Riders show off their skills at annual Saddle Horse Performance

HARRINGTON, Del. – Horse back riders from across the State of Delaware put their skills to the test on Monday at the annual Saddle Horse Performance at the State Fair.

Riders tell us they spent their entire year preparing for this competition.

Amber Gonzales, a competitor said, “I mean it takes all year, you have to constantly ride, put the work in, take care of them.”
This event was more about showing a rider’s control over their horse, rather than the skill of the horse themselves.
Dave Wilson, the Superintendent of the Horse Department at the Delaware State Fair said, “It’s really a riders day to show their expertise and how they can perform and ride in the ring.”
Gonzales said, “Really that’s all they’re judging on here is just your movement and how fluid and how much it looks like you and your horse are a team.”
The annual Saddle Back Competition draws the eyes of fans from all over the Eastern Shore.
Wilson said, “Horses seem to always be something that has taken priority here at the Delaware State Fair for a number of years.”
Perhaps that’s what’s allowed these horse competitions to take place at the fair for so many years now.
Wilson said, “I can’t speak for 100 years, but I would say in the early days there was a horse competition here.”
We’re told over a thousand blue ribbons will likely be given out this week to people participating in competitions like this one.
Wilson said, “I would say probably blue ribbons and entering class, probably 1000. 1500 total.”
Monday’s competition was the only one at the fair that focuses solely on the control riders have over their horses.
There will be several more competitions throughout the week that will focus on how well the horses themselves are trained.
The next horse judging competition is set to take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Quillen Arena.
Categories: Delaware, Local News