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Horse enthusiasts compete at Shellhorn Showdown

Two female riders were awarded the titles of Grand Champion and Reserve Champion of the Shellhorn Showdown Trail Challenge at the Lamar and Debra Davis Quarter Horse Farm on Saturday.

But neither Grand Champion Krissy Pinckard nor Reserve Champion Amber Evers said the championships were a gender thing.

“No,” laughed Pinckard of Troy. “I think it was just because Amber and I are more used to our horses. I’ve had ‘Yes I Wood’ for a long time and Amber raised hers. I think that was to our advantage.”

Pinckard’s “Challenge” time was not the fastest recorded but her horse didn’t have any faults.

“I wasn’t as concerned about the time as I was about getting through all the obstacles,” she said. “If you go too fast, the horse can get rattled. Horses think, too. It’s not like you’re riding a motorcycle where you are in complete control. When a horse is asked to do something new and different, it can get scared. We were just trying to get through the obstacles.”

Pinckard is a veteran to trail rides but the Shellhorn Showdown was her first “challenge” at a timed event.

“It was a lot of fun and it’s something that I want to do again,” she said.

Evers, a Troy University student from Andalusia, said the challenge was certainly something that she would do again.

Her horse, Dually, is two years old and no one has ever ridden him except her.

“We had a good time,” Evers said. “Really, it was a blast. There’s no other place around here were you can do ranch horse stuff. It’s good to have a place like this. It was a lot of fun.”

Toni Flowers of Pike Road judged the Challenge and said the event was entertaining and inspiring.

“In a challenge like this, time is not the most important thing,” she said. “Getting over each obstacle clean is the most important thing.”

The Trail Ride and Shellhorn Challenge got under way at noon. Forty-five riders enjoyed the four-hour trail ride through the picturesque countryside around Shellhorn.

“We had riders from Pike and Montgomery counties, Jasper, Phenix City and Andalusia,” Davis said. “Everyone had a great time and the challenge was a lot of fun. A lot of people had never seen an event like this. The spectators really enjoyed it, probably about as much as the riders.”

The riders in the Shellhorn Showdown Challenge had to maneuver their horses through a gate, drag a log, cross a wooden bridge, collect mail from a box, “take out the garbage,” jump a berm, traverse water, jump logs and ring a bell to signal the completion of the Challenge.

The Trail Ride and Shellhorn Showdown Challenge was sponsored by the Pike and Goshen Farmers Cooperatives. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Pike County 4-H Horse Club and the Pike County Saddle Club.