Mark Luis, Reining Trainer

Mark Luis, Reining TrainerMark Luis grew up steeped in central California’s cattle culture.  He learned how to rope and ride as the fourth generation in a Los Alamos ranching family.  Mark took his skills from the branding pen to the High School Rodeo arena, competing in calf roping, team roping, cutting and steer wrestling.  He won three district championships and a state final before going on to college teams.  After experimenting with some non-equestrian professions, Mark came back to his roots working for local rancher John Branquinho.  His duties included helping the Branquinho sons with their high school rodeo skills (both Luke and Casey are currently PRCA competitors).

Mark eventually took some outside horses at Branquinho’s and also gave lessons.  He was especially gifted with children.  Many a local youngster credits his guidance for the development of his or her skills.

A client talked Mark into taking a lesson with Ron Ralls, and the rest is history: Merriewold Fabien and Reining Trainer, Mark LuisRon offered him a job on the spot and he ended up working there for five years, training and showing Reining Cow horses. When Ralls moved to Texas, Mark decided to start his own facility on the land that had been in his family for almost 100 years.  After two years on the family ranch he was able to purchase his own ranch and move his facility to Paso Robles.
Mark has been very fortunate to achieved great success in the Cow Horse world on many great Quarter Horses.  In 2003 he and his father-in-law, Chuck Doss, partnered on a colt purchased at the 2002 Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale. A dramatic fence run on that SBF sale colt, Playdox Taco Peppa, helped Mark pass the pack to become the Cow Horse Classic Limited Open Futurity Champion-his first win at a major show.


Mark has gone on to also be a three time Fiesta Stock Horse Champion, two time Ranchero Vistadore One Man One Horse Champion, three time Magnificent 7 Steer Stopping Champion, two time Worlds Greatest Horseman Steer Stopping Champion, and has won the prestigious Irving D. Osburn All Around Cowboy Award, a record, four times.

Mark Luis, Reining Trainer

Mark has been a Finalist in the World Champion Snaffle Bit Futurity, the Worlds Greatest Horseman Competition, the Magnificent 7, the Hackamore Classic, the Stallion Stakes and the World Show Derby.   Most recently Mark finished in the top ten over all at the Worlds Greatest Horseman Finals in Stephenville Texas.
When a new client in Paso Robles, Joe Kathrein, asked Mark to train his Morgan and get him to the World Show, he was more than happy to do so.
Mark struck gold on “HVR Hidden Gold” winning the Region 7 Morgan Medallion Champion Reining in Santa Barbara and taking the World Show winning 1st in the Three Year Old Division, 3rd in the Open Division, and 3rd in the World Championship Derby in Oklahoma City.

Written by Mrs. Mark Luis


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