win with trainer Ben Baldus. Photo courtesy of Ben Baldus.

Baldus is based out of Bowie, Texas. He has shown the gelding to several world titles, including the 2018 AQHA versatility ranch horse title and the 2018 Stock Horse of Texas Stock Horse World Show open title, among others. Woodrow returned to Texas with two new AQHA world and NRSHA national open titles, bringing home the bling for owner Jerry Ward.

Ranch Horse News caught up with Woodrow and Baldus.

RHN: First, tell me about your horse.
Ben Baldus: Woodrow is a 6-year-old gelding who I started training as a 3-year-old. He is a very fun horse to train and very easy to train as long as you understand his quirks.

RHN: Does your horse have a “day job” during the week?
BB: We sometimes trail ride with him, use him to gather cattle, or bring the 2-year-old colts out of the pasture.

RHN: What NRSHA affiliate association did you show in to qualify? Was qualifying a goal all last year?
BB: I show Woodrow in the AQHA and Stock Horse of Texas regularly. Our goal was to make it to this show.

ben baldus scratching Seven S Woodrow
Seven S Woodrow enjoys a scratch from trainer Ben Baldus at the 2019 NRSHA National Show. Photo courtesy of Ben Baldu.

RHN: What class challenged you the most at the national show?
BB: I felt pretty confident with how Woodrow had been in training and showing this year. While he hasn’t been in the bridle very long I was really pleased with how he handled all the classes one-handed.

RHN: How do you prepare for the all-around versatility shows?
BB: I have to focus on the trail and ranch riding a little more than the other classes, he is a really smart horse, so I have to work on him being relaxed for those classes.

RHN: What was your first thought when you were announced champion? 
BB: I felt the fulfillment of the hard work and dedication the whole team puts into our horses. I couldn’t win without Cameron, my wife, and the whole team supporting me.

RHN: What are your future goals in ranch horse events?
BB: First he gets a little time off to enjoy his achievements, and then back to the show pen. He likes showing and is so good at it!

For more on the NRSHA champions, visit ranchhorse.net. AQHA has complete coverage from the Zoetis-sponsored World Show, and Level 1 Cattle Championships, at aqha.com

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