Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County
It is all about the horses. But the horse’s ability, agility and response is all about the rider, the information that the legs and reins convey to the horse’s muscle memory. It is about being balanced, prepared for the lean-in turn around a barrel, for the quick stop that can jolt one’s seat right out of the saddle.
The Third Annual GCART Gymkhana Buckle Series had its first run at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds on Saturday and the day was perfect for the competition—overcast, cool, and calm. The arena was the hotspot of the action, the parking lot a jumble of horse trailers and equine athletes waiting their turn.
Children as young as four years old competed, most of the time with a little help from an adult. Advanced seniors went all out to beat their own times and showcase their horse’s talent.
In the Peewee Division, Joey Morgan took first place in the Cloverleaf Barrels, Barrels and Flags; and Payton Kutcher took first in the Poles.
In the Junior Division, Dakota Schuler was first in the Cloverleaf Barrels and the Barrels. Rowan Nasty won the Pole Bending, and Cailyn Grewe was first in the Flags.
In the Intermediate Division, Jordan Hansen took first place in the Cloverleaf Barrels and the Barrels; Mikaela Kugel was first in the Poles and Mackenzie Radandt took first in the Flags.
The next Gymkhana Buckle Series will take place on Saturday, July 19, and the last one will be on Sunday, August 17, during the Gilpin County Fair. Events begin at 10 a.m. The event is a fun spectator sport and one never knows what will happen out there in the arena.
Ribbons for each age group will be awarded at the end of each event and the Buckles will be awarded at the Fair. Contestants must ride in all events all three days to have a chance at the coveted Buckle; overall points wins it in each age group, except for PeeWees, who win a special ribbon.