Participants competed in barrel racing, pole bending, flag and rescue races. There were also a few family non-horse related events including a calf chase and a petting zoo.
This event and three more scheduled later this summer are designed to help kids and adults build up points that will help someone win a saddle or belt buckle during the Kodiak Rodeo and State Fair on Labor Day weekend.
Rosemary Culver, on her horse Tobi, said this was the first time she had ever done barrel or pole racing although she’s been riding since she was 6.
“I’ve always let my kids do it, but I’ve never done it in my whole life,” said Culver.
After just one day of barrel and pole bending, Culver already preferred barrel racing, weaving through a three-barrel set.
“There’s less of them and I know the pattern,” Culver said. “I just wanted to see how he’d do.”
She’s had Tobi for a year now and said that he’d had a reputation as a bad horse.
She had gotten him to see if the stories were true.
“They’re not,” Culver said, adding that she thought he had done well.
Children and adults competed and brought lots of laughs and cheers. Some of the children worked hard to control their horses’ movements.
Still, they all managed to maneuver their horses well through the poles and barrels — getting close enough to a barrel to snatch the flag.
In between heats, young children had a calf chase that actually involved two goats released into the arena with pieces of yarn tied around their tails. The children rushed the goats, which tried to head straight into their closed-up pens, and were quickly cornered by the children who grabbed the yarn off their tails. It was over in mere moments.
Racer Rebecca Garcie, riding Smoky, a horse-riding teacher, enjoys roping the most. Her favorite “Play Day” event was pole bending — weaving through four poles set in a row.
“I wanted to set a good example for my students and just be out here to have fun and build up points for the rodeo,” Garcie said, “I felt like I did great. I just had a good time.”
Contact Julie Herrmann at email@example.com.