PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - The American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) is on a quest to find America's Favorite Trail Horse. They are going across the country to meet with horses and pick 100 of their favorites.
There was no shortage of candidates from South Mississippi. Auditions were held at Golden Pines Equestrian Center in Perkinston Sunday.
ACTHA Marketing Director Tammy Sronce said, "What we want is nationwide horse employment that's our mission."
ACTHA is working to achieve that goal with a new reality series.
"We are looking for America's favorite trail horse, a horse not necessarily the best trail horse but, one that means the most to somebody one that has character and heart," Sronce said.
About 30 horses tried out for the part Sunday, schmoozing the judges with anything from a Cajun rain coat, to rubbing it's owners back and one horse, Boomer Sugar Neck, even took a bow.
The horse's owner Patrycha Switzer said, "I think he did awesome he was a ham, he likes people and he likes to perform."
The horse also adores it's owner.
"My favorite thing is that he lays down in his stall and he let's me lay on top of him and hug him and cuddle him like he's a big teddy bear," Switzer said.
And that may just be the key to the judges hearts.
"I think a trustworthy horse and an honest horse maybe a horse that has a story behind it," Sronce said. "But something that has character and one this is someone's best friend."
By the crowd that came out to Perkinston it seems like that's not hard to find. Supreme Dream Catcher shares a similar bond with it's owner Kathee McGuire.
"She's just a dream to have and she's my pride and joy I've had her since she was born and I've raised her and trained her. There's not a horse in the world that could replace her," McGurie said.
Sronce enjoys learning about the horses, "My favorite thing is every time I learn about a contestant and I learn the story behind them I want them to do good," Sronce said.
"You are going to get these stories but until they touch you ,you don't realize the depth they will touch you."
ACTHA hopes by sharing these stories America will fall in love with the horses too.
The search for contestants will end this month and the show will be featured on HRTV. And the winner, well that's up to you because audience members will be asked to call in and vote.
To learn more about the series click here.