Seph Sheidler and Scott Kelly had raced their horses against each other, with Sheidler's horse winning. Consequently, having watched the race and believing that he had a faster horse, Frank Flannegan decided to race his iron-gray mare against Sheidler's. Not wanting to lose, Flannegan went to Denver and hired a horse trainer. At first, Sheidler had a trainer too; but after firing the trainer, Sheidler decided to train his own horse. As the race horse owners were training their horses, the community became completely involved in the upcoming race. Most all of the men in the area began placing bets; several men formed a construction crew and built a one-quarter mile race track on the mesa north of Colorado City; and the men selected M. A. Foster and D. F. Kinsman as judges since they had not wagered on the race and would remain unbiased. More importantly, however, Sheidler believed so much that his horse would win that he wagered everything he owned on the race, except a yoke of oxen and an old wagon. On the day of the race, Sheidler's horse lost the race, forcing Sheidler into the life of a peddler.