Horse Competitive Trail Challenge will be this weekend
NEW CASTLE – The Back Country Horsemen of the Eastern Divide are inviting horsemen everywhere to test their horse skills at a three-day Competitive Trail Challenge at the Craig County Fairgrounds this weekend, beginning Friday evening, July 20, and ending Sunday with Cowboy Church followed by a mountain trail ride through some of Craig County’s most scenic territories.
This first time event for Craig County holds in store many other exciting activities and opportunities for both participants and those attending just for the fun of being there.
“Riders and their families will come from all over Southwest Virginia and West Virginia,” said Jennifer Mulligan, a member of the local chapter. Mulligan said that all of the events are open to the public except for the CTC free of charge starting with a trail ride late Friday afternoon and concert that evening.
There will also be a Natural Horsemanship clinic in the arena. Food and concessions will be available all three days as well as places to camp at the fairgrounds. There are no RV hookups but there are electrical outlets and water spigots in various places.
On Saturday, the ACTHA Competitive Trail Challenge with take place with 40 riders expected to leave the Fairgrounds to make an 8-mile loop through Lanier Frantz’ property. They will compete and be judged on their performance of six obstacles, ranging from backing through poles, creek crossings, log crossings, climbing steep hills, and a myriad of other trail challenges.
Many other activities will be available during the three-day event. There will be vendors selling arts and crafts, used tack, trail first aid kits, and food. There will be informational clinics on equine acupuncture, “Leave No Trace,” back country horse packing and camping.
The Craig County Public Library is hosting a children’s story time at 10 a.m. An honored guest, Mugsy, the mascot for the Salem Red Sox Baseball Team, will join the story time and entertain the adults on Saturday morning.
The Back Country Horsemen of the Eastern Divide is a member of the American Competitive Trail Horse Association. The group is active in creating and maintaining back country horse trails throughout southwest Virginia. “We work with the National Forest Service and individual land owners to make sure all of our horse trails are safe, pristine, and accessible,” Mulligan said.
“We want to invite other riders to enjoy the natural beauty and trails of Craig County and to invite the community to come and share experiences in responsible horsemanship,” said Marge Lewter, president of the chapter. Proceeds from this fundraising event will go to the Back Country Horsemen of the Eastern Divide, Craig County Fairgrounds Association, Craig County 4-H and the Healing Strides of Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, formerly the Roanoke Valley Therapeutic Riding Program.
For additional information check out the ACTHA website at ACTHA.US. For additional information about weekend events contact Jennifer Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-864-7071.