You've already met Cindy and her horse Bravo and read about what makes Bravo such a special partner. Keep reading to find out more about the competitions they enter, and when you can expect to see them on TV!
What made you want to join ACTHA and the America's Favorite Trail Horse Competition?
I've always loved the old style trail class obstacles?bridges, gates, mail boxes?and working through obstacles have really helped me face and overcome all my riding fears. I also like the ACTHA format of six miles and six obstacles. It's really neat that any breed can do well, and you can be as competitive as you want to be. We'd been doing really well at the trail challenges, so I was excited to try out for America's Favorite Trail Horse. Bravo totally deserves it, but I still feel pretty amazed that I'm included in the finals with so many wonderful trainers and competitors.
What has the process been like in the AFTH competition?
First there were tryouts held across the country. The closest one to us was in Comanche, Texas. It was also one of the largest. Everyone had to perform a set of arena obstacles that included a tight set of irregularly spaced trot poles, stopping over and side passing a pole, and backing a figure 8. We also had an interview. I don't know which I was more nervous for, but as soon as Bravo sailed across those trot poles, I knew we had it.
There was just an amazing energy in him. So when we did our interview, I was still on a high from our great performance and just gushed on and on about him. Out of the nearly 1,000 teams that tried out, 100 were invited to the finals, which were held near Austin, Texas. We had three days of competition where celebrity judges including, Monte Roberts, Lynn Palm, Guy McLean, Nancy Cahill, and Pat and Linda Parelli, gave us feedback on our performances. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. They will edit the footage taken over those three days to show on air where they will feature 10 horses an episode for 10 episodes. Viewers will get to vote on their favorites for each episode, and the top voted team in each episode will be the Top Ten featured and voted on during episode #12. The winners will be announced during episode #13.
What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your career?
Being one of the finalists on America's Favorite Trail Horse is by far the greatest accomplishment I've had. I had a lot of faith in Bravo, but I also knew how amazing the horse and rider pairs that tried out across the country were. There were a lot of professional trainers or riders/horses who have been competing for years. It's testament to Bravo's amazing spirit that we've both come so far in such a short time.
What's your favorite section of Horse&Rider?
I love the training articles and any trail or travel tips. I always repost any articles addressing overcoming fears because I've found that many women my age have had the same problem I did. We were fearless as teens but then had either medical issues or bad experiences that kept us from riding. It's nice to know you aren't alone and that you can get back in the saddle.
Who took the picture you entered?
That picture (see the photo in Cindy and Bravo's first blog) was taken on Bravo's first day in Oklahoma by my best friend, Regan Markley. He'd been in transport for a couple of days and was ready to stretch out and relax. He's quite the yawner?he does it every time I put his bit in his mouth. He was even yawning during my interview for America's Favorite Trail Horse. I guess he's heard it all before.
When can our readers expect to see you and Bravo Canyon on TV?
The series begins September 13, 2011 with episode #1, which will be an overview of the entire event. Bravo and I will be on Episode #5 which airs October 11, 2011. The entire series will airon HRTV (DISH channel 404). It runs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/ 5 p.m. Pacific; then the episode will be repeated Tuesday at 11 p.m. Eastern/ 8 p.m. Pacific and Sunday at 10 a.m. Eastern/ 7 a.m. Pacific.
Also, the episodes will be available online at HRTV.com and ACTHA.TV. You can always follow all of Bravo's progress and stay updated on how to vote for Bravo Canyon #230 (or any of your favorites) by liking our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bravocanyon . Thanks!