Moffat County Horse Power provides equine entertainment

Andy Bockelman
For the Craig Press

Though over the years, the sizable horses of ranches and farms across the world have had their list of work duties decreased thanks to technology, many in the agriculture industry still love to show off their hooved friends.

And Northwest Colorado is no exception.

The Moffat County Horse Power Draft Horse Show kicked off Friday night at Moffat County Fairgrounds, showcasing workhorses and their handlers from across the Western Slope and Utah.

Declan Combs, left, guides his single-horse cart in the youth event at the Horse Power Draft Horse Show Friday at Moffat County Fairgrounds.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

After planning the show for months, coordinator Mardi Anson noted that half the teams who had committed to the show were forced to back out in the past two weeks, but the event was still able to feature numerous horse enthusiasts.

“I think we have a good variety of events and a good variety of breeds that came out. We had a little bit of everything,” Anson said.

Events on the schedule included feed team races, team hitch, four-horse hitch obstacle course, and more.

Horse Power organizers recruited Kelli Gardner of Madrid, Ohio, to judge the equine contestants and their human companions on their driving capabilities, safety of equipment and presentation, among other parameters.

While some events featured riders on saddleback, others had larger rigs, whether it was a two-person cart or the six-horse hitch contestants that opened the Friday night event.

Anson’s sons Grady and Garrett were each handling a full team of six against Palisade’s Clark Family Orchards.

“They had to hitch up kind of a mismatched group. My boys worked really hard for that,” Anson said.

Clay Reynolds rides his horse in the Open Western Riding event at the Horse Power Draft Horse Show Friday at Moffat County Fairgrounds.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

This marks the ninth year for Horse Power, an event that includes entrants ranging from as young as 6 years old to others who show draft horses competitively on a full-time basis. All share an appreciation for the utility of horses today, even with modern farm and ranch equipment replacing them in many aspects.

Anson said the show serves as an indicator of how much horse owners love their animals.

“People like playing with their horses. If you don’t have something like this, they just sit in the pasture,” she said. “People enjoy getting their horses dressed up and they like getting dressed up for this with them.”

Moffat County Horse Power continues with two shows, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday and one, at 10 a.m., Sunday at Moffat County Fairgrounds.

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