Back in the saddle again

great teeth  Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County.     The third event in the Gilpin County Buckle Series Gymkhana was a good example of how much a horse and rider can improve in the span of three summer months.

It also was a good indication that if a PeeWee rider’s mom and dad can run fast, the youngster has a better chance of gaining points than if their parents just lope through the course. Take Joey Morgan, for example, who came in first in all 3-8 year old events. Joey’s dad Pete made that horse pay attention all the way through the poles, around the barrels, past the flags, and in and around the figure 8 barrels. But Joey did a great job of hanging on.


In the Junior competition—9-13 year olds, many of them who have been riding for years—had their chance to demonstrate their abilities. Cailyn Grewe came in first in the Poles and Flags and second in the Barrels and Figure 8s; Rowan Nasty took first in the Barrels, and Eve Colton was the winner in the Figure 8s.

eve colton

The Intermediate Class, 14-17, was swept across the board by Mikaela Kugel, who took first in all events. Jordan Hansen was second in Figure 8s, Barrels and Poles; while Gillian Nasty was second in the Flags. Sari Lund came in third in all events.

The Senior Novice is always a chance for the 18 and over crowd to display their expertise and riding skills, leaving it all out there in the arena. Nederland rider Jeff Fruth took first place in the Poles, Barrels and Figure 8s; and Heidi LaCosse was the champ in the flags. Sheila Ranegar of Rising Sun Ranch was second in Poles and Flags.

Jordan good

Probably the most fun event of the afternoon was the Pick Up Race, in which one rider puts the pedal to the metal to reach their partner “in need,” at the other end of the arena. The one on the ground then has to leap onto the back of the horse, behind the rider, and they gallop off. That’s what happens when all goes well. The rest of the time, it’s an exercise in how to get up on the horse and how to stay there.

The gymkhana provided a healthy, competitive, educational experience for the riders, their horses, and the spectators. The last one will take place on Sunday, August 17th.

allison copy

Over the summer, all winners first place to sixth place receive ribbons. Buckles will be awarded to the high scorer in each of the age groups and a special Series Ribbon will be awarded to the PeeWees. The buckles will be awarded at the final Gymkhana and riders must participate in all three gymkhanas in all four series races to be eligible for the Buckle Awards.

These buckles are coveted and worn proudly for many years, so the day’s events will be highly competitive and exciting. And it is free to all spectators.

steph and flag

curly hair kid



Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.