Equestrian competition gets under way at county fair and rodeo

Equine events at the Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo kick off with the Equine Trail Sports’ Obstacle Course Challenge at 9 a.m. Friday, July 21.

Riders and their horses must conquer a minimum of eight obstacles of varying difficulty in the arena. Participants are judged on skill sets including confidence, ground manners, horsemanship and precision.

After the weekend, equine events will pick up at 9 a.m. Monday, July 24, with the 4-H Horse Show. The show will feature 4-H members demonstrating their riding ability and horsemanship skills learned this season.

Another opportunity to see the 4-H members strut their stuff – in a different format – is during the 4-H and Ranch Horse Show and Gymkhana at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 25. The ranch show features skills required on a working ranch, such as tie-down and roping calves. Gymkhana events generally include barrel racing, pole bending and other time-based events.

Another obstacle challenge will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 26. The Colorado Obstacle Challenge Series’ focus is horsemanship. Every discipline is welcome and special gear is not needed to compete.

A crowd-pleaser, Gambler’s Choice, will start at 5 p.m. in the arena. The game will take place on the obstacle course. There will be a jackpot with rules explained at the start.