SpectraVET Performance of the Week: Dan James & Smart Little Elan

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship fame brought the audience to its feet on Saturday with his winning performance in the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup Freestyle Championships.

From a USEF press release:

James’ performance brought the crowd to their feet as he performed all the spins, stops, run-downs and lead changes bareback, and then while seated backwards. As if that weren’t enough, he also dismounted at one point and sent the chestnut spinning on his own with a wave of his hand.

His costume was a mirror image of that worn by Johnny Depp in the film The Lone Ranger, and his music featured both the classic theme and music from the film. “Growing up as a kid I wanted to be a movie horse trainer,” said James of the inspiration for his performance.

However, James admitted that learning to ride the horse backwards was trickier than he anticipated. “For a little while I spent more time picking myself off the ground than riding,” said James. “They say that the key to horsemanship is keeping the horse between you and the earth, but I didn’t do much of that.”

Presented by:



Let’s see that one more time!


More from the Kentucky reining cup is available on-demand on USEF Network here.

Go Dan, and Go Riding!


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