Two-time Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer Bret Calhoun on Highlander Training Center and its graduates:

“It’s state-of-the-art. . . . I’ve been working with that group of people for a while, and they always do a good job. The horses come to us in good condition. They’re sound, healthy and well-educated; they’re physically and mentally ready. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for on this end.”

Bret Calhoun

Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer Jeremiah Englehart on Thea’s Theme, a Highlander Training Center graduate and winner in her first career start in a maiden allowance race at Saratoga in August 2019:

“She came to us in great shape with a great coat. She’s been straightforward and has handled everything we’ve asked her to do.”

Jeremiah Englehart

UAE Derby-winning trainer Brendan Walsh on Highlander Training Center and its graduates:

“They’re doing a fantastic job there; they do things right. Their horses are as good as horses can possibly be coming to the track.”

Brendan Walsh

Joe Sharp, trainer of earners of over $20 million including Grade I Haskell Invitational Stakes winner Girvin:

“Highlander training center does an exceptional job evaluating and preparing each horse as an individual, based on their needs. This is then communicated to the trainers when leaving which makes for a smooth transition to the racetrack.”

Joe Sharp

Multiple stakes winning trainer Lon Wiggins who’s runners have earned nearly $5 million in purses has this to say about Highlander Training Center and its team:

“Highlander Training Center is owned and managed by great people who are well respected throughout the industry. They are determined to make this one of the best state-of-the-art facilities , not only in Texas, but in the country. I recommend to people all the time to go by and visit, you’ll be amazed what a top notch facility it is.

“I can’t say enough about Scooter Dodwell and his staff. Besides being an excellent horseman, Scooter is very honest and hardworking. I have trusted him with my babies for almost three decades. Jon Newbold is a great assistant who is very hands on. The exercise riders are good enough to work for any trainer, at any racetrack, but why go to a racetrack when you can work at a facility like this? The grooms take pride in their horses and are very personable when we stop by to see our horses.

“ I’ve been very pleased with the way the yearlings which we send to Highlander come back to us as two-year-olds. They are in good flesh and well-prepared mentally and physically for their transition to the racetrack. Highlander is a great place for your youngsters to get their education.”

Lon Wiggins

Meet Our Trainers

Our exceptional staff, from trainers to licensed riders, to grooms understand what is needed in training a thoroughbred racing champion.

Scooter Dodwell

Jimmy “Scooter” Dodwell co-founded Highlander Training Center in July of 2017. He immediately began constructing a skilled team of riders, grooms, and trainers to continue his long history of training winning thoroughbreds.

Jon Newbold

Jon Newbold joined Highlander Training Center at its founding, bringing with him 41 years of industry experience. Over the course of his life, Jon has worked under the tutelage of industry greats such as Larry & Dee Waggoner, Albert Grant, and Jack Harmon, learning to develop horses into stakes winners.

Jose Mendez

Jose “Cuco” Mendez comes to Highlander Training Center with 28 years of training experience. His passion for horses became a career when he began working as a rider for Bobby Barnett in 1993. Cuco rode for Mr. Barnett at New Orleans, Oaklawn, LA Downs, and Lone Star Park for three years.