Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Draft horse barrel racing, part two

The first three competitors in the Draft Horse Barrel Racing class held last Saturday at the Colorado Draft Horse Association Show at the Arapahoe County Fair competed mostly at a trot.  The fourth horse in the ring, however, blazed across the starting line at a strong canter.  
He maintained that gait all the way around the first barrel.
Turn and burn. 
He continued cantering through most of the pattern... 
although he did break to a trot for a few steps around both the second... 
and third barrels. 
Despite that, this was easily the fastest round in the class so far.
With one horse left to go, he looked like a clear winner. 
Except... 
Oh, I remember this guy
He's a lot greyer than he was two years ago, but he's still just as fast. 
he blazed to the first barrel,
zoomed around the second,
galloped hard to the third,
made a tight turn there, 
and galloped hard...  
all the way to the finish line! 
Woo hoo!  The grey Percheron wins again!  He really is the Scamper of the Draft Horse Barrel Racing world!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Draft horse barrel racing, part one

By popular demand, here are the first group of Draft Horse Barrel Racing photos taken yesterday at the Colorado Draft Horse Association show held in conjunction with the Arapahoe County Fair.  

There were five horses entered in this class, and first in the ring was this lovely Clydesdale gelding.
He and his rider entered the ring and waited patiently for the starter's signal.
As soon as it came, they headed toward the first barrel at a lively trot. 
There aren't a lot of women at Colorado draft horse shows, so I was pleased to see this one.  She also drove one of the teams during the Feed Team Race. 
Around the first barrel safely... 
and onto the second. 
Big trot to the third barrel...
around that...
 and gallop home.
One of the black Percherons was next. 
This particular horse did not seem terribly excited about running the barrels. 
Despite that, he and his rider managed to turn in a respectable round. 
After the third barrel, I thought he might canter home... 
Nope! 
 Entry number three was the other black Percheron.
This horse seemed even less thrilled to be "running" the barrels. 
He completed the course at a slow trot... 
and a walk! 
Slow and steady does not win a Draft Horse Barrel Race, 
but this horse didn't care.  He had no interest in cantering. 
That's not surprising, really.  All day long these farm team horses show in classes that penalize even a single stride of canter.  It's no wonder most of them are reluctant to move beyond a trot in the barrel race.  

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule...

Tomorrow's post will feature the speed demons!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Draft show preview

Today I went to a Colorado Draft Horse Association member show held in conjunction with the Arapahoe County Fair.
The class list included several rail classes for both show horses... 
and farm horses. 
There was also a single horse... 
and team log skid, 
 feed team race,
single horse...
and team obstacle,
 and my favorite--draft...
 horse...
barrel... 
racing! 
As per usual, I took a ridiculous amount of photos.  Let me know what you'd like to see!