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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Thermopolis Pack Horse Race

 

 

September 2013 issue  

 

Thermopolis Pack Horse Race

 

     The first annual Pack Horse Race, hosted by the Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous Rodeo, was held June 20, 2013, at the fairgrounds in Thermopolis , WY . The pack horse race was held in conjunction with the annual PRCA rodeo.

     Dave Denton, one of the organizing committee members, said that entrants could use horses or mules, were required to use legitimate hitches, and could pack sawbucks or deckers, although most of the packers in that part of the country use sawbucks.

     Competitors were required to provide packing equipment, 10” dutch oven, coffee pot, six cans of food and a full-length slicker. The pack horse race committee provided some items, as well, including tin can with marbles, bedroll, pots and pans, a forty-pound bag of salt, and a dozen fresh eggs.

     Eight two-person teams entered, with two teams competing at one time in the arena. They started with all their gear on a tarp. With no hitching rail, one person had to hold the horses while the other saddled and packed, or they had the option of hobbling. 

 

     The timed event featured six obstacles within the rodeo arena — cross a bridge; put on a slicker; negotiate a pile of logs placed like downfall; cross a “pond” made out of a tarp; pass under a “cowboy curtain,” which was a tarp cut into shreds and fixed to a bow gate; and enter a ketch pen through a gate, circle the pen, and go through the gate again.

     Teams switched riders halfway through the obstacles, and Dave reports that the “cowboy curtain” was the most difficult. “Some horses went through,” he says, “and some totally refused.” Teams lost points if they failed to complete an obstacle.

     The first-place team of Gary Bauer and Brett McKinley from Cody , WY , won trophy belt buckles. The second-place award of a knife went to Tim Izell and Gary Bauer, and the third-place award of halters and leads ropes went to the father-and-son team of Clay and Jeffrey Van Antwerp of Thermopolis , WY .

     A calcutta made the competition lively, with bets made on the eight teams. First place paid out $1,600 and second place paid out $800.

     The organizing committee is already making plans for next year’s pack horse race, set for June 19, 2013, and will make some rule changes and increase crowd participation.

            For more information, call Dave Denton at 877-864-3048; visit www.thermopoliscowboyrendezvous.com or check out their Facebook page.

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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