Journal on the Road

The Horsemen’s Reunion

April 7, 2012

Catching up with old friends and giving colts a good start in life in the process.

By Holly Clanahan for America’s Horse

By Day 5, the colts were being ridden together in a large outdoor arena. Here, a group of riders tracks a couple of steers. Scroll to the slideshow below to see more photos. Journal photos.

It began as a problem: Cathie and Rowly Twisselman had a lot of horses to get started under saddle. Normally, they hire Martin Black to come in and start colts at their Madonna Inn Quarter Horses in California, but in 2011, events conspired against them so that that didn’t happen.  So, here it is 2012, and they had a crop of 2- and 3-year-olds to get started.

But there’s another way to look at problems: as opportunities. The Twisselmans, Martin and Chris Cox hatched the idea for the Horsemen’s Reunion. They asked 18 other respected colt-starters to come to Paso Robles, California, April 2-7, where they would have those six days to get two colts started apiece. The horsemen came at their own expense — some of them from Canada, Australia and even Switzerland — as a way to pay back to the horse world. The event also benefits Western Wishes, a cowboy-oriented group similar to Make-A-Wish.  As Cathie said, “It’s all about giving.”

Although the Horsemen’s Reunion is not a competition, there are lots of winners here: spectators, who had almost more learning than they could take in; the colts, who got great starts in life; and the horsemen themselves, who seemed to be having a genuinely good time. Many of them are longtime friends — in fact, Bryan Neubert remembered first meeting Joe Wolter in 1972 — and they enjoyed the chance to catch up with one another.

The event concludes today, with a grand finale and an auction of the colts.

The horsemen who were involved (besides Martin and Chris) include: Clayton Anderson, Wade Black, Craig Cameron, Antoine Cloux, Sid Cook, Rob Leach, Ken May, Bryan Neubert, Luke Neubert, Jim Neubert, Pat Parelli, Ed Robertson, Thomas B. Saunders V., Blake Schlosser, Mike Sears, Ty Van Norman, Ron Wall and Joe Wolter. Many of these horsemen have been featured previously in America’s Horse, and we look forward to doing stories with more of them in the future. To learn more about them, check out the bios at the Horsemen’s Reunion website.

Don’t miss our slideshow from the event (and remember to click on the photos below to read the descriptive captions). And look for a story coming soon in the print version of America’s Horse, which goes exclusively to AQHA members.  

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