Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Arapahoe Hunt Point to Point 2011

I love going to different kinds of horse events, so as soon I saw this sign at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo I knew what I would be doing on April 23rd!
I had never been to a Point to Point and had only a vague idea of what to expect--mainly, fast horses and big fences.
Indeed, Wikipedia defines a Point to Point as a form of amateur horse racing over fences for hunting horses.  In the United Kingdom, Point to Point horses are almost always Thoroughbreds and are usually past or future steeplechase competitors.
Well, Colorado is a long way from the U.K.  

The prize list for the Arapahoe Hunt Club's 2011 Point to Point describes a completely different kind of event.  It reads:  The Point to Point competition traditionally closes the hunting season.  It is a time to test some of the skills that have developed during the year, or try new skills while at the same time promoting a little friendly competition.  Fun is the operant word and there is an event for every skill level and interest.  Bragging rights last the whole year!

Neither Teresa or I knew what to expect as we drove into Crooked Willows Farm in Sedalia, Colorado.
At first, it just seemed like chaos.  Horses were coming and going from all directions. 
A few were cantering...
but most were walking or trotting.
There were horses and ponies of all types and sizes...
including a few gaited types!
Tack and attire ranged from hunt field...
and show ring formal...
to very casual.
Several horses sported interesting clip jobs...
and the kids who competed in the fun costume class didn't bother to change out of their costumes before riding in the other events.
Those other events included the Arapahoe Challenge Cup, various Trotting Races, Hill Topper Paces (a walk/trot event) and several Handy Hunter classes.
One thing we did not see a lot of were jumps.   There were only a few small cross country type obstacles on the course, and most classes did not require the horses to go over them.
In addition to the actual competition, the day was filled with fun events.  These included the aforementioned costume class, a hound race,
and a kids' race! 
Although there were some very good riders mounted on very nice horses, the competition aspect of the day really did seem secondary.  Fun was the operant word and everyone had a wonderful time--including Teresa and me!
I'd still like to go to the kind of Point to Point described in so many Dick Francis books, but let me tell you--the Colorado version is pretty neat, too!


  1. WOW!! Looks like a BLAST!! I have to find some of those in Ohio for Sonny and I to attend! Thanks for sharing :).

  2. It's worth looking for! There really were divisions for horses and riders of ALL levels (more on that tomorrow) and the atmosphere was so relaxed. There were a lot of parent/child teams and there was no spoiled brat behavior AT ALL. It was really refreshing and definitely one of the most FUN horse events I've ever attended.

  3. Can you describe some of the other events in more detail?
    "Those other events included the Arapahoe Challenge Cup, various Trotting Races, Hill Topper Paces (a walk/trot event) and several Handy Hunter classes."

    May make for good reference material down the road.

    Sounds cool!

  4. Patience grasshopper! Those events will be described later this week. The Handy Hunter is especially promising as a model horse event!

  5. I think a short, straight forward over-fences REINLESS point ot point (like the last photo) could prove quite amusing!

  6. Hi! That event looked like fun. I do have a couple of questions, though. I've recently started making english bridles, and I've run into some problems. Here's a bridle I made and sold on MH$P:

    As you can see, I use 3 lengths of 1/16" lace for the headstall, throatlatch, and cavesson hanger. I would like to get so that I can split 1/8" lace to make the throatlatch and headstall, then have another length of 1/16 for the cavesson hanger. Something like this:
    However, when I do that, I find that the split lengths are a smidge smaller than 1/16", and they don't fit into buckles well. Plus, it is really hard to split 1/8" lace. I usually end up with one side being a little wider than the other, and it looks weird. Do you have any ideas on these? Sorry if this is so long! Thank you!


  7. Hi Deanna--I've used several methods for crownpieces over the years. I started with 1/8" split lace and encountered the same problems you are running into. I solved this by making the cheekpieces 1/16" and the throatlatch smaller. I put tongue buckles on the cheeks but not the throat and that worked pretty well. However, I had a few customers say they'd prefer tongues on the throatlatch buckles as well.

    Now I use 3/8" lace. I split the cheek/throatlatch sections and narrow the top (crown). I am relatively satisfied with this solution but it has turned a simple piece into a lot more work!

    I am really, really busy for the next two weeks, but after that I should have time for a few Tack Tips. Perhaps I'll do a tutorial on crownpieces!

  8. Thanks so much! I would really appreciate a tutorial on crownpieces.


  9. SO much love for that last photo! :D
    You guys certainly do things a lot differently over there! If you hadn't specifically said it was a PTP I'd never have guessed it was one!