2015 Colorado State Fair: September 1

Twenty four riders spent the day with trainers picking up new drills, strategies and tidbits of information.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Ranch horse competitors picked up new ideas during a clinic at the Colorado State Fair.

The ranch versatility portion of the Colorado State Fair kicked off Monday, August 31, with a clinic focusing on four of the Versatility Ranch Horse events – reining, cow work, trail and cutting. Twenty four riders spent the day with trainers Aaron Ralston, Jay Henson and Diana Quintana picking up new drills, strategies and tidbits of information.

Horse Show Coordinator Lindsay Wadhams started hosting the clinic three years ago as part of her Fair stockhorse line up of events. Later this week, the fair will hold an American Stock Horse Association show, an AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse show and an AQHA Ranching Heritage event.

“With the stock horse deal, you have to host a clinic before a show, so that’s what spurred it on. It’s been great. The first two years, maybe 15 people signed up, but this year it’s been non-stop people calling about it,” she said. “The clinicians are so gracious to volunteer their time.”

For just $75, riders got 90 minutes to learn about each event. They also worked live cattle down the fence and in the cutting. One stipulation to participating in the clinic is that riders must show in either the Versatility Ranch Horse, ASHA or the AQHA Ranching Heritage shows.

Bill Cantrell of Clayton, New Mexico, came to the clinic to get some practice before the AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse competition.

“I don’t have cattle at home, so I come to these clinics to get warmed up to show,” he said. “The clinics get the edge off. I’m sharper and my horse is sharper. These clinics are great. There ought to be more of them.”

Bill, who is 81, shows in AQHA and National Versatility Ranch Horse Association competitions. This is his first show on Fire Quacker, a horse he purchased recently on the advice of friend Tripp Townsend.

“He’s a good old-man horse. I can ride him outside or show him.” Bill team roped for 30 years while raising his family. Now that the kids are grown, he decided to try something new.

“I didn’t have any idea about other events. All I knew for sure is you got to the hip and went left after you caught. Lead departure and lead changes, I didn’t know. I kind of knew about cutting. I grew up on Fort Worth and worked for some people who had early-day Quarter Horses.”

Bill is showing in the Level 1 amateur division on Tuesday and Wednesday.