By: Courtney Dabney
It’s about time Fort Worth — and the nation, for that matter — has its own television network covering the horse culture that is so much a part of the city’s heritage and which pumps so much money into the local economy from equine events at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Tony Ford, Michael Fletcher and Craig Morris agree, and that’s why they’ve decided to launch RIDE TV, a new 24/7-television network based in Fort Worth. Ultimately, RIDE plans to be a dedicated channel on one or more cable distribution networks.
But it will premier its brand of high definition “Horse Lifestyle” programming with the broadcast of the National Cutting Horse Association's Futurity Open Finals on Dec. 15, said Ford, the CEO of RIDE.
“The network will make the Open Finals available as a live Internet HD Pay-Per-View event and then rebroadcast an edited version on HRTV,” he said. HRTV — The Network for Horse Sports — is a television-based multimedia network.
Ford is an experienced entrepreneur. He’s joined in the venture by Fletcher, chief strategy officer, a 23-year media, television production and cable network professional, and by Morris, a world champion cutting horse competitor and horse trainer, as well as a popular television show host.
“Americans spend over $102 billion every year on horse-related activities — and yet there is not a national television network dedicated to showcasing this incredible lifestyle — until now,” says Ford. “RIDE TV is positioned to bring the stories, adventure, passion and humor that surrounds the American horse culture to audiences around the world. And since Fort Worth is the ‘Western Horse Capital of the World,’ it is a terrific place for RIDE TV to call home.
Following the NCHA Open Finals broadcast, RIDE TV will launch its 2013 schedule of high-profile horse competitions, travel, food, reality, news and lifestyle programming on cable and satellite systems across the country, Ford said.
“RIDE TV will cover all breeds, all disciplines, all the time with shows that feature ordinary people doing extraordinary things with their horses,” he said. “From patrolling our national borders to rehabilitating wounded soldiers, RIDE TV will entertain and educate its audience while lifting up the traditional American values that Fort Worth is famous for.”
By: Courtney Dabney