In 2004, while working on his PH.D., Kris Wilson had a vision to create a new, competitive, equestrian-type team to represent Texas Tech University. West Texas is known for its ranches and working cowboys so Wilson wanted the team to incorporate both showing and the cowboy way of life. With the backing of the Animal and Food Sciences Department, the nation's first ranch horse program was born. In the spring of 2005, 13 members made up the first Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team and began traveling throughout the state of Texas competing in the Stock Horse of Texas Association, which Wilson helped found in 1997. In its first year of existence, the Texas Tech RHT made quite the impression on the industry. Members stood out above the rest, competing in matching white shirts, adorned with the Double T logo and multiple sponsors, all while proving to be fierce competition in the show pen.
The dream of one man has since escalated into something no one could have ever imagined. Colleges all over the country have started programs similar to Texas Tech. There is now a National Collegiate Championship Show which determines the country's best ranch horse team. Students all over the country now come to Texas Tech because of its ranch horse program and the opportunities it provides.
From its humble beginnings the Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team has since become a dominant force in not only collegiate competition, but in the ranch/stock horse industry as well. The team competes under the spotlight of the Stock Horse of Texas (SHTx), National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) and the Ranch Horse Association of America (RHAA). The ranch horse team has claimed eight ASHA National Collegiate Championships. As well as team success, many RHT members have claimed individual achievements from world championship titles to year-end championship titles in SHTx, ASHA, RHAA, and NRCHA.