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Down the Fence

Legendary horse trainer part of award winning documentary

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - It's a dying art in the western horse world. 

A challenging and demanding style of horsemanship that dates back to the first Spanish Missions in California. 

Bakersfield just happens to be home to one of the world's finest trainers and his iconic status has landed him a role in an award winning documentary. 

"My name is Doug Williamson, I'm a horse trainer," said Doug Williamson introducing himself. 

It's the life 75-year-old Doug Williamson lives. 

He's originally from a small town in Oregon near the Nevada and Idaho borders.

"I came here in 1990 to put the Tejon Ranch in the horse business and I've been here ever since," Williamson said. 

It was a winning move. 

"I've been pretty lucky," Williamson said. 

Two years later Williamson won the National Reined Cow Horse Association's Snaffle Bit Futurity, a highly regarded horse show. 

The NRCHA defines a reined cow horse as a show horse that traces its performance roots to the meticulous, centuries-old process used by the California Vaquero to create his most valuable working partner: a horse that could be controlled by a whisper-light touch on the reins, yet still possess the speed and grit to master cattle.

"It's kind of a dying art, you know for the real horseman," Williamson said. 

Williamson said it takes roughly two years of training to prepare a horse for the Snaffle Bit Futurity, which takes place every fall in Reno, Nev.

The purse for winning is upwards of $125,000. 

Williamson has won twice.

"I probably won a couple million all together," Williamson said. 

He's a legend in the industry. 

"I was born the year of the horse in the Chinese deal so maybe I'm part horse, I don't know," Williamson laughed. 

His iconic status landed him a part in a feature-length documentary titled, "Down the Fence." 

"It's just a great movie about what we do for a living," Williamson said. 

For Williamson, it was an emotional experience. 

"It's a lot of hard work and dedication and it's the dangdest movie I ever saw.  It made me cry every time I saw it.  It's just really a heck of a deal.  I just love my job," Wiliamson said. 

"Down the Fence" has not officially been released yet. 

On August 3, 2017 a special screening of the film will be held in Santa Barbara at the Metropolitan Metro 4 Theatre. 

More information about the film can be found here

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