BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry sought to answer the age-old question of what happens when you mix horsepower with ‘horse’ power, Sunday, June 18, at the Boundary County Fairgrounds.
In a series of barrel racing events, horses and riders competed with dirt bikers, to see which has a better finishing time. With the quick acceleration of the dirt bikes and consistency of the horses, it was a close race.
For the traditional barrel race, there are three barrels placed at pre-measured distances in a triangle pattern. The riders then make a cloverleaf pattern around them, ending at the top point of the triangle and running “home.”
For the Figure 8 race, the barrels were placed one in front of the other with a gap between them. The rider ran to the far barrel first, turned around it, and made a figure 8 pattern and finished by running back or “home.” In this event both horse and bike ran at the same time, with the horse on the right and the bike on the left.
For the Keyhole race, there is a keyhole design drawn on the ground and the contestant must enter the keyhole, stop, spin around, and run back.
The top three dirt bikers: First place went to Jim Lomastus from Post Falls with a time of 16.056 seconds, second place was Chris Howell with 16.225 seconds, and third place was John Becker from Bonners Ferry with 17.787 seconds.
Top three barrel racers: First place went to Whitney LaValley on Tex with a time of 16.992 seconds, second place went to Hannah Smith on Lino with a time of 17.083 seconds, and third place was Shanda Nagle on Mr. Frenchmans Dancer with a time 17.617 seconds.
The dirt bikes edged out the horses with a narrow margin of only 0.936 seconds. For now, the question has an answer: horsepower. However the real winners were audience members, who got a thrilling show, no matter which team they were supporting.