Jacey Matt puts on her game face during a Routt County Gymkhana Club event in Steamboat Springs this summer. The Gymkhana Club hosts competitive equestrian events for local families.

Mark Metzler Photography

Jacey Matt puts on her game face during a Routt County Gymkhana Club event in Steamboat Springs this summer. The Gymkhana Club hosts competitive equestrian events for local families.

Routt County gymkhana riders earn their buckles

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Mark Metzler Photography

Steamboat's Aleigh Aurin was named Champion in the intermediate division of the Routt County Gymkhana Club's 2010 summer season.

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Mark Metzler Photography

Steamboat Springs resident Kaylee Matt races barrels this summer during a Routt County Gymkhana Club event at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena. Matt recently was named Grand Champion in the adult age division.

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Mark Metzler Photography

Cody Wiggins, injured arm and all, competes this summer during a Routt County Gymkhana Club event at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in Steamboat Springs. Cody was Grand Champion in the Foals age division for children younger than 5.

— Bethany Aurin’s fingers were busy this week, dialing the phone numbers of a select group of local children and adults to inform them of their status as 2010 Routt County Gymkhana Club champions.

The gymkhana season wrap­ped up in August, but it was only recently that the trophy belt buckles for the grand champions, champions and reserve champions in each class arrived in Steamboat Springs. Aurin, whose two daughters compete in the club, said 2010 was another great year for the volunteer group.

“The club is all about families, horses, safety, fun and inspiring confidence and enthusiasm for sport within our club and community,” she said. “Participation continues to be very strong. It’s a great group.”

More than 100 county residents as young as 4 and as old as 60 participated in this summer’s weekly event at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat. They compete in six age divisions plus a special “assisted” division for the youngest riders who need to have a helper ride or walk beside them.

Gymkhana is a term that generally describes an equestrian event featuring races and timed games for horseback riders. During the weekly summer competitions, riders accumulate points based on their performance. The points are tallied at the end of the season, and belt buckles are awarded to the winners in each age division. One outstanding club participant is given a sportsmanship award. This year’s sportsmanship award winner is Alexa Mitchell, who was praised for her help in the arena as well as in the office.


Name / Points / Award

Assisted foals (5 and younger)

Justin Heid / 81 / grand champion

Camryn Dines / 56 / champion

Jason Heid / 52 / reserve champion

Jacey Matt / 36 / honorable mention

Foals (5 and younger)

Cody Wiggins / 66 / grand champion

Cash Meyring / 43 / champion

Colt Larkin / 31 / reserve champion

Kaitlin Radway / 30 / honorable mention

Pee Wee (6 to 9 years old)

Cutter Wiggins / 90 / grand champion

Newt Sherrod / 60 / champion

Lacey Sherrod / 59 / reserve champion

Cosette McLaughlin / 56 / honorable mention

Junior (10 to 13 years old)

Hayleigh Aurin / 122 / grand champion

Jewel Vreeman / 96 / champion

Arielle Gold / 54 / reserve champion

Taylor Schalnus / 33 / honorable mention

Intermediate (14 to 17 years old)

Alexis Len / 98 / grand champion

Aleigh Aurin / 63 / champion

Emma Lyons / 52 / reserve champion

Shealynn Yeager / 47 / honorable mention

Adult (18 to 44 years old)

Kaylee Matt / 113 / grand champion

Terrica Arroyo / 91 / champion

Liz Lyons / 69 / reserve champion

Kelsey Samuelson / 57 / honorable mention

Master (45 and older)

Alicia Samuelson / 97 / grand champion

Wendy Finley / 84 / champion

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