Issuu on Google+

S E C T I O N Redwood City resident Mike Raynor gallops across a dusty expanse as a contender in the Extreme Cowboy Racing event at the Woodside Horse Park. Cover photo: A water passage is part of the Extreme Cowboy fun for Erin O’Farrell. Competitors face obstacles a cowboy encounters on a ranch Story by Kate Daly | Photos by Michelle Le Special to the Almanac A posse of extreme cowboy racers clearly enjoyed splashing through the water hole on a dusty obstacle course at the Horse Park at Woodside on a recent hot and sunny weekend. Dozens of spectators came and went, curious to see what this relatively new equestrian sport from Texas is all about. Trish Clayburgh was so intrigued with the Woodside Challenge, she decided to go back to Palo Alto to trailer over her horse Maggie so they could be a late entry “just for the fun of it.” They became the 36th competitor. Most of the riders were California cowgirls who drove hours to compete on Saturday, Aug. 23. The Extreme Cowboy Association sanctioned event started over an hour late in the morning and was supposed to end that evening. When daylight ran out, the competitors who were still waiting their turn were invited to leave their horses there for free, and then finish up their rides the following morning. In the last division on Sun- day, the pros rode a course that included standing on top of their saddles to ring a bell mounted on a fake storefront, roping a horse-sized wooden duck, stopping to unsaddle and then riding bareback over jumps, doing a spin and backing up over a small hill. Competitors were judged on how they approached and handled each obstacle, based on horsemanship and speed. Mike Raynor of Redwood City won the Pro division, as well as the Intermediate and Non-pro divisions, earning him enough points to qualify him to go on to the regional championships in Southern California and the world championships in Texas, both in October. He has been competing on his quarter horse Flash Gordo in Extreme Cowboy Association events for a couple of years now, and said: “I’ve been doing very, very well. I have a great horse. I have to polish my riding, but he’s potentially a world champion.” Raynor organized, worked at and rode in the Woodside Challenge. He said a combination of factors slowed down the event. This is the first time the Horse Park has hosted the event and it attracted a lot of new competitors who needed extra time to walk through, study, and then ride through the courses. “You don’t know the course until a half hour before,” he said, and the course changes twice in each of the eight divisions. The obstacles were ones a cowboy might encounter in a ranch situation such as riding over logs, bridges, closing a gate, carrying a bucket of water on horseback, dismounting on the wrong side of a horse to check a hoof and moving cattle. Some manmade obstacles spooked some horses and added time to the runs. Competitors See COWBOY on next page Tina Louise Icorn of Lakewood and her horse take their turn at the cattle-moving component of the Aug. 23 Extreme Cowboy competition. September 3, 2014QTheAlmanacOnline.comQThe AlmanacQ21

Almanac September 3, 2014

Related publications