IRT All-Star The Way Of The Horse

IRT All-Star The Way Of The Horse (4)

The All-Stars

EQUITANA Melbourne is bringing back four All-Star trainers for this year’s The Way Of The Horse (TWOTH) Challenge.

To celebrate the 20th year of EQUITANA in Australia, the world-famous horse-starting challenge will feature past champions, making this the ultimate horsemanship competition. This is one that’s not to be missed!

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The 2018 TWOTH Challenge will showcase the training techniques of four previous winners of the competition: Bruce O'Dell (2014), Ken Faulkner (2012), Adam Sutton (2010) and the first EQUITANA Auckland TWOTH winner, Tui Teka (2017). They will go head-to-head across the four days of EQUITANA Melbourne, transforming four unhandled horses from wild to willing, in the hope of being crowned champion of champions!

During the Challenge, our four All-Star trainers will demonstrate their highly personal and specialised methods of connecting with an unbroken horse.

This electrifying horsemanship contest is action-packed right from the start. After choosing their young, unhandled horse from a selection trucked directly from paddock to the venue, the four trainers work simultaneously in separate round pens, giving the public a unique opportunity to compare starting methods and training styles. Contestants will be judged by a respected panel of judges and the overall winner will be announced at the highly anticipated finale on Sunday evening of EQUITANA Melbourne.

TWOTH was created in 2005 by EQUITANA Australia to demonstrate a kinder and more caring way to start a young horse and to showcase the impressive training skills of our home-grown horsemen and women. The trainers chosen for the Challenge each year represent the same ethos and with All-Star Champions being selected to compete in 2018, it is sure to be a horsemanship competition like no other.

Find out more about our All-Star trainers competing in November below.

Thursday, 17 May 2018 17:05

Tui Teka

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Additional Info

  • Firstname Tui
  • Lastname Teka
  • Headline Champion: EQUITANA Auckland 2017
  • Profile

    The champion of the very first TWOTH in New Zealand during EQUITANA Auckland 2017, Tui Teka was bred to “whisper” and his talent with horses comes from deep within.

    He grew up along the New Zealand coast around horses, coming from a strong bloodline of great horsemen. He knew from a young age they would play a huge part in his life. It is no surprise to those who have seen him in action that he’s one of the previous winners of the prestigious horsemanship competition and has been asked to come back for All-Star TWOTH.

    The 24-year-old, who is currently based at New Zealand Performance Horses (NZPH) in Hawke’s Bay, started working with young horses at 13.

    “I wanted to make my dreams a reality,” he says. “Horses have always been a way of life for me.”

  • ProfileContinued

    He grew up on the remote East Coast, where he rode to school on horseback and spent his weekends taming wild horses.

    The horses he works with at NZPH are a far cry from those early days – they’re top showjumping stock from some of the world’s best lines. In the three years he has been there, he has broken in more than 100 horses. He has also worked at other studs and pre-race training stables.

    His way is gentle, and he is always looking to learn from the masters – the likes of the Double Dan Horsemanship and Clinton Anderson.

    “There are so many out there, but I want to learn from those who inspire me.”

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Thursday, 17 May 2018 17:05

Ken Faulkner

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Additional Info

  • Firstname Ken
  • Lastname Faulkner
  • Headline Champion: EQUITANA Melbourne 2012
  • Profile

    Ken Faulkner, winner of 2012 The Way Of The Horse, began his horsemanship career at the age of fifteen when he started “breaking-in” horses for the public. Although he was surrounded by stockmen who broke in horses using traditional methods, he always felt there was an easier way, both for the horse and rider. Over the years he developed his own style which was successful, but he still felt there was something he didn’t quite understand. The answer became clearer during a trip to the US when he met several master horsemen who understood and could explain horse psychology. Now the sky was the limit and he began the journey of passing on his years of knowledge, training and experience to his students.

    For the past eighteen years, his full-time occupation has been travelling throughout the world helping people and horses work together in harmony. His courses are currently run in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and France.

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    Ken’s knowledge and information helps people and horses build a level of communication that will enable them to move forward together as a partnership, understand the intricacies of finesse riding and high level liberty.

    Ken has created a program for students to follow with the option to sit for assessments and gain certificates if they desire. By the time a student and horse officially reach Certificate III, they will have the ability to perform whatever type of horsemanship discipline they choose.

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Thursday, 17 May 2018 17:04

Bruce O`Dell

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Bruce O'Dell, 2014 The Way Of The Horse Winner and Master Farrier by trade, has been breaking in thoroughbred, warmblood and performance horses for over 20 years. Originating from Queensland, Bruce has worked his way around Australia, the U.S.A and Canada, starting and educating young horses.

The former Professional Saddle Bronc Rider has started hundreds of horses and is on a mission to show the public that cowboys have a refined, gentle and educated side, and are not the rough and tumble stereotypes that have garnered a crueller reputation in bygone years.

O’Dell competed on the rodeo scene internationally, across USA and Canada, completing his Master Farrier qualification in the process. In his competition career he was accoladed as the highest ever saddle-bronc money earner. He lives on his Maldon property with his wife Jane, who is a champion Barrel Racer. After 17 years on the Australian Professional Rodeo circuit, winning all of Australia’s major titles, and competing at the infamous Calgary Stampede, O’Dell has now retired from competition.

Bruce believes in establishing the basics and providing people with methods to help eliminate rider frustration and confused horses. Covering the physical, mental, and emotional state of the horse is essential in moving forward. Individual exercises for individual partnerships result in better communication between horse and rider.

Additional Info

  • Firstname Bruce
  • Lastname O`Dell
  • Headline Champion: EQUITANA Melbourne 2014
  • Profile

    Bruce O'Dell, 2014 The Way Of The Horse Winner and Master Farrier by trade, has been breaking in thoroughbred, warmblood and performance horses for over 20 years. Originating from Queensland, Bruce has worked his way around Australia, the U.S.A and Canada, starting and educating young horses.

    The former Professional Saddle Bronc Rider has started hundreds of horses and is on a mission to show the public that cowboys have a refined, gentle and educated side, and are not the rough and tumble stereotypes that have garnered a crueller reputation in bygone years.

    O’Dell competed on the rodeo scene internationally, across USA and Canada, completing his Master Farrier qualification in the process. In his competition career he was accoladed as the highest ever saddle-bronc money earner. He lives on his Maldon property with his wife Jane, who is a champion Barrel Racer. After 17 years on the Australian Professional Rodeo circuit, winning all of Australia’s major titles, and competing at the infamous Calgary Stampede, O’Dell has now retired from competition.

  • ProfileContinued

    Bruce believes in establishing the basics and providing people with methods to help eliminate rider frustration and confused horses. Covering the physical, mental, and emotional state of the horse is essential in moving forward. Individual exercises for individual partnerships result in better communication between horse and rider.

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Thursday, 17 May 2018 17:04

Adam Sutton

Written by

Additional Info

  • Firstname Adam
  • Lastname Sutton
  • Headline Champion: EQUITANA Melbourne 2010
  • Profile

    2010 TWOTH Winner, Adam Sutton is based in Cooranbong, NSW, where he grew up riding neatly with the local exemplary Pony Club once a fortnight and hooning around the Watagan Mountains like a mad thing the rest of the of the time. Later, Adam developed passion for rodeo and camp-drafting that took him all over Australia.

    Adam went on to build a reputation as a skilled and respected rodeo competitor, colt starter, riding instructor and trick rider – culminating in a stint as a wrangler for the movie 'Ned Kelly', where he also helped the actors with horsemanship skills.

    His star horse is Archie, an unraced Thoroughbred stallion who Adam saved from slaughter and who has undoubtedly become a flagship for Adam’s training. Archie stole the show in an episode of ABC TV’s Australian Story with a series of tricks at liberty and is siring a string of outstanding foals.

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    Adam specialises in starting and re-training horses, especially sensitive characters with problematic behaviours. He regularly finds that horses have been confused by conflicting signals from their riders. Keeping things simple and taking the pressure off these horses helps enormously. But Adam points out that this philosophy works just as well for all horses, not just those who have learned evasions and resistances.

    He takes his time to listen to the problem responses as clients describe them. The owners usually have a great deal to say about the horse. Adam finds that the horse’s responses to his cues during remedial training usually alert him to errors in the regular rider’s technique. So when he hands back the horse after training, he is able to tell them what their horses have had to say about them.

    Adam is a great believer in minimising distress during training. He likes to dismount with a smile on his face and he aims to do so when the horse too is effectively smiling.

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