Local cowboys Gary Ryan Bayles from Portage and Scott Hulme from Plymouth participated in this year’s Utah Horse Trainers’ Challenge for the second year in a row with two other finalists. Bayles, 29, came out on top, claiming the title of Utah’s top horse trainer. He also won the People’s Choice Award. Hulme finished in third and his horse sold for the most money.
When asked how it feels to be Utah’s top trainer, Bayles said, “To be honest with you I don’t consider myself to be the top trainer. It was a really good weekend but there are a lot of good trainers in the state who did not compete. I consider myself an up and coming that wants to advance to that level but I still have some dues to pay.”
After only two months of training, these cowboys brought their two-year-old horses to compete in six categories 1) Horsemanship and Training 2) Cow Cutting 3) Trail 4) Ground Work, 5) Freestyle (the trainer chooses something) and 6) The Final Challenge (always a surprise).
During the final challenge each trainer had 10 minutes to complete the course, shooting balloon while riding bareback, starting up a chainsaw next to their horse and pretending to cut a piece of wood, along with many other trials. Bayles said, “It was kind of wild and crazy.”
Hulme did not do as good as he wanted but was happy with his third place finish. He received a lot of positive feedback and gave out business cards. For the second year in a row he had the high selling horse, which sold for $4,100.
He said, “The mare really never made any major mistakes she stayed level headed through the whole deal. She was really good the whole weekend but by Sunday she was telling me she needed a break. But she did everything I asked her to do.”
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Picture above: Gary Ryan Bayles involved his daughter, Hadley in the trail portion of the competition.
Gary Ryan Bayles rode his horse on top of a bridge and then stood up on top of her and cracked a bullwhip
Gary Ryan Bayles during the competition
Scott Hulme stands on top of his horse during the ranch trail class and ropes a steer
Scott Hulme’s horse slides to a stop during his reining demonstration