Interest growing for Gladstone barrel racing events
HORSEMANSHIP: BARREL racing popularity has been increasing since the Gladstone Horse Performance Club started its monthly events in February.
The club is set to host its fifth barrel race this weekend at 137 Pony Club Road, South Trees.
Member Rebekah McDermott said she's pretty happy with the steady progress of the event.
"We're getting a few regular riders and competitors coming back each time," McDermott said.
For this weekend's event, riders from Miriam Vale and Calliope will also join the proceedings.
In addition, McDermott said there had also been a regular crowd that returned to each event.
"We're happy to bump (spectator numbers) up," she said.
She was particularly impressed by the turnout at last month's barrel racing event.
"We did a full sports day - so we had a couple of extra events on for people," McDermott said.
"We had good numbers come out for that one."
For their March event, there were 60 people who attended participating in that event in all age groups.
Barrel racing is when a rider guides their horse in a cloverleaf pattern through three barrels placed in a triangle, with the objective to complete the pattern in the quickest time.
"It's a competition for horse riders to show off their skills and speed," McDermott said.
The race also tests the athletic ability of the horse and the horsemanship skills of its rider.
McDermott said the quickest time so far at their events was about 18 seconds.
"At a higher competitive level, riders aim for 16-17 seconds," she said.
"We're aiming to get even faster."
There will also be a bending race and flag race at the event.
Riders must be a member of the GHPC before being allowed to participate. Day memberships for $10 are available on the day with yearly memberships costing $55 for adults and $35 for children.
Riders also have to pay a $5 nomination fee which will go towards the jackpot.
Spectators can enter the event for free and a canteen will be operating. The event starts at 1pm, with the junior rider events first followed by the adult riders jackpot events.
"Since it's only our fourth event, there's still plenty of time for people to join in," McDermott said.
"Our final event isn't until November - where we'll have our presentation for the highest points scorers."
For more information, contact Rebekah on 0488995900.