Special Events

The following Special Events are coming to the 2019 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo!

Make sure to check out the websites of the presenters for full details.

This list will be updated regularly,
so be sure to come back often.

Colt Starting Challenge USA

Interview with Russell & Cristy

Colt Starting Challenge USA 2019

To enter your unbroke mare or gelding for this event, call Cristy at 808-269-3408.

If you love horses, you will enjoy watching experienced cowboys and cowgirls from around the Country gentle, start, and ride unbroke horses in just a few hours. How is this possible? These horse trainers are not only very talented, but they are using Natural Horsemanship methods. This technique speeds up the process of starting and gentling a horse. Our event is not only to entertain you, but also to educate you about how a horse thinks, operates, and responds to a Horse Trainer’s cues using body language. Watch THE ACTION as you see the unique personalities of not only the horses, but also of the Contestants, and their original concepts to starting colts.

It is Colt Starting Challenge USA’s goal to provide a forum for Horse Trainers from around the Country to compete at our events, in order to show off their Natural Horsemanship skills. The Trainers compete against each other in order to find out at each event, who wins the Champion Trainer buckle. Trainers gain cumulative points at each event towards participation in the National Finals, at the prestigious NFR Cowboy Christmas Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in December.

Colt Starting Challenge USA was founded by expert Horse Trainer Russell Beatty and his wife and announcer Cristy Beatty. They now tour the United States to produce Colt Starting Challenge USA events from California to Virginia.

For more information, see our web site at www.coltstartingchallengeusa.com and our Facebook page for videos of our events.

Colt Starting Challenge USA Schedule

All events take place in the Event Center.

Friday, March 1:
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Saturday, March 2:
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sunday, March 3:
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Colt Starting Challenge USA Contestants

Colt Starting Challenge USA are still taking applicants for the Colt Starting competition to be held at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, March 1-3, 2019. 

For more information contact Colt Starting Challenge USA. 



Darrell Gardner – Copperas Cove, TX

Darrell Gardner is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana currently residing in Texas. For most of his life he has surrounded himself with horses, which began 15 years ago with riding that led to his passion of training for the last 10 years. His method of training includes a combination of principles and knowledge to achieve the best outcome not only for himself as a trainer but his clients. His methods are based around the principles of love, respect, obedience, and loyalty and emphasizing patience, communication and trust. Over the past 10 years of training horses, he has become experienced and proficient in a variety of disciplines to include colt starting, problem solving, and trail horses. The mass of horses he has provided training to for individual clients have been to correct problems such as bucking, rearing, trailer loading, correction of learned behavior, as well as working with hundreds of colts that have become great horses in the production world. His drive to continually educate and better himself through his training has led him to a great number of events and horse shows. He has competed 3 years in Extreme Mustang Makeover, finishing as a Top 10 finalist and is scheduled to compete in multiple events for the  2018 Colt Starting Challenge, USA. Overall, his main goals are to be able to compete and win the Road to the Horse, being among the best of the world in colt starting and being recognized as one of the world’s greatest horse trainers.

Ben Cunningham – Lake George, CO

Ben Cunningham grew up in family that traveled and moved a lot, seeing a lot of the US and Canada. His dad however made sure they always had a little land. Ben recognized early on that livestock was something that he wanted to base his work around and the western United States was where he wanted to  live.

When Ben was about 16 his folks moved the family to Virginia and as soon as he turned 18 he headed off for Montana and got a job with one of the premiere cattle ranches of the state. Ben had been riding horses since he was knee-high but it was here, working cattle that he realized the importance of good Horsemanship. He began learning about Ray Hunt and the Dorrance brothers and got hooked on the traditional vaquero way of natural horsemanship, thus he embarked on his quest of becoming a horseman.

Ben has since worked elsewhere and has been starting colts, working with a wide  variety of troubled horses and helping individuals to attain to better Horsemanship. At age 21, he is currently located in Lake George, CO.

Jon Rumsey – Ft. Garland, CO

Jon Rumsey is the owner and operator of Equine Transformations in Ft. Garland, Colorado. He is a 33 year old trainer and farrier who was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he lived until the age of 16 when he and his family moved to Ruskin, Florida. Jon joined the U.S. Army in January of 2009 where he gained more skills by riding in the Ft. Carson Mounted Color Guard which helped him develop and shape the thought processes and tactics that he uses with the horses he trains today. Today, Jon trains and shoes horses for the public across the majority of Southern Colorado. Over the last few years, Jon has started roughly 60 horses with a variety of issues and developed them into strong, dependable, loyal equines for their owners to enjoy. His style of training reflects a mutual respect between the horse and the trainer. Jon also holds regular horsemanship and cattle working clinics around Southern Colorado for the public to attend with their horses.

Jon has competed in the National Cavalry Competition each year since 2010. He had the opportunity to be an instructor at the US Cavalry School at of Little Bighorn in 2017 and will take over horse management and riding instructing in 2018. Jon entered the Colt Starting Challenge for the first time in 2017. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his children and horseback riding through the mountains of Colorado. He now runs Sage Cut Ranch raising Black Angus cattle and working cattle horses.

Anthony (Tony) Edwards – Peyton, CO

I’m an Oklahoma cowboy who resides in Peyton, Colorado. I ride horses out of the Prairie Wind Ranch. I’ve been riding for over 30 years and training for half that. I love that the relationship with the horse is built on trust and respect. Which sounds strict, however allows to have fun , and accomplish goals.

I have adopted the philosophy of riding your horse not for what he can do for you, but what you can do for him. The more I learn about horses and people the more I learn there’s so much to learn.God bless y’all I’m Tony Edwards, look forward to seeing y’all horseback somewhere soon.

Robert Carsel – Aimes, IA

Robert Carsel is currently located in Central Iowa and will soon be relocating back home to Southern Missouri.

I have been working with horses my whole life and starting colts since I was 13, I’m a farrier full time and now ride colts part time. I concentrate on a very solid foundation from groundwork through all stages of training to accomplish a soft, responsive, and willing horse that can go any direction or discipline.

If you would like to see some of my work or horses I’ve trained please go visit Robert Carsel Colt Starting on Facebook. Give me a call anytime.

Fred Olguin – Hudson, CO

Fred Olguin here. Here is a little snap shot of my training career. I am 55 years old now, and have found that the natural horsemanship way is the only way to start a young horse. I do almost all of colt starting alone, so the old ways of snubbing off to a seasoned horse is kind of out of the picture for me. Like Dad used to do.

For the last 30 years or so I have started young horses or worked out “kinks” on some troubled mounts. Most of my work has been for myself or friends. I’ve taken ideas from the likes of Chris Cox, Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli and anyone else that has some touch with horses including my Dad. He was a ranch hand on a spread in Southwest Colorado, and had some fine horses. He started them a little differently, but was a believer that lots of work and no abuse to the animal was how you achieved the goal of trust and reliability on your horse.

I use a bosal on most of the young ones, only in the last ten years or so have I used a snaffle bit, “O” ring style. I have had a couple pretty good ones come out of that method also. This will be my first time in this environment, I am looking forward to the challenge. And hope I end up with a nice horse for someone.

Zen Greenlee – Delta, CO

Zen has been riding and starting colts for quite a bit of his life now. He works horses with the understanding that “…you can’t force a horse.” He looks for the colt to partner with him and make the choice.

When he was approached and asked about his method, he simply stated “I don’t have one. You see, not all horses are the same. I have to do things different with each one. The closest thing I have to a “method” is simply the 3 C’s. Calm, confident, and consistent.

See him on Facebook under The Rusty Spur Ranch.

Rhett Fincher – Cresson, TX

Rhett Michael Fincher is a 3* Licensed Parelli Professional and a Senior Horse Development Specialist.  He currently resides in Cresson, Texas with his wife, Theresa, 3 horses and 3 dogs.  Rhett currently leases a property in Texas with 300 acres, 20 stall barn, and facilities for training.

Rhett has started over one thousand colts, competed in colt start competitions across the country, teaches horsemanship, and helps trainers and owners with challenging horses. He has spent over five years with world-renowned horseman, Pat Parelli and has additionally studied Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Buck Brannaman and Monty Roberts so that Rhett could develop a deeper understanding of horse psychology and how to cause the horse to want to follow direction versus brace against it.

Rhett’s mission is to help others obtain the relationship they desire with their horse while keeping their horses dignity in tact.

Mustang Days

Presented by Colorado Mustangs
Rocky Mountain Horse Expo

Friday, March 1 – Stadium Arena
8:00 AMHandling and Conditioning Class

Friday, March 1 – Stadium Arena
4:00 PMManeuvers Class

Saturday, March 2 – Stadium Arena
2:00 PMFreestyle

Saturday, March 3 – Stadium Arena
2:00 PMExtreme Race


Battle on the Rockies

Friday, March 1 – Event Center Arena
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM  Ranch Riding

Clinic – Jill Cook 

Saturday, March 2 – Stadium Arena
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM Trail Classes

Clinic  – Devon Warren

Saturday Evening – The Mane Event



Colorado Obstacle Challenge Buckle Series

Presented by Colorado Obstacle Challenge Series

Click here: 2019 Colorado Obstacle Challenge Buckle Series

Click here for event registration via Equine City Hall website

  • To register/purchase this event, this website requires login or creation of a free New Visitor Registration account.
  • Once at the website, click on the HORSE TOWN STORE button at the left.
  • In the SHOP FOR drop down menu, select “Event” and click “GO”.
  • Select the “Expo 2019 Colorado Obstacle Challenge”.
  • Follow the prompts on each screen. On the “Available Sessions” tab, click to checkmark each Division level and/or Jackpot Race option you want to participate in.
  • Once on the checkout screen, if you would like to change the Quantity of any of the Divisions entries, you may do so here.
  • Complete registration by using the Check Out button and following the prompts.
  • Two separate confirmation emails will be sent to you upon successful registration.

Select Horse Showcase & Sale

Sale:  Saturday, March 2, 2019 5:30 PM in the Historic Stadium Arena
Preview : Saturday March 2, 2019 starting at 1:00PM – 3:00PM in the Hall of Education Arena until end of sale

Click here for Sale Listings

Horse Sale conducted by Harley D. Troyer Auctioneers, Inc., who has been conducting successful auctions since 1978.

Email:  troyerauctioneers@msn.com
Website:  www.troyerauctions.com
Phone:  970-785-6282

Art Show & Sale

All weekend during Tradeshow hours!

Come view the creations of sophisticated and talented artists who blend their passion for horses with their creative intuition! The artists selected to exhibit their work at the “Art in the Park” gallery in the Hall of Education Building at this year’s Expo will display paintings, equine-related photography, bronze sculptures and various mixed-media all celebrating the horse from their own perspective and artistic interpretation. All artwork displayed is available for purchase.

Cowboy Dressage Show

Featuring clinician Marcia Moore Harrison

Pre-Registration Required

DATE & TIME: March 2nd, 2019 | Two Clinics:  8:00am to 9:30am & 9:45am to 11:15am

INTRODUCTORY CLINICS: Learn the basics of Ranch Sorting in a slow and quiet environment from two young Ranch Sorting trainer, Jaden Wolfe and Cole Piotrowski, who are extremely excited about the sport. Everything is done at a walk and trot pace.

SORTING PRACTICE: For everyone that is anxious to get their horses back out after having the winter off, we are offering practice for $40 per person. Come and ride in the Denver Events Center complex while bringing some new friends to ride in the introductory clinics!

You must pre-register for both the clinics and the practice!