Wednesday, August 15, 2001
Steamboat Springs Horse and cattle events have been a part of the Elkhead Ranch in Hayden for the last 100 years.
This year ranch owner Heather Stirling will continue that tradition in a different way. A two-day horse and buggy event including a marathon, dressage and cones event will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The marathon is a 10-mile course through six different pastures that requires the horse and rider team to complete various "hazard" sections, including bridges, water and obstacles. The horse's ability to maintain a controlled demeanor and a constant pace throughout the course is reflective of the owner's training.
Marsha Turner, secretary for the event, said the results for the event will vary as all breeds of horses from ponies to draft horses will participate.
In order to complete the marathon, Turner said that buggies are often dismantled, taking off the fenders and other components to make them suitable for the course.
The contestants, however, will get their buggies in good clean shape for the formal dressage event.
"Dressage is an event in style," said Turner. "People wear their top hats and suits."
Dressage is fundamental to developing proper and subtle cues between horse and rider. All dressage contestants will complete the same pattern and their form and etiquette will be judged.
To register for the horse and buggy event at Elkhead Ranch call 276-3920.