Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2015 Halloween Cowboy Challenge held at Bar JF Arena

C. Davis photos

Christian Davis

The Bar JF Arena west of Pincher Creek was transformed into a haunted house for horses on October 31. Appropriately, a Halloween themed Cowboy Challenge was held, with participants and many of their mounts dressed up for the occasion. Psychologically darker challenges than usual were faced by the horses, and the staple challenges were adapted well to the theme.  Smoke wafted up from the imitation inferno below one bridge.  Nearby balloons in all their popping terror had to be crossed, a simulated lake of fire.  The teeter totter challenge remained essentially the same, the teeter totters were sturdily constructed but this time the little pool at the end of it included some skeletal remains.   A coffin at the far end of the arena provided some interesting challenges, particularly when a rider hid in it for a second or two after ground tying the horse.  A little creepy cave lay in wait at the other corner.  The horses truly had to trust their riders to complete the timed challenges.  That bond of trust between rider and horse is a deeply rooted purpose of the Cowboy Challenge.

He's dead, Jim.

The pedestal challenge was a crowd pleaser, and probably the trickiest trick of the day.  The challenge of pushing the homemade Flintstones car onto nearby rocks was quite successful, and fun to boot.  I'd buy me one of them to toodle Main Street.  The spider/barrel jump was groovy, scary, and fun all at the same time, and was quickly followed by another jump through the creepy woods beyond.

Jesse Chrapko judged the event.  The course was designed by Amanda and Jeremy Elliott.  Joanne Elliott was the describer and Judy Bonertz was the secretary, keeping up with the constant flow of activity and results.
The Bar JF Arena is flexible and spacious, a wonderful environment for a specialized competition like this.  My hat off to the organizers, designers, builders, decorators, and adjudicators.  You out-did yourselves this time.  I can't wait to see what you're going to do next.

Here's a look at the participants:

Verlee Hagley

Amanda Davidson on Broccoli
Kaylya Copeland on MM Let's Start a Riot
Rebecca Taylor on Skippy
Suzanne Kirby and Totterhead
Jeremy Davidson
Kassidy Bonertz on Rebel
Mike Elliott on Mouse
:Marvelous Murry Kirby on Gibson surrounded by adoring fans
Announcer Rose Lang
Insert Hendrix lick here
Some got a bigger kick out of the event than expected
Nobody was less popular this Halloween than the evil cowboy clown.  The horses were not fond of him.  He was roped and wrangled and kicked to pieces over and over again, and by the end was a fragment of his former self.    Rose Lang showed great affection for him, even putting down the mic to plant one on him after his emergency reconstructive surgery.  She claims she was "resuscitating him".  It worked, most of what was left of him stuck around long enough to finish the day's challenges.

Rose "resuscitates" the evil cowboy clown
Judge Jesse Chrapko


Green Goblin
  1. Verlee Hagley
  2. Sarah Kirby

Newbie Nightmare

  1. Rebecca Taylor
  2. Sarah Kirby
Kaylya Copeland
Verlee Hagley

Skeleton Scramble

  1. Amanda Davidson
  2. Rebecca Taylor
Murry Kirby
Kassidy Bonertz
Suzanne Kirby
Mike Elliott
Jeremy Davidson

Headless Horseman

  1. Amanda Davidson
  2. Kassidy Bonertz
Jeremy Davidson
Mike Elliott
Murry Kirby
Suzanne Kirby\

Boys and Ghouls

  1. Callie, Calen, and Cade Clark

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