Speed pattern racing and timed games for riders on horses make up a Gymkhana show. The term literally means, “Games on Horseback”. Central Coast Riders – the District 40 group of the California Gymkhana Association (CGA) – is hosting a Halloween Gymkhana Show on October 28 and 29 at the Elk’s Unocal Events Center in Santa Maria. Our local horse community is welcome and encouraged to participate as riders or spectators.
Anyone in any age group can enter and enjoy competing and getting better at each event entered. Allyson Shiffrar, a Gymkhana judge from Nipomo, tells us about the upcoming show, “There will be one show each day with a high point awarded each day as well. Saturday’s events are: barrels, figure 8 stake, quadrangle, speed ball, single stake, poles 2 and hurry scurry. Sunday’s events are: barrels, figure 8 flags, big T, speed barrels, poles 1, birangle and keyhole.”
A Gymkhana offers a variety of games and there is truly something for everyone. All horse and rider pairs – beginner to advanced – actually compete against themselves. Allyson goes on to explain, “Your initial run time will place you in the correct division based on your ability. As you improve, you will bump up into a new division. This keeps riders and or horses competing with others demonstrating the same ability. There are seven divisions from the slow and/or inexperienced to the very fast. We also have a Lead-line group for the little kids just starting out.”
Prizes, Prizes and More Prizes
A variety of prizes are awarded to winners of each event per division. The Halloween Gymkhana provides numerous chances to win awards and pins ribbons to fifth place in each event per division. A high-point award is presented to the top division/event finishers at the end of every day.
“Central Coast Riders also has Year-End Awards,” explains Allyson. “We give out really nice stuff at the end of the season for riders who sign up for our local year-end awards. All you need to do is ride in at least 5 shows at our arena and each show you have to compete in at least 5 events. The cost is $35.00 per horse and rider combination. California Gymkhana Association also offers year-end awards. There are multiple options to choose from. You could win a Buckle, a Headstall Concho, a Breast collar Concho sets and/or a Jacket.”
Interested? You can get more information on the California Gymkhana Association (CGA) website.
The California Gymkhana Association History
The California Gymkhana Association, founded in 1972, is the umbrella organization that this Halloween Gymkhana is governed by. CGA has a rule book which has become the standard for all district Gymkhanas held in California. In July the CGA holds the State Gymkhana finals in Baldo, California near Hollister. 300 gymkhana riders gather from all over California. All riders compete for the first place buckle in each of the 13 events in their age category. At the end of the week the rider with the highest points overall wins a grand prize. This is a complete family activity gathering together riders from the age of 2 to 92 to enjoy some fun and games on horseback.
Since this is the Halloween Gymkhana show, added fun events are: trailer trick-or-treat and of course a costume contest.
Get in the Gymkhana Show
Riders who wish to enter the show can get an entry form here: http://calgymkhana.com/districts/district40.asp
Entries can be made ahead of time or the morning of the show. Spectating, stalls and camping are free! Food will be available on the showgrounds from Dogfather Hot Dogs.
Go get in on the fun and games! Make room in your calendar for the Central Coast Riders Halloween Gymkhana, October 28 and 29 at the Elk’s Unocal Events Center in Santa Maria. You’ll be sure to have a hauntingly good time.