Colorado Team Wins Top NATRC Award

Trail Rider - - HOT ON THE TRAIL -

Turn­ner’s Wild­card (Hooch), a cham­pagne Ken­tucky Moun­tain Sad­dle Horse geld­ing, owned and rid­den by Lin Ward of West­cliff, Colo., won the North Amer­i­can Trail Ride Con­fer­ence’s high­est award, the 2016 Pres­i­dent’s Cup, at the na­tional con­ven­tion held last Fe­bru­ary.

Ward pur­chased Turn­ner’s Wild­card as a 7-year-old after an in­ten­sive search. Her first ride on the geld­ing was under a full moon at the breeder’s fa­cil­ity. “He just lis­tened and did all I asked.” Ward re­called.

After get­ting him home, Ward changed the geld­ing’s name. “With a ‘Ken­tucky Full Moon’ ride as our first ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether, he be­came Hooch,” she said. (Hooch is an­other name for moon­shine — a term de­scrib­ing il­licit whisky dur­ing the Pro­hi­bi­tion era.)

It took 13,137 miles of trai­ler­ing, com­pe­ti­tion in 16 NATRC rides, and win­ning in dif­fer­ent states and re­gions from March to the first week of Novem­ber to put Hooch at the top. Through it all, he didn’t lose a sin­gle pulse and res­pi­ra­tion point, have a sore back or leg, and re­mains a sound, sane, and happy horse.

The team also took home the Ken­tucky Moun­tain Sad­dle Horse Association’s high point breed award.

For more in­for­ma­tion on NATRC, go to

CHRISTY CUMBERWORTH PHOTO Lin Ward aboard her Ken­tucky Moun­tain Horse geld­ing, Turn­ner's Wild­card (Hooch), at NATRC'S 2016 Navajo Lake ride in New Mex­ico.

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