BONNERS FERRY — The Selkirk Valley Backcountry Horseman put on its inaugural Amateur Equine Trail Competition on Saturday, July 22.
The Trail Competition is designed to challenge horse and rider teams in a course consisting of various obstacles like the gate, where the rider on the horse opens the gate, passes through, and closes it, the crossing obstacles such as poles that lay on the ground, bridges, water or tarps, or even a teeter totter. There are others where the rider must drag an item behind the horse and rider team, remove and replace items, mazes, tight fits, back-through obstacles, and several others that help the horse and rider team to develop a stronger partnership and overcome tough situations.
On Saturday, there were up to 20 obstacles that were set up and the classes of riders were set to accommodate the age and level of riding skill for the rider and experience for the horse. The Novice course consisted of six to eight obstacles for horses and riders of all ages, Intermediate course with 10 to 12 obstacles, and the Advanced course with 16-20 obstacles that was open to riders 14-18 years old.
The ages and experiences of riders were separated into divisions of Novice with 14 years or younger or beginner riders with less than two years experience, Intermediate with horses who have one year or more training, and riders with experience of at least two years and are 15 and older, and the Advanced, which was open to horses and riders with two years or more experience, and riders 18 or older.
Judging is approached with the idea that the event intends to ‘display the versatile working ability of a horse’ and looking that the rider is not endangering either themselves or their horse. They awarded credit for smoothness, calmness, horsemanship, forward motion, control, attitude, quickness, and authority while in the arena. Each completed obstacle is awarded ten points, with additional points awarded on a zero through four scale with zero being a fail and four being excellent in the areas of approach/entry, obstacle navigation, and horsemanship. The contestants with the most points are awarded.
“We are hoping for a bigger turnout next time we have this event so we can expand the courses and prizes,” said Julia Stuber. “We are going to try to do another one this year if enough people sign up.”
The winners for each class are:
First place to Ivy Murray and second place to Hayden Vanhorn
First place to Austen Stuber, second place to Eveyllhn Stuber, third place to Gayla Roady.
First place to Cassidy Anderson, second place to Anne Bonar, third place to Gracie Stuber, and fourth place to Melody VanHorn.
First place to Cassidy Anderson, second place to Anne Bonar, and third place to Gracie Stuber.
For more information about upcoming Selkirk Valley Backcountry Horseman events, or to join, visit: http://www.svbch.org or contact Jerry Reese at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check them out on Facebook.