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Casper College cowboys take second at Road to the Horse challenge

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Three Casper College Rodeo team members took second place at the recently held Days of ’47 Rodeo and Road to the Horse Collegiate Colt Starting Challenge July 23-24 in Salt Lake City. 

The team competed for $30,000 in scholarships against two other colleges – the University of Montana Western and Utah Valley University. 

 “We recruited colleges who had strong horsemanship programs and who were in the region,” said Tammy Sronce, director of operations for Road to the Horse. 

The team members participating were Ty Christensen of Plain City, Utah; Carson Johnson of Casper; and Beau Rees of Tooele, Utah. The three were accompanied by Sandy Bob Forbes, Casper College rodeo team assistant coach.  

According to Jerry Hawkes, dean for the Casper College School of Science, the three students were chosen based on their ability, interest and availability to compete in Salt Lake City.  

“What a great choice Ty, Beau and Carson were for us,” said Casper College Athletic Director Paul Marble. “They really represented Casper College in a professional and highly respectful manner and had the leadership of Sandy Bob. His experience is just what the team needed.”  

Each team chose an unbroken colt from the Diamond-McNabb Ranch Horse Remuda. There were five colts to choose from, and the teams selected the colts in a random go-order.  

According to Sronce, over two days, Road to the Horse celebrity judges Jeff Williams, Ken McNabb and Wade Black scored the teams in different categories that tested the students’ standards of horsemanship while gentling the colt selected by their respective team.  

“[It was] a close competition that came down to the final obstacle course,” said Sronce. 

The Casper College team, dressed in matching shirts branded with the Casper College logo, were in the lead after three rounds. 

 “In the performance stage, our horse chose not to walk across a tarp,” noted Marble.  

This one issue allowed the University of Montana Western to take the lead. 

“Our students did a magnificent job of preparing a previously unbroken horse for an incredible competition,” Marble continued. “I am still dumbfounded how they were able to get a young colt in two days to a point where it would do all that they did in the obstacle course.”  

Carson, Christensen and Rees will equally divide the $10,000 scholarship prize money and apply it to their educational requirements.  

“The event was a great success for our students who gained a great deal of experience, exhibited their skill set and made a great addition to their individual networking associations,” said Hawkes. 

According to Sronce, the purpose of Road to the Horse, founded in 2003, is to identify the superior colt starter who accumulates the highest score throughout the competition. 

“Judging focuses on the competitor and the effectiveness of their horsemanship methodology to communicate, educate and build a partnership with their colt based on trust,” said Sronce. “Fans witness the entire journey, from colt selection to the final obstacle challenge.” 

This article is courtesy of Casper College. For more information, visit 

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