Road to the Horse participants show off motor pony skills prior to competition

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Road to the Horse competition will be a hot ticket out at the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend. But some people couldn’t contain their enthusiasm, and decided to show off their skills Wednesday afternoon in downtown Lexington.

Photo: WKYT/Chelsea Jones

They just left the horses at home, and rode something a little different instead. They're called motor ponies, but the people you see riding them are real equestrians.

"We've brought our championship clinicians to ride around and let everybody know what the show is about," says Tootie Bland, creator of Road to the Horse. "We've got trick ropers and trick riders."

The competition kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. Although competitors were on motor ponies today, they'll be riding real horses this weekend.

"We're going to put on a Wild West show. This is literally a show with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill," says Bland.

The three-day competition challenges the world's best equestrians to build partnerships with untouched, 3-year-old American Quarter horses.

"Through natural horsemanship, we're going to transform these horses to be sort of an outlaw when the first arrive. Sunday these guys will be standing up on them, shooting guns and whips. It's a transformation that honestly you have to see to believe."

The winner of the competition takes home a $100,000 dollar prize and earns the World Championship of Colt Starting title.

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