After spending three days training an unbroke horse Trainers Ed Dabney, TJ Clibborn, and Evan Bonner faced off in the final Trainers Challenge. This challenge had each trainer and horse combo compete in an obstacle competition. With a combination of scores from each training session and the obstacle challenge, it was Evan Bonner who has been named The Mane Event Chilliwack 2016 Trainers Challenge Champion.
At age 12, Bonner got his first taste of horsemanship when he got his first horse. He began to attend clinics and symposiums to learn and develop his skills as a horse owner. By 16 he began working in dressage, jumping, eventing and eventually bareback bronc riding. At age 19 Bonner began to professionally train horses working with problem horses and colts. Since then Bonner has gone on to win two first places and two seconds and advanced to the Colt Starting Challenge USA Finals in 2014.
This weekend Bonner’s colt was Bet on Douglas a beautiful sorrel stallion who took quickly to his trainer’s techniques. By the end of their first session together Douglas was getting used to having a saddle on. Bonner focused on movements in the first session getting Douglas moving his feet and listening to instruction. Day two the pair didn’t slow down on training working on getting comfortable around obstacles set out in the Round Pen. By the third session, Bonner was able to get the saddle on Douglas right away and had him trotting inside the pen. By the end of the hour, the pair were going through obstacles together comfortably. Bonner then began working with roping around Douglas trying to keep him calm and relaxed with the rope. From the very beginning, Bonner was able to establish respect with his colt and the team developed a working partnership by the end.
After completion of the final obstacle challenge, Bonner was named Trainers Challenge Winner for his accomplishments with Bet On Douglas. This unique event gave all three of our colts a quick taste of what’s to come in the future of their training. Our Trainers Challenge asks trainers to accomplish skills that would typically take 30 to 60 days to get and do it in three days. The challenge is designed to show people that there are many different ways to succeed in horse training.