Nebraska trainer champion of Dakota Horse Challenge | TSLN.com

Nebraska trainer champion of Dakota Horse Challenge

Robin Reinhold
for Tri-State Livestock News

Excitement was in the air at the Lonetree Ranch/Rainbow Bible Ranch east of Sturgis on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The first Dakota Horse Challenge finale brought top notch trainers and horses together for an unforgettable day of competition and sportsmanship.

The event, hosted by Larry and Robin Reinhold and family, began in mid-March, when fifteen trainers each took home two head of Lonetree Ranch-raised gelding prospects. The horses, which were halter broke as colts, underwent 90 days of schooling in the hands of trainers from South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Texas. In addition to being an exciting horse training competition, the purpose of the Dakota Horse Challenge was to help Rainbow Bible Ranch rebuild their remuda, which was devastated in the blizzard of October 2013.

Event coordinator and host, Larry Reinhold, says that the idea has been in the works for a couple of years, but the sudden devastation of the blizzard put the wheels into motion. "You cannot deny how God has provided the timing, resources and the right people to make it happen," Reinhold said.

The Finale consisted of two segments in which the trainers could show their accomplishments and capabilities. In the required portion of the competition, trainers had five minutes to take their horse through obstacles like pulling a log, bridling, picking up feet, trailer loading, going over a bridge, over logs, through water, through a gate, reining, carrying a bucket of water, and handling a rope.

The second segment was the Freestyle, in which the trainer had up to five minutes to "show off" the horse's strengths. Some trainers brought their own props, and cattle were available to use for tracking, roping or cutting.

Judging the competition were Matt Lopez, Lemmon, S.D., Justin Palmer, Idaho Falls, Idaho., and Luke Reinbold, Canisteo, N.Y.

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After the scores were tallied and awards given, the Reinhold family chose one horse from each trainer to keep and use in their program. Each trainer was then given the second horse to take home as their own. $21,000 was given in prize money. Plans are in the works for the next Dakota Horse Challenge.

1. Marty Leggett, Broken Bow, Neb.

2. Hall Performance Horses, Edgemont, S.D.

3. Laurel Austin, Belle Fourche, S.D.

4. Collin Christiansen, Carthage, S.D.

5. Alesa Jones, North Platte, Neb.

6. Eric Addison, Caputa, S.D.

7. Joey Weed, Broken Bow, Neb.