“I think the event went great,” said Val Rowe, a local 4-H leader. “We had more participants this year than last year and it turned out to be a great fundraiser for the horse program.”
Four people cashed in with first-place winnings, including Linda Smathers, $200, 19 & Over; Denise McDonald,$100, senior division; Karley Reidinger, $100, intermediate; and Austyn Johnson, $100 cash, junior division.
Riders from all around hauled in their trailers, tack, and horses to be tested and judged on their abilities to control, maneuver, and lead their horse. The challenge was separated into four divisions, including juniors (grades 3-5), intermediates (grades 6-8), seniors (grades 9-12), and adults (19 and older). For a small registration fee, each rider was challenged to walk their horse across a bridge setup, weave through cones, drag a log, open a gate, and a few other small activities. In each division the first place winner was awarded $100 and in the adult division, $200.
“This was definitely an event for both experienced riders as well as inexperienced riders. Everyone is here to learn something. They accurately tested each skill level,” said Stacy, an arena volunteer.
Many local 4-H members took part in the organization and the set up of the challenge arena as well as actually participating and riding in the challenges. The interaction between the younger ones itching to learn more and be hands-on with their horses and the more experienced riders always willing to lend a hand or offer advice was heartwarming, and, if that weren’t enough, the whole experience was a major fundraiser for an important local program.