BEATRICE, Neb. - “Come Ride With US!” The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRCTM) will be holding its fourth annual competition April 21-23, 2017, at the Sand Hills State Park. The event goals are to increase awareness about NATRC, to showcase the wonderful equine camping facilities at Sand Hills State Park, and to raise funds for 4-H through a tack sale. Exploring Sand Hills has been the largest trail ride competition for the past three years in a 9-state region, NATRC’s Region 6.
Ride manager, Liz Klamm, explains, “NATRC is a non-profit organization that provides distance competitive trail rides for riders of all equine breeds and from all disciplines. For over 55 years, through these rides, we have been educating and informing horse folks about how to care for and manage horses ridden over long distances. The competitors are friendly and helpful to new contestants. NATRC is offering a free membership to all first time members.”
An NATRC competitive trail ride covers a measured and marked distance within a specified window of time. The judging begins at the preliminary examination and ends at the final examination one or two days later. Judges evaluate the equines (horses, ponies, and mules) on condition, soundness and trail manners. They evaluate the riders on horsemanship as it applies to trail riding and caring for a horse naturally (without drugs or artificial appliances) during and after a day on the trail. The emphasis is on education, safety and sportsmanship in a fun, family-oriented environment.
The novice and competitive pleasure classes compete about 15 miles per day, which is about 4-5 hours of riding at an average pace of roughly 4 mph. The open classes ride about 27 miles per day at an average pace of around 5 mph.
The management team has gone all out to make Exploring Sand Hills a great introductory ride. Anyone age 10 or older is welcome to compete. There will be a coach available to help first time competitors.
All contestants will receive gift bags with coupons, samples and literature from sponsors.
Some of this year’s sponsors include: Allen Samuels auto dealership, Riding Warehouse, Purina Mills, Platinum Performance, Morton Salt, Midwest Super Store auto dealership, Dillon’s Market Place and Valley Vet.
Meals are available for purchase.
Bryton Stoll, http://brytonstollmusic.com/, will provide live entertainment during dinner Saturday evening. After dinner, Air Force Captain Tim Finley, will talk about his experiences competing in the Mongol Derby, the longest horse race in the world spanning 621 miles over 10 days on 28 different horses. In addition, there are great awards and door prizes, a silent auction, and a tack sale. The 4-H is in need of tack consignments.
Campsite and ride reservations are required. Spots fill up fast. Horses will have their own individual corrals.
- Occurs Friday, April 21st, 2017 — all day
- Occurs Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 — all day
- Occurs Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 — all day