MONTE VISTA— Family, friends and horse-lovers, came to cheer on the 15 participants in the San Luis Valley Fair’s 4-H Working Ranch Horse Show held on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Ski Hi Park. A couple of dogs even came out to watch the fun from the stands.
There were more than a few competitions in this year’s Working Ranch Horse Show. Children ages eight to 18 were able to participate in three divisions: senior, intermediate and junior. The weather was very nice, and the participants were ready to show off the skills they’ve been practicing all year. The horses and their tack were well groomed and shining as they got ready to wow the judges.
The Ranch Trail Event kicked off with young riders trying to maneuver their horses around orange cones. They finish off the challenge by twirling a lasso above their heads. In this event riders are tested on how well they can work with their horse, adjusting their speed to round the cones.
The Individual Cow Work Event was particularly exciting to watch for those in the stands. Competitors were cheered on during this challenging event, where participants are required to either rope or circle a cow in just three minutes. Riders in this event are judged on their horsemanship, stockmanship and roping skills. Many of the participants chose to circle their cows instead of roping them. A few of the contestants had cows that where too wild as they bolted out of the gates. Each time the judge called for a new cow to be brought out, so they could have fair chance.
“It’s about taking chances and cowboying it,” judge Marvin Thomas told the intermediate contestants before their turn in the arena. “Have a big smile when you come in and have some fun. Having fun is what this is all about.” From the stands contestants looked like they were having a good time as they galloped around the arena after the cows. Several hats had to be retrieved from the ground as contestants kicked up some dust in the hat flying fun.
The Breakaway Roping (Gymkhana) Event finished out the show on Tuesday. It was an exciting event where riders had to rope a cow and then breakaway the rope all within 30 seconds.
Competitors must qualify for level 2 to be able to go on to State Fair. Many of the participants in Tuesday’s events did well and should be headed for State Fair in Pueblo later this month.