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Grassland Ranch began offering services in 2006 and was founded, owned, and operated by Reitzel and Ginger Murphy. Since Grassland began every customer has been treated like they were a part of the family. In 2012 Andy Blalock was very lucky to purchase Grasslands and take over operations as the new owner.
To provide our clients with a complete equine experience which includes horse boarding, equine care, and the most detailed and comprehensive riding lessons and training program in north Alabama. We will provide our students, boarders, and horses with a fun, safe, nurturing environment and we will strive to make Grassland Ranch a warm and welcoming experience for everyone.
Meet the Grassland Family
Owner/Operator: Andy Blalock
Andy is pictured here with his twin sister Sherri. Andy grew up on a small horse Farm near Collinwood, TN. He was raised by his parents Kevin and Donna with two wonderful sisters. From the time Andy was just a little boy he was interested in horses. Andy began barrel racing his horses when he was 10 years old with his Dad and two sisters.
Andy attended college at Northern Virginia Community College and University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence, AL. He graduated from UNA in 2007 with a bachelors of science in Biology, and moved to Huntsville, AL where he began teaching for the Academy for Science and Foreign Language. He attended Mississippi State University for a Masters Degree in Biology. Andy currently remains as a teacher at ASFL and instructor at the ranch.
He began barrel racing with the National Barrel Horse Association in 2001 and is a 8-time World qualifier. He was the 2004 Triple P Arena pole-bending champion. He placed in the top 6 of round 1 in the 2007 TN NBHA state show, and was the 2011 TN IBRA State 4D champion. Andy won the AOHA Alabama Men's Barrel Racing Grand Champion for 2012 year on his mount "Going Rogue," and he achieved a top 5 position with a black gelding name "Hard Rock Tonto." He has achieved other awards along the way but credits these as some of his most exciting moments.
Andy has served as the National Barrel Horse Association director for AL01 district over 13 counties in North Alabama. He enjoyed his experience with this association and continues to compete as a member while also serving his students and carrying them to shows across the southeast United States.
Colton Bullard- Instructor- Barn Manager
Colton Bullard was born and raised in Hartselle, AL and now resides at Grassland Ranch in Athens. Colton has been riding and showing horses since he was old enough to sit up on a horse. He comes from a great family of horse trainers and riders, and he has shown in many disciplines such as showmanship halter, western pleasure, and barrel racing/pole bending.
Colton assists in day to day operations at Grassland including feeding horses, processing orders for barn supplies, arranging events, and instruction to students.
When Colton is not working at the barn he is an active realtor with Weichert Realtors in Madison, AL. He also shows horses in barrel racing with the National Barrel Horse Association, Lucky Dog Productions, and No Bull as well as many other associations.
Amy Sayne- Lesson Instructor
Amy loves horses, barrel racing, and teaching beginners horsemanship and how to ride. Amy lives in Athens, AL and also works for the Alabama National Guard Family Assistance Center.
Amy has 3 daughters and a son. Her daughter Marybeth also rides horses and competes in barrel racing.
Amy attended college at University of South Alabama and also has a degree in education at University of Montevallo. She has taught elementary school many years and now continues her passion for teaching as an instructor at the ranch. In her spare time Amy enjoys traveling, participating in local events, and barrel racing with Team Grassland.
Kirsten Baab- Instructor/Ranch Adviser
Kirsten is a native of Illinois and moved to Alabama to work for Bulkmatic Transport Company in 2017. She and her partner James lives in Athens at Grassland Ranch where they assist with operations, instruction, mentoring, and giving ranch advisement.
Kirsten has ridden horses all of her life, and been very successful in barrel racing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends, ranch family, and competing aboard "Rasta" at barrel races with Team Grassland.
James Whitlock- Ranch Operator/Adviser
James is a native of Browdon, GA, but now resides in Athens, AL and lives at Grassland Ranch with his girlfriend Kirsten Baab.
James has attended College at Wallace State where he played Baseball. He works in Athens, AL and also assists at the ranch with daily operations, driving the tractor, making repairs to the facility, mentoring students, and traveling with Team Grassland to barrel races.
James also enjoys Georgia Football, riding horses, roping, and spending time with Kirsten and friends.
Georgia Perkins- Barn Hand/Trainer
Georgia Perkins is from Arrington, TN. She began riding horses and barrel racing as a little girl with the help of her mother and trainer Terri Perkins. Georgia has quickly excelled in the sport after training her own horse TDZ Blingmaker AKA "Gucci."Georgia and Gucci qualified for Best of the Best in 2019 racing second to Troy Crumrine and "Sharpie." She has also qualified and ran in the Jr. NFR in Las Vegas, Nevada. Grassland welcomes Georgia as she will be in charge of daily feeding, cleaning, and organization at the barn. She will also be training with Coaches Andy and Colton to sharpen her skills in barrel racing.