Extreme Cowboy Race Buckle Challenge
By: Bridgett Locken
Photos for this article by Bridgett Locken, Locken Art Studio
www.lockenartstudio.com and Event Photographer: Dally A. Star Photography https://dallyastarphotography.smugmug.com/Competitions/Extreme-Cowboy-Challenge-Feb-2019
The Extreme Cowboy Race Buckle Challenge was held at Triple Crown Equestrian Center on Saturday, February 9th, 2019. They offered two divisions, open and novice. The event brought in 25 open riders and 30 novice riders. Shanalee Lewis was the main organizer behind this event. She said she was thankful to have a lot of help from close friends and family who volunteered to run the event while she spent 10 full hours judging the event. All riders were over the age of 18, but Shanalee said she is looking into holding future events that could include youth riders.
Mother Nature wasn’t kind that day. Even though it was freezing cold it was so wonderful to see all of the diehard horse people competing and in the crowd cheering on other riders. The support for the participating riders was refreshing to see. When I arrived at the event around noon the weather app showed 43 degrees but, with the wind chill factor, it felt like 38 degrees. It was cold, wet, and windy but it didn’t seem to bother these tough competitors. The covered arena was really nice and dry. The arena was large enough to provide a warm-up area for the competitors in addition to the main arena/obstacle area. I was able to stay and photograph three of the competitors that day. Photos included below.
The first rider to compete in the Novice Class, Danielle Alfaro and her horse Sterling (a Paintaloosa), had a great time at the event. It was a special event for Danielle because Sterling is 17 years old and Danielle was there when she was born. Even though they did not finish in the top three they had a great ride and experience at the event. You have to have a close bond and trusting relationship with your horse to complete these types of obstacles. It was obvious that they had a very close relationship and her horse trusted her.
The course had several challenging obstacles including a teeter totter bridge, ball pit box, water box (floating wood with holes so water squirts up when the horse steps in the box), load and unload in a horse trailer, carry a flag around the arena, roping off your horse, ground tying, drag a tire around barrels, open and close a gate, among other demanding timed obstacles. It was a very exciting event to watch and see how the riders and horses approached each
obstacle. I included a few photos below that I took while I was there.
I asked Shanalee to share her thoughts about the event. Shanalee said, “I was completely flabbergasted by the number of attendees. Some in which came in Friday night from as far as Oregon and Nevada even with snow conditions and freeway closures they all made a point to come to participate in this fast-growing event. Mother Nature definitely didn’t want to work with me but having the top of the line facility for our home arena at Triple Crown made dealing with mother nature’s frigid and wet weather simple. I was able to take part in the arena and offer a dry area for my contestants to warm up their horses prior to their run.”
Shanalee’s heart is to make the event a great ranch horse/ranching style challenge. This event and future events will be more about ranch style riding for everyone including daily ranch workers, cowpunchers, cattle ranchers, or anyone who wants to show how well they work together with their horse. She is currently working on more ranch style obstacles for her next event. I am looking forward to seeing her future events and competitions. You can view the Extreme Cowboy Buckle Challenge Facebook page for upcoming events at https://www.facebook.com/GSXCowboys/ The winners are listed on this page along with more photos from the event photographer. If you want to contact Shanalee Lewis you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The event also had a show photographer Becky Kolano with Dally A. Star Photography. She was able to get images of all of the competitors in the event. If you were at the event and want to purchase some of her photos please click this link and visit her website at https://dallyastarphotography.smugmug.com/Competitions/Extreme-Cowboy-Challenge-Feb-2019. I included some of her photos in this article, along with my mine, with her permission. Please support equine event photographers because we are a dying breed. She braved the freezing cold conditions to capture great moments for these competitors.
This event was something different and new to our area. The event had a great turnout and was extremely successful despite Mother Nature not wanting to cooperate. The amount of support and people along the rail and in the stands cheering for the riders was impressive. Our area needs events like this that showcase quality horsemen and horsewomen who are committed to their craft and love of working with their horses. I look forward to seeing future events of this caliber.
Photos taken for this SacHorse article by Bridgett Locken/Locken Art Studio can be viewed at https://www.lockenartstudio.com/Equestrian-Events/Extreme-Cowboy-Race-Photos-taken-for-SacHorse-Publication/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lockenartstudio/
More information about this event at Extreme Cowboy Buckle Race Buckle Challenge can be found at https://www.facebook.com/GSXCowboys/ Event Photographer: Dally A. Star Photography https://dallyastarphotography.smugmug.com/Competitions/Extreme-Cowboy-Challenge-Feb-2019 Contact Shanalee Lewis: email: email@example.com