The Colorado Trail Riders
Meet the riders of the team that rode the 500 mile Colorado Trail together in 2017.
Jess Goodlett has been riding horses since the age of ten. What started off as a few simple riding lessons, turned into a passion that would last forever. Showing was never on her mind, instead Jess found her way into Endurance Riding in 2013.
Jess began training horses a few years ago. In 2015, she was accepted as a trainer for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Texas. This is a challenge in which trainers have approximately 100 days to train an untouched mustang. The horse that Jess drew for the competition is pictured to the right with just a few months of training.
A long distance riding trek has been on Jess’ mind since she began endurance riding. Jess has always had dreams of riding the Pacific Crest Trail. Riding with the team on the Colorado Trail was a life changing opportunity. She is looking forward to even more adventures!
Born in Austin, Texas, Lissa Burnette-Rabon grew up spending the summers at her grandparent’s cattle ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas. All the women in her family rode horses, and it wasn’t long before she tried her hand at the quirky ranch geldings and mares that traveled as a small herd on the back side of the ranch.
One in particular, would always try to toss her when she asked for a lope, and it was then that Lissa decided she enjoyed changing that kind of behavior and would become a trainer. One of her first jobs after leaving the University of Texas was to work in the test barn at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico where she met many racehorse trainers and grooms. She saw the training techniques, many she felt were harsh and looked for a different method to start young horses in their education. She studied the techniques of Ray Hunt, John Lyons and Monty Roberts and began training for the public in the early 1990’s.
Since then, Lissa has assisted in the training of police horses, learned to successfully show cutting horses and stock horses, and led dude ranch guests on interpretive trail rides teaching about Texas Hill Country native flora and fauna for 20 years. Lissa presently continues her training on that same cattle ranch of her childhood. She has also began competing in competitive trail. and holds a judge’s card in the Texas Trail Challenge Club. She has ridden in Kenya, all over the United States and most recently traveled to Argentina to ride cross country in Patagonia.
The oldest of this adventurous group, she brings a “Zen Mother’s” presence to an already highly experienced team. Trained as a coach in sports and life she is also a certified facilitator in Equine Experiential Learning and Healing.
Devan Horn is our go-to adventurer on the team. If there was anyone that fit the perfect description for a team member crazy enough to sign up for our long distance treks, Devan surpasses the expectations, and her various achievements prove it.
Devan started riding Endurance in 2005, and since then has racked up a record of 47 Top Ten Finishes and 11 First Place finishes with over 3,000 miles accredited by the American Endurance Riding Conference. She has earned two Tevis Buckles from completing the hardest 100 mile ride in the world, the Tevis Cup, twice. Not only has Devan competed in the United States, she has traveled to England, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Mongolia with South Africa to soon be added to the list.
In 2013, Devan set a course record by finishing the 1000 kilometer course in 6.5 days at the Mongol Derby. That is 160 kilometers (100 miles!) a day for 6 days in a row on the backs of 28 different horses.
Devan has also rode the 2016 Sandymont Express 1000 – 1000 kilometers across the wilds of South Africa. Unlike the Mongol Derby, this ride includes only 5 horses and will be a true test of endurance for both horse and rider.
Ragan Kelly is the youngest addition of the group, but age is not a factor when taking note of all his experience and achievements.
Ragan has been riding horses since he was three and started endurance riding when he was ten. At the age of twelve, Ragan completed the Tevis Cup Endurance Ride which is known as the oldest and toughest 100 mile endurance ride. More people have climbed Mt. Everest than have completed the Tevis Cup.
Ragan has advanced even more in his endurance career as he started riding internationally when he was fourteen. He placed fourth at the North American Young Riders Championship (NAJYRC) and was one of three young riders invited to ride and represent the United States team in Abu Dhabi when he was only fifteen.
Ragan has always been an avid outdoors-man and has hiked and camped his entire life. His determination to “live life to the fullest” shines through with each adventure he takes!
Annie Stokes has had a love for horses for as long as she can remember. She started riding consistently in fifth grade, and got her first horse not too long after.
Horses were important to Annie, but she was unsure of what she wanted to do with her after high school. That was until her sophomore year when she trained a horse for the first time. That experienced led to her understanding that horses had to remain to play a major role in her life.
After high school, Annie pursued a degree in Ranch Management from Tarleton State University located in Stephenville, Texas graduating in August of 2014. Along the way, Annie has dabbled in barrel racing and endurance riding, but has mostly just enjoyed riding trails.
Anything, from flat pastures to cliffs and canyons, Annie is ready to take on this challenge. We are more than excited to have such a genuine character on this team!