We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 18

Photo by Samantha Moore

Rider choice notwithstanding, Equine Trail Sports encourages riders to try their hardest. ETS awards more performance points for higher skill level placement. Ribbons get better and better with the higher skill placement. ETS applies a degree of difficulty factor to scores for obstacles requiring more skill. Ride hosts are encouraged to give better prizes to winners in the higher skill brackets. These incentives combine to encourage riders to try their hardest when competing.

All records are maintained on-line for every rider and equine. Members can view their performance history in almost unlimited ways, courtesy of the computer nerd backgrounds of the ETS founders. ETS tracks how many riders each competitor outperforms, tracks performance points, maintains mileage records, stores average obstacle scores, and more. A member’s statistics are accumulated across all horses ridden, and each equine’s statistics are accumulated regardless of how many riders compete with that equine.

“Equine Trail Sports recognizes rider achievement in more ways than any other competitive trail organization to which I’ve belonged. I can earn lifetime awards, annual awards, tournament awards, and event awards. On my ‘SCORES’ page, I can sort what I’ve done so many ways. I can view my horse results separately as well.”

Riders experience the Equine Trail Sports motto, “Ride for Fun, Ride to Learn” during each event’s awards ceremony. Each Judge shares with the group the criteria the judge used to judge the obstacle, and the judge offers tips for improvement. During “Judges’ Shout Out”, individual riders are recognized for special achievements by each obstacle judge. It may be that the judge wishes to recognize a rider who experienced a ‘train wreck’, but kept composed, or the judge may wish to recognize a rider that showed amazing skills.

TOURNAMENTS

Tournaments are a great source of “Ride for Fun”. Tournaments can be set up by Equine Trail Sports, event managers, organizations, or a group of friends. ETS tools allow tournament organizers to choose the time-frame and customize the tournament parameters. The ETS Northwest Region has set up a regional tournament with a fun-filled exciting finals event scheduled for October 2016.

An ETS event host has the power to compose their event using any combination of pasture, arena, or trail which best utilize the features of that event’s location. For example, if a location has three miles of beautiful trail, the host can include those 3 miles in the ETS event. Event types include: Trail Challenge – a competition that includes any combination of pasture, arena, and at least 5 miles of trail. Obstacle Course – a competition that includes any combination of pasture, arena, and up to 4 miles of trail. Recreation Ride – not a competition, casual trail riding for fun or for fund raising.

Individuals, equine organizations, private ranches, ride venues, clubs, and charities are encouraged to consider hosting an Equine Trail Sports event. Learn more about hosting at https://www.equinetrailsports.com/manage_event/