For women like Vicki Wilson, anything is possible on the back of a horse, including winning the annual colt-starting competition, Road to the Horse, with a dislocated shoulder.
In Road to the Horse, all contestants have three hours to break untamed horses and train them to run a complex obstacle course. Vicki cut out a three-year old Four-Sixes Quarter Horse she affectionately named Kentucky, and in less than three hours put the green colt through the groundwork necessary to tame him.
Vicki was the first New Zealander to compete in the prestigious world-wide equestrian championship and she did so with her arm in a sling. Her shoulder popped out of the socket on the first day of training and she was determined to continue on through the pain. “I didn’t come all the way from New Zealand to stay on the ground,” Vicki commented about the injury. “I worked my muscles to keep them going and pressed on.”
Vicki is proud of Kentucky. “He moved beautifully,” she recalled, “and he dug deep showing me a great amount of trust through it all.” For most of her life, Vicki has been training wild horses from New Zealand, Australia and America. “Every horse has a different way of learning,” she noted. “Some can handle more pressure than others. Kentucky was one such horse.”
Vicki went on to explain that much is expected of an ubroke horse in the Road to the Horse competition. They have to be able to perform under hundreds of lights, in a massive arena, in front of thousands of cheering people, and keep their focus. “Nothing can shake them,” she added. Kentucky proved to be as unshakable as his rider. She will return to defend her Road to the Horse title in 2018. She hopes to be healthier, wiser and more keenly aware that the harder the struggle the more glorious the triumph.