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... 
 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!


  1. Do you have any pictures of riders trying to mount that horses? I would imagine that they would have to be pretty crafty to mount a horse that big bareback!

  2. My position on the rail was pretty far removed from the ingate so I didn't see anyone mount their horse. I suspect they had help, though. When I was fourteen I could mount a 16 hand horse bareback without assistance, but that was only because A)I practiced a lot and B) I was 14. All of these riders were taller and probably stronger than I ever was, but none of them were 14!


  3. OMG! This is like drastic custom idea crack for me. More! More!

  4. Also, I ground mounted a Clydesdale bareback once. LOTS of fun. Not sure I could still do it though.

  5. Laura--This is really just a tiny fraction of the photos I took. If you're looking making something specific and need another angle... I probably have it!

    Dom--I can totally picture you doing this!

  6. Half the problem of getting on bareback, I think, would be getting your leg all the way over to the other side. My extra wide haflinger isn't tall, but it can be awkward getting on because of how round and wide he is. But he's super comfy when you are on :)