Monthly Archives: April 2014

Legacy Of Legends 2014

Legacy of Legends - Buster McLaury

Buster McLaury working a colt from horseback

The 3rd annual Legacy of Legends was held from January 31to February 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the South Point Casino and Convention Centre.
The event is a self described labour of love by Buck Brannaman and Carolyn Hunt endeavoring to keep alive the teachings of two horsemen, Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, that both have passed on. Previous students of Ray and Tom’s came from all over the country to share their stories and wisdom. Presenters included Buck Brannaman and his daughter Reata, Buster McLaury, Peter Campbell, Paul Dietz, Wayne Robinson, Mindy Bower, Nick Dowers, Jaton Lord, and Kip Fladland.

An additional goal of this event is to raise funds to provide mentorship placements for horsemanship students who want to develop skills in the tradition of Hunt and Dorrance. In addition to ticket sales, money is raised from a silent auction, a saddle raffle (courtesy of Kent Frecker Saddles) and two of Carolyn Hunt’s colts (from some of Ray’s original bloodlines) were auctioned on the last day. The mentorships were initially one month duration but as Carolyn Hunt explained, this was only enough time for the students to scratch the surface of knowledge so the committee has now expanded it to three months. This year they had 49 applicants for 7 placements with various horse trainers who had learned directly from Hunt and Dorrance.

Each day began with 3 hours of colt starting, featuring different trainers working alongside one another with the same colt for an hour. As traditional horsemanship would dictate, if a horse needed more time they adjusted the schedule. “Take the time it takes according to what the horse needs,” was an oft repeated phrase.

This was about each horse getting ready to be a human partner, not a Trainer’s Challenge type of contest where the horse can be the ultimate loser. In fact, Jason Lord was asked why he didn’t do more with his colt on the third day and he replied that the colt was one of his own and he was going to take all the time he needed in starting her. He judged that the horse needed to soak on what had been taught previously, before adding new information.

Mindy Bower presented daily on Retraining Problems in the Jumping Horse. She showed how giving a horse choice, and having patience in letting them make a choice rather than forcing a jump can boost a horse’s confidence and willingness. Even non horse jumpers can appreciate how Ray Hunt’s basic principles can be applied to any discipline, not just the western ones.

Melanie Smith Taylor, a gold medal Olympian who learned from Ray Hunt, demonstrated applying Ray’s principles in coaching three young riders over jumps each day. She remarked, “I’m not sure I would have won more events than I did had I learned from Ray from the start, but I know I would have had much happier, comfortable horses.”

Buck Brannaman presented a two hour horsemanship class daily, working with riders of different ages on horses of various breeds and advancement. Starting with groundwork and eventually working in the saddle, he took the students through a progression of exercises that develop leadership and athleticism.

Legacy of Legends

Buck is entering the arena

Jaton Lord and Nick Dowers, who are both currently excelling on the show circuit, showcased how they use Tom and Ray’s wisdom for reining and working cow horse events. They explained the rules and judging of the events for those not familiar with the sport.
Each day ended with an hour of roping demonstrations where the horse clinicians simply played and had fun working together. The weekend culminated in a roping contest for bragging rights.

It was quite notable that when clinicians weren’t on stage in the arena, they were in the stands watching and learning alongside the rest of us. Many remarked that this was a great opportunity to learn from one another and to be reminded of techniques that they had learned but maybe had forgotten. This was a down-to-earth event where presenters were quite relaxed, many jokes were told and a few even teased one another.

The Legacy of Legends was very worthwhile to attend, not only for the learning opportunities from such a wide array of people but also that it supports a mentorship program that ultimately will benefit many horses.

Most importantly, it really makes Tom Dorrance’s and Ray Hunt’s teachings come alive for those of us who never had the privilege to see these horsemen in action.

Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS

Ever heard of geocaching? How about geocaching on horseback?

For the 3rd year in a row, Amazing Backcountry is hosting The Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS, a fundraiser for the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) that is now operating throughout all four western Canadian provinces.

Participating in the growing sport of Equine Geocaching, riders tap into their adventurous spirit to hide and find caches in amazing horse-accessible locations.

We want you!

Finding a geocache

Rider Susan Wall finds a geocache.

Riders from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are register to participate in the STARS fundraiser. It’s a great way to meet new people, explore new trails, and support a good cause. To date, riders participating in the Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS have raised over $37,000! ¬†In 2013 alone, there were a total of 64 caches placed throughout Western Canada on 37 different trails, spanning a distance of 460km from Fort Assiniboine to Waterton, AB and the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan.

We are setting our sites high for 2014, looking to raise even more money and add even more riding areas in to Amazing Backcountrys new global Trail Guide.

Sound like fun? That’s what it’s all about, while at the same time raising money for the lifesaving organization of STARS.

How does it work?

The race begins on May 1st and ends on October 16th. ??If you’re not already an Amazing Backcountry member, you can easily sign up here.

Membership is completely free and only takes a minute. With your membership you have full access to the Trail Guide, Contests, Rider Forum, Library, Adventures, and our own Horse Riders Network.

ABC Race for STARS Cache Hiding

Riders Linda Fitzpatrick and Sam McPhedran on a cache – hiding mission.

Once a member you can choose to Ride for STARS and then head out for some great riding and exploring. Throughout the Race, find people to sponsor you: simply send them to your page on the Amazing Backcountry website where they can quickly and easily make an online donation. No trudging door-to-door with a pledge sheet! 100% of your sponsors’ donations go directly to STARS. Every donor will receive a tax receipt from STARS.

The Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS is a very interactive event; with the exception of heading to the hills to hide and find geocaches, the Race is conducted online. Share your riding adventures, post pictures of your rides, chat with other riders, and view your individual donations and fundraising totals in real time.

Throughout the summer Amazing Backcountry also runs a variety of fun contests for participants. At the completion of the event, prizes are awarded to top fundraising riders at a fun-filled riding event.

This is a race after all, and the big winners are those riders that raise the most money for STARS!

A Friends and Family Activity

ABC Race for STARS - Cache Hide

Rider Mike Harink and his family have hidden caches at some amazing locations!

The Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS – and Amazing Backcountry itself is a great activity for families, friends and riders of all disciplines.

Turn your rides in to social events by inviting friends and family along with you.

Not riding??? You can still be involved.

Choose your favourite horse and rider duo and sponsor them! Or take advantage of advertising opportunities by choosing to sponsor the fundraiser through a monetary contribution. The event is 100% volunteer run and costs, such as banking fees and advertising, are funded by our great event sponsors. Our advertising program for event sponsors includes newsletters with a distribution of over 12,000, Facebook posts, links on our website and, of course, your ad featured on our site.

Related Links:

Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS Information

Contact the Ride organizers, Brenda Murdock and Scott Phillips

STARS website