Bob Avila

Bob Avila Inducted into Western States Horse Expo Hall of Fame

“The vote was unanimous for Bob,” says Horse Expo founder Miki Cohen. “Not only has Bob excelled in the world of competition, but he now shares his knowledge with thousands of horsemen and women eager to learn from a true master. Having someone of his skill level willing to teach others is the mark of a fine man.”

Bob’s parents, Don (who was a rodeo cowboy and trainer) and Pat Avila, were devoted to horses and showing. Bob was born in Half Moon Bay, California and grew up in the heart of the West Coast show circuit. Bob’s idols growing up included Don Dodge, Tony Amaral Sr., Harry Rose Sr., Clyde Kennedy and Jimmy Williams. “They were at all the shows, too, and literally helped raise me,” says Bob. “They were true horsemen. I learned things from each one of them starting at a very young age that otherwise would have taken a lifetime to learn. Back in those days, no one specialized in any particular discipline, so these trainers had to be able to train anything and everything, and they really could. To this day, I enjoy producing a good all-around horse, and that comes partly from the influence of my childhood heroes.”

Today, Bob is certainly one of the most respected horsemen in the Western performance industry. Among other accolades, his sterling list of accomplishments includes:

• Over 37 World Champion or Reserve World Champion titles in events ranging from halter to performance
• First recipient of the AQHA Professional Horseman
• National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) $100,000 Futurity winner in 1988, 1999 and 2003
• NRCHA Open Reserve Champion 1985, 1991, 1993, 2001, 2002
• NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman in 2000 and 2007
• One of only seven Million Dollar Riders in NRCHA with a personal lifetime win of over $1.168 million
• National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) $100,000 Futurity winner in 1994
• NRHA Futurity Reserve Champion, 1993
• One of only two competitors to ever win both the NRHA and NRCHA Futurities
• Three-time winner of the Magnificent 7 – 2006, 2007, 2008

“We are so pleased that Bob has won the Magnificent 7 competition at the Horse Expo a record-holding three times —an incredible accomplishment,” reports Miki Cohen. “He turns out a show-stopping performance that gives the Expo audience a real thrill. He’s also one of the clinicians most requested by our attendees.”

In addition to competing and teaching, Bob has somehow found time to write two books, “Be a Smart Horse Buyer: A Guide to Avoiding Common Mistakes and Finding the Right Horse for You,” and “Win With Bob Avila: Beyond Training, Mentoring from a World Champion Horseman.” He’s also written hundreds of articles for national equine publications, and has produced a number of educational DVDs. His tack line includes 31 styles of Bob Avila bits, saddles, and a variety of spurs. Bob, along with fellow horseman Al Dunning, was one of the first trainers to have a show on RFD-TV. Known as the “Bob and Al Show,” the series was educational and humorous, as only these two could be. They even teamed up to present clinics. Known as a “trainer’s trainer,” Bob has several apprentices working for him at all times, learning his horse training abilities and business practices that he has honed for over 30 years. Bob and his wife Dana live in Temecula, California where they oversee their Avila Training Stables operation that includes breeding and sales.

Past Inductees: 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2011 | 2013 | 2018

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