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Local trail riders earn top honors

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Photo submitted Brandy Ferganchick and Thunder

At the North American Trail Riders Conference, NATRC, Regional Convention held recently in Cripple Creek, four members of the Ladies Saddle Club took home regional awards.

The year-end awards comprise seven different multiple day trail riding events from April through October of 2015. Each ride took place in a beautiful part of Colorado or New Mexico and covered between 20 to 30 miles each day. The horses are judged on conditioning, manners and soundness by a certified NATRC veterinarian. The horse must compete the two days of hard work in the same sound condition that it arrived in on Friday afternoon. The riders are judged separately from the horse by a certified NATRC horsemanship judge. Horses are presented "in-hand" several times to the judges and perform numerous obstacles on the trail while mounted. The Open Division rides faster and further than the Competitive Pleasure and Novice Divisions.

Brandy Ferganchick from Eckert and her Norwegian Fjord stallion, Cedar Valley's Torden Fjell, barn name, Thunder took first place honors in the Competitive Pleasure Division for both Horse and Horsemanship and the Combined Team Award. Brandy and Thunder also won the High Average combined score award of a 98.33 percent. In addition, Thunder also won the Land of Enchantment award for highest scoring horse in the four rides in the New Mexico area and was crowned a Competitive Pleasure National Champion.

Royal's Rock'N EZ Cinnabar, a Missouri Fox Trotter ridden by Betty Garrett from Eckert, was third-place horse in the Competitive Pleasure Division. Betty and Cinna were fourth in the National NATRC Horse and Rider Team.

Juleen Feazell from Cedaredge was riding a new horse for 2015, a Tennessee Walker, SAS's Smokey Annie Oakley. Annie did well for her first year of competition in the Competitive Pleasure division with a fifth-place horse award. Juleen also took fifth place in horsemanship. Annie and Juleen were sixth in the National NATRC Horse and Rider Team.

Syndi Scott from Cedaredge and her Arabian mare Isis Khepri were both sixth-place horse and horsemanship in the Open Lightweight division. Syndi also rode her quarter horse mare, Classical Lines, in the Competitive Pleasure division at several NATRC events.

NATRC is about caring for your horse on the trail and riding a good trail horse safely, within a specified time window. If you or someone you know is looking for new challenges and ways to improve their riding skills as well as their horse's ability to handle challenging obstacles along the trail, this would be a great place for some new adventures. All breeds of horses are welcome and there is a Junior Division for ages 10 to 18.

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes for both horse and rider to participate in NATRC events, a clinic is being held on May 14 in Eckert. The clinic will include a certified NATRC veterinarian and award winning NATRC competitors to introduce you to the sport of Competitive Trail Riding.

A NATRC competitive trail ride, Island In The Sky, will be held on the Grand Mesa this summer on Aug. 5-7. Island in The Sky will include a one-day B ride as well as the two-day ride.

If you would like to learn more about NATRC, sign up for the clinic or Island In the Sky in August, please contact Juleen Feazell, (970-985-1182 or gjfeazell@tds.net.

The 2016 ride schedule and additional NATRC information can be found on www.natrc3.org.

Photo submitted Syndi Scott and Khepri
Photo submitted Juleen Feazell and Annie
Photo submitted Betty Garrett and Cinna
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Surface Creek
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Cedaredge, Clubs, Ladies Saddle Club
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