If you ask Middlesex Township resident Jeffrey Gettys about his love for riding horses, be prepared to stay awhile.
“Do you have a week?” Gettys asked. “I have other hobbies, but horses are pretty much my life.”
It’s not just a private interest for Gettys. He is one of at least three Carlisle-area residents participating in the Pennsylvania World Horse Expo’s Trail Champions Challenge next weekend.
At least three Cumberland County riders are travelling to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg to participate in the Challenge, a judged event requiring riders to navigate horses through a series of obstacles.
Horse and rider are not allowed to see the competition course until shortly before competition begins, but courses typically feature such challenges as log drags that require pulling a rope, backing through a set of materials in a figure-eight formation, and even a form of jousting, said Barry Ferrell, a West Pennsboro Township resident who will participate.
Courses normally include 12 to 13 obstacles that must be completed over a six-minute period, a tight window to finish the tasks, Ferrell said.
“You can’t spend much time on an obstacle. You either do it or you don’t do it, and you have to move, ” he said.
A panel of judges then determines the rider’s score based on ease of task completion and the relationship between the rider and the horse, said Denise Parsons, president of Equestrian Promotions, Inc. This year’s competition is open to both amateurs and professionals, but it’s a “challenging, professionally designed course, ” she said
“It’s a true proof of that trust relationship between the horse and rider, ” she said.
Gettys loves participating in competitive horse events because they measure the success of day-to-day training.
“When we go to show a horse, it’s a test, and it’s to see how well you’ve done in your practice, ” he said. “There’s a lot of accomplishment out of that, especially when everything goes right.”
How is the Mn Horse expo?
I wanted to go the big azz world horse expo and didn't make it (yet). I did manage to go to the Peruvian Paso Nationals in Tx, years ago. It was a blast!!!! I still have a T shirt from it. I refuse to throw it out. lol.
A few hundred years ago I went to the Kansas City Royal. :D
No I didn't go to ride, I was totally a spectator. It was a good thing, I'd have fell off a lot due to all my rubber necking.
I know of one place you might be
Able to volunteer.
Have you ever attended the MN Horse Expo? It is held every year (3rd weekend in April) at the MN State Fairgrounds.
One year, I volunteered to walk horses for the children's pony rides. It just consisted of walking around and around, leading a horse with kids on them.
This would at least give you an opportunity to meet some other horse-centric people. Express your interest in volunteering, and get to know some people in the horse world.
I can find you a link if you are interested?