Competitors arrive in Abilene for Stock Horse of Texas World Show

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – More than 3,000 competitors are competing for nearly $100,000 in cash and prizes at the Stock Horse of Texas World Show and Derby at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene this week.

Competitors are coming from 13 different states, and range from 8 to 80 years old.

Pete Rosales, a 62-year old Cedar Hill native, says he gladly arrived in the Key City.

Rosales left his business behind, and holding down the fort are his two sons.

Pete Rosales is a third-generation cabinetmaker who says he learned everything he knows from his grandfather and father, and has been making cabinets for medical offices for 42 years.

But when he can, he slips away from the office to pursue his other passion: competitive horse riding with the Stock Horse of Texas.

Rosales first heard of the association five years ago. After attending a show, he told his wife, “I can do that.”

“That’s something I can do,” Pete said laughing. “I’ve always had an old pasture horse. Little did I know how much goes into this.”

Pete said that he competes in all four events offered: the cow working, reining, stock horse trail and stock horse pleasure.

All of these events measure the horse’s agility, versatility and control.

Rosales vividly remembers the first time he entered the competitive circuit, and said riding a pasture horse is nothing like riding a trained horse in the arena.

“Oh my gosh, it was the craziest thing, I thought It was going to be an easy thing to do,” Rosales said. “The first show I went to, I got out there and there was a cow. It came to me and I came to it, and we both just stood there. And I thought I won this thing because the cow didn’t get by me. Little did I know all the work your supposed to do with a cow.” 

Rosales has improved over his five years competing in S.H.O.T., but said it was his fellow competitors that helped get him to where he is today.

That lines up with the association’s mission statement, Executive Director Jill Dunkel said.

“A lot of people, some of their closest friends are their horse show friends,” Dunkel said. “That’s what’s special about it. They are good, salt-of-the-earth people.”

She said it is incredible to watch these competitors of all ages, backgrounds and places come together like a family each and every night.

Dunkel said the Stock Horse of Texas was founded 25 years ago to help make people better riders and improve horsemanship, while educating new and old horse riders and trainers.

But the lasting relationships is what keeps bringing more and more people in, and keeping current members, like Pete, coming back time and time again.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a good rider, bad rider,” Rosales said. “If you have a good show or bad show. You know everyone’s apart of this thing and we want everybody to succeed with it.”

The Stock Horse of Texas World Show and Derby will last through Sunday, October 31 and will conclude Sunday evening.

All the events will be held at the five arenas at the Taylor County Expo Center, and attendance is free of charge.

For more information on the events, competitors and scheduling, visit stockhorsetexas.org.

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