Welcome to our first Weekend Review from Colorado. This is strange to do because at home in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I knew that when I wrote these reviews most of you had seen the pens, been to the show or knew somebody who was there. Now, I’ve got to build up a whole new audience. If you know somebody who cares about barrel racing in Colorado, send them over here!
This show was a great first barrel race in Colorado. I pulled into a parking lot full of trailers, just as exhibition ended. When I walked up to enter, I saw the pen for the first time, and I immediately changed my entry plans. The first barrel was set just about halfway down the arena, and the third barrel was at least 40 feet off the fence, so my little 14.3 hand mare didn’t get entered. I was wrongfully intimidated by the openness of the arena and the deepness of the sand.
Where: Adams County Fairgrounds, Brighton, Colorado
Who: Mainly amateur barrel racers from central Colorado. Most of the pro’s were enjoying Cowboy Christmas.
The Ground: Deep sand mix. Stayed very consistent and safe throughout the show.
Overall: This show was a great introduction to Colorado barrel racing. It was the same size if not a good bit smaller than shows at home(the only class that was comparable in size to classes at home was the open with a little over 100 horses). The show did move very quickly, though, even with drags and hand-raking around barrels every five horses. The show committee did a big drag after every 50 horses, and they watered before the show started and before the open.
The long, straight run to the first barrel was similar to the run to the first barrel at the Congress. Many, many horses had trouble getting it done, as a lot of them had gotten too fast and straight by the time the got to it that they couldn’t make the turn. Horses that did make the turn and clock generally stayed bent and set pretty hard for the barrel. A good many second barrels fell, probably as a result of horses being out of whack after blowing by their firsts or because the barrel was right up against the bucking chutes. The third barrel was challenging because it sat so far off of the fence, some horses blew past it or blew out on the backside with no fence to help them turn. The pattern itself was a standard pattern set up, and I’m sure once I get used to running in such a large set up, I’ll enjoy the long runs in between the barrels!
For a look at how the arena was set up, I apologize that all I have is the video of my run, which isn’t anything spectacular, but I’ll post it just so you all can see pen!