The American Competitive Trail Horse Association has a new reality TV series called America’s Favorite Trail Horse. Competitors tried out for the show back in April in three- minute mounted auditions that included some simple trail obstacles. Auditions were held all over the country and were open to anyone 21 and older - all you had to do was pay the entry fee (it was $149, a little steep for some riders.)
The top 100 horses and their riders were selected as finalists. These horse and rider combinations participated in the national finals, a five-day ride held at the Franklin Family Ranch near Austin, Texas in May. This ride was filmed for 13 one-hour episodes that will air on the HRTV every Tuesday at 8 pm starting on September 13. (The shows are also repeated three hours later at 11 and then again at 10 a.m. on Sunday.) Episodes 2 through 11 will each feature ten different trail horses. After the show, America will have the chance to vote for their favorite horse in that episode, and the winner of each show will get $5,000. Episode 12 will feature the ten previous winners. America’s votes will then determine which horse is selected as America’s favorite trail horse. Winning comes with a cash prize - $25,000 for first, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third.
According to the ACTHA website, “The purpose of America’s Favorite Trail Horse is to bring attention to the great American trail horse that has served this country so magnificently. It is our sincere hope that this effort will cause many to get back in the saddle again. . . .”