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                                                NATIONAL FINALS 



Come cheer on your favorite Natural Horsemanship Trainer as they compete for the  prize money and the National Finals Champion Buckle. They compete to do the best job to gentle, start, and ride an unbroke horse. 

There will be 5 Trainers in this 3 day event. They are our Top Trainers from various States, and are extremely talented. This is going to be a very tough competition. These Trainers and have qualified to compete in the finals by having the most cumulative points from Winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place during our 2017 Colt Starting Challenge events. 

On day one they will have two 45 minute sessions to work with their horse. On day two they will have two half hour sessions. Then on day three each Trainer will have 12 minutes to ride it thru an obstacle course, which includes riding it over a tarp, roping a barrel, and dragging a pole. 

The Judges decide the Winner who will receive $1,000 cash, and the Winning Buckle. We will also have a Year End High Point Winner Buckle. First Place, Second Place, and Third Place won a Hot Heels Roping Dummy each. 



Our 5 National Finals Contestants  
1. L. C. Mahaffey - Peoria, IL    62 points
2. Cody Abatie - Estacata, OR     49 points
3. Fausto Navarro - Lyndhurst, NJ    46 points
4. Steve Graycheck - Dalonega, GA    39 points
5. Taylor Gordon - Ellensburg, WA     26 points  

We are proud to announce our National Finals will be held at the 
  NFR Roper Cowboy 
Ma​rketplace Trade Show 
at the Mandalay Bay Casino in 
Las Vegas Nevada 
on Dec 7, 8, & 9 
 10am to 12pm each day!
Thank you
A Cut Above Buckles for donating 5 Jackets to our 5 Contestants. They are the official Buckle Company of Colt Starting Challenge USA. 
Thank you Seventeen Flat for donating to each of our 5 Finalists a set of your original patented pop up barrels.
Thank you Partrade Trading Company for donating 5 sets of Conquistador Herdman Spurs to each of our Finalists.
Thank you Cinch 'R Up Cinches for donating 5 Breast Collars to each of our 5 Finalists

See her FB page to buy one today!
Thank you Cashel for donating 5 saddle pads to our 5 Finalist Contestants
L.C. Mahaffey is a horse trainer originally from south Texas. He is currently located in Peoria, Illinois bringing his south Texas flare to the Midwest. L.C. (Creek) specializes in training the all around working cow horse from, colt starting, to reining, cutting and ranch versatility. 

In 2014 Creek won the all around ranch horse of the year in the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, All Around Ranch Horse of the Year. He defended his title again in 2015 and 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. L.C Mahaffey is an NCHA money earner as well as a money earner in AQHA Ranch Versatility. 

L.C gives credit for all of his accomplishments to the apprenticeships over the years to outstanding trainers and horsemen. Such of which are as follows, Colby Woods, Bill Riddle, Mark Mills, Sam Wilson, and a special thanks to his mentor Buster Welch. Last but not Least, he thanks his Dad, Colin Mahaffey. Without him, L.C. would not have the foundation for training horses he has today.

I'm Fausto Navarro, from Costa Rica; a small country in Central America. I grew up on a farm. I have been working with horses since I was 15. By working with my father I learned his methods "Natural Horsemanship ". 

I love Ranch work, colt starting, training, roping and solve problems. I prefer natural methods because it's the best way to build trusting partners. I have no idea how many Colts I have started probably hundreds of them. 

I enjoy helping people showing a safe way to communicate with theirs horses. Built a solid foundation give the best opportunity for success.​

Stephen's desire to have a reputation as a quality horseman began when he moved to Montana and started working on horse and cattle ranches. That introduction to the lifestyle of a horseman instantly had him hooked. Knowledgeable, experienced, and reputable buckaroo-style mentors took Stephen in and he hasn't stopped since.

Stephen cowboyed across Central and Western Montana, and is a big believer in the importance of a confident horse who has a job. He takes a combination approach of leadership and respect to his colts. He knows a horse looks to the rider to guide them (both mentally and physically), but also realizes the importance of keeping their mind alive. If done properly, your confident leadership will give them the confidence, and you respecting them will keep them willing. The key components in Stephen's program are: Great feel, consistency, and positivity in the mind. 

Stephen has been running "Lazy S Horsemanship" out of Georgia for over a year now, and travels the southeast and country for clinics and expos. While home he takes in client horses, and also spends time working with our military veterans, sharing his experience and knowledge in a more personal format, to help expand their skill-set for more options of employment. lick here to add text.
At the age of 12 my parents got our first horse. After learning to ride, I ran into my first problem horse, and it was game on from there. Because I was home schooled I was able to spend hours with the horses fixing problems and furthering our ability's as a horse and human team. I knew I wanted to make a living training horses.

At eighteen I quite college to devote my time to making the training business thing work and with the support and use of my parents property started Diamond T Horsemanship. 6 years later Diamond T Horsemanship is becoming everything I've hoped and dreamed and now my goals, dreams, and the desire to keep learning just increases. 

Now with a leased facility in Kittitas county Washington I keep myself busy training horses people, and the occasional clinics. Looking ahead I've set another goal to take the next step into the performance world. Right now it seems impossible but I have a huge drive to keep learning and get better as should we all.
Cody Abatie is a 31 yr old professional farrier and entrepreneur from Estacada, Oregon. 
 Cody and his wife Jessica compete and train horses and start colts (#teamcoltstarting). 

Cody is probably one of the few contestants that doesn't train horses full time, but has been a horsemen all his life. He has competed since he was a small child and joining Western Horsemen of Oregon and through that organization meeting his wife Jessica.. "I've always helped my wife at the training barn but never saw myself doing this competitively". 

Some of Cody's mentors include Road to the Horse Champion Jim Anderson and Colt Starting Challenge USA Champion Kyle Hockett, along with his wife who is his biggest supporter with their son Carson
Thank you Hot Heels for donating 3 roping dummies for prizes for our National Finals Event.
Thank you Next Step Horse Rescue of Colorado for Sponsoring our National Finals Event
1st Place was 
 2nd Place was Taylor Gordon of Ellensburg WA

3rd Place was Cody Abatie of Estacada WA