Even though Benalto Horse Show had about 10 less entries than last year, the level of competition still remained high, according to organizer Bunny Caton.
“You do get pretty good competition. There’s always good competition at this show,” said Caton of the event held in conjunction with Benalto Fair and Stampede.
There were 49 classes in the competition, which were divided among the different age groups. Competitors could enter as many classes as they liked, as long as they remained within their age group. For each class, there are different traits the judges look for when selecting a winner. Sometimes the horse is judged, and other times it’s the rider, said Caton.
“It’s a very popular sport to ride horses. It just is an avenue for people to expose and present their horses,” she said.
The obstacle challenge, held in the Benalto rodeo arena, was also part of the horse show. The challenge tested horse compliance and willingness to obey the rider, using obstacles that required skills on the parts of both the rider and the horse.
The obstacle challenge was similar to the Canadian Cowboy Challenge, said Caton. The cowboy challenge emphasizes the horsemanship of ranching activities and trail riding. However, Caton said the Benalto obstacle challenge is judged differently from the cowboy challenge.
“It’s like a jeopardy trail,” said Caton.
This year’s Benalto Horse Show winners for each age division are:
Ages 10 and under: High Point winner Sara Ebl with horse Marshmallow, Reserve winner Rachel Devet with horse Maverick.
Ages 11-13: High Point winner Bailey Kentz with horse Tessa, Reserve winner Nicole Blair with horse Beansprout.
Ages 14-17: High Point winner Caitlyn Malyk with horse Hes Lopin Spotless, Reserve winner Reagan Noyes with horse Ace.
Adult: High Point winner Randi McCook with horse Ostentatious, Reserve winner Lynn Johnson with horse Cash Sirtificate.