Maryland Competitions: Trail Riding Competitions

and is recognized internationally through the International Mountain Trail Challenge Asso- ciation. Te sport is open to all skill levels and competitors can compete English or Western. Similar to a Trail Obstacle Course, competi-

tors must navigate a series of obstacles, however these obstacles tend to be more rugged than a traditional course. Examples are crossing a wooden bridge that sways side-to-side, rid- ing up steps that get narrower as you ascend and crossing very deep water. Competitors are judged on how well they navigate each obstacle, not on how fast they complete the obstacle. Tose here in Maryland wanting to give

Mountain Trail Challenges a try can practice their skills and compete at Double C Farm, featured on Te Equiery’s March 2021 cover!

Working Equitation Working Equitation may be one of the fast-

est growing sports here in Maryland with more and more riders jumping onboard to this sport that combines various styles of riding into one competition. Working Equitation consists of up to four phases: Dressage, Ease of Handling Trail, Speed, and Cow. However, the Cow phase is only used in team competitions as it requires a team of four riders to separate a specific num- bered cow from a group of cows and the Speed phase is only held at the Novice level and above.

Te Dressage phase consists of a prescribed

pattern of movements, which varies based on the level of competition. Te judge(s) score each movement on a scale of 0-10 as well as providing collective marks as they would in classical dres- sage competitions. Competitors are not restrict- ed to traditional dressage tack however! Te Ease of Handling Trail phase is similar

to Trail Obstacle classes with riders navigating obstacles such as bridges and gates. Te course is designed to showcase the partnership be- tween the horse and rider and judge(s) score the performance of the horse and rider at each obstacle. Te number of obstacles varies based on level of competition. Finally, the Speed phase uses similar obstacles

but riders must complete the course against the time. Tis phase tests the horse’s and rider’s ability to navigate the obstacles with accuracy as quickly as possible. Working Equitation became a competitive

sport in 1996 with the first European Champi- onships being held in Italy that same year. Here in the US, USA Working Equitation governs the sport. Maryland is part of Region 6 with Oak Spring Equitation holding competitions and schooling opportunities throughout the year.

Competitive Mounted Orienteering Yes, Competitive Mounted Orienteering is

a sport and is governed by the National Asso- ciation of Competitive Mounted Orienteering here in the US. Competitive Mounted Orien- teering is a timed event that covers courses of 10 to 20 miles with the objective of finding five to 10 markers using a provided map and a com- pass. Tat’s it. No GPS devices. No cell phones. No walkie-talkies. Just you, your horse, a map and a compass. Each marker is a 9’’ white paper plate with numbers and letters on it. Riders write these letters and numbers down after they find the marker to prove that they were at that location during the ride. Competitors may participate in a pre-ride clinic and practice session before each ride where they are taught how to find a marker on foot before the ride begins. Riders can compete as individuals or in teams and may travel at any pace they wish. Mark- ers can be found in any order they choose as well. However, the most successful riders tend to keep a good even pace throughout the ride and plan out their course ahead of time. A rid- er’s time starts as soon as they are handed the map and rider start times are staggered every 10 minutes. NACMO states, “Competitive Mounted

Orienteering is fun and easy to learn, develops trail smarts in both horse and rider, and brings horse people of all disciplines together.”

Come board in Paradise Clarksburg, MD

Maryland’s Only Mountain Trail Course

Maryland’s Premier Pleasure Barn Where being with your horse ... is always a pleasure.

• Light-filled 80 x 120 Indoor Arena

July 3 - Transitions and Obstacle Clinic with Michele Wellman and Cridder Halle July 17 - Benefi t Course Play Day August 7 - Course Play Day August 21 - Mountain Trail Challenge Series September 11 - Course Play Day

September 12 - Mountain Trail Clinic with Cridder Halle

September 25 - Mountain Trail Challenge Series October 16 - Mountain Trail Challenge Series (Rain Date)

October 30 - Course Play Day & Costume Contest CLINICS ~ LESSONS

COMPETITIONS ~ PLAY DAYS Cridder Halle ~ (301) 370-5774 • | 800-244-9580

• 100 x 200 Outdoor Arena • Jumps & Training Obstacles Available • 300+ acres of Trails • Climate Controlled Observation Room • Climate Controlled Tack Rooms w/Private Lockers

• Hot Water Wash Stalls • Stall or Field Board • Lay-up Paddocks Available • Specialty Individualized Horse Care

• Monthly Fun Days and Lessons with Joe London

• Outside Trainers Welcome • Drama Strictly Prohibited • Convenient Location

Discover Peace in Paradise 301-865-4800 6250 Detrick Rd.




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