August 19-21, 2021: One of the USA’s biggest equine training challenges is BACK and better than ever !

Judges are Carson James, Patrick King and Michael Lyons


– Over 60 HORSES!


Search the hashtag of each team on social media to follow each team’s journey

Click this image to go directly to the TRAINER CONNECTION FACEBOOK ALBUM to find our more on each PRO trainer and their horse
Click this image to go directly to the TRAINER CONNECTION FACEBOOK ALBUM to find our more on each AM trainer and their horse

Look for a NEW Series in October 2021 on the APPALACHIAN TRAINER FACE OFF

The competition is held in Winfield, WV Aug 19-21, 2021.

There are two options events during the competition trainers are encouraged to attend: Smoke Rise Ranch in Ohio June 24-26 for a Train Robbery and Cattle Drive and Elkins Creek Horse Camp on July 31-Aug 1st in Ohio.

Heart of Phoenix, based in the heart of Appalachia, has searched all over the USA for feral and untrained horses in need of trainers like you! With a series on Horse.TV being filmed around this event, we enter our 5th year expecting bigger and better things. And the truth is, that means we are expecting the incredible, as we saw over 1,000 attendees in 2019 and almost 60 horses trained last year! We can’t wait for the Appalachian Trainer Face Off 2021!

Apply as a trainer (pro, amateur or showcase) now through May 1st.

NEW FOR 2021: You can also apply as a YOUTH to compete in Hand with an assigned young horse.

ALL Trainers receive 50% of the adoption fees of the horses (last year, top fees were over $13,000), as well as additional prize money in awards. Beyond that, trainers will enjoy a huge audience between our combined 100k + audience on social media and blogs (we’ve had individual trainer posts during the 100 days receive 20k + likes on IG alone!) We will accept the top 12-15 applicant Trainers in each of the divisions: Amateur and Pro.

The “Showcase” adoption portion will be back without a cap on how many can participate; this is open to good horse folks, not just trainers, and you can read about this here:

Awards will be to the 1-3 places for PRO/AM division, A youth champion will be named and the fan favorite will be by applause for the top 5 contenders from online voting.

Relevant Vendors will be encouraged ($25 fee if you register before July 1st, $50 if you register afterward).

We will have increased stadium seating and an even larger program for attendees.

Plan to attend August 19-21 2021 in Winfield, WV Learn more and apply here:

Watch the mini documentary about the event here:

Questions? Email