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“Extreme Cowboy Race” Huge Draw for 2006 Western States Horse Expo

“I wasn’t sure how the Extreme Cowboy Race was going to be received by our attendees,” reflects Miki Cohen, president of the Western States Horse Expo. “But believe me, I was overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response! The audience went nuts watching this event!”

The event is the Extreme Cowboy Race, created and hosted by Craig Cameron and produced by HorseCity.com television

“This was the first time the race has been staged anywhere except at Craig Cameron’s ranch in Texas,” states HorseCity.comTV producer Ryan Dohrn. “And in Texas we didn’t have a live audience. But from what we saw here in California,” Dohrn grins, “we have now formulated a show that all audiences will find thrilling and chilling!”

Thirty-four contestants came from around the United States to compete in the race, all ponying up a $500 entry fee for a shot at a challenging course that took from 2 minutes and 20 seconds for one speedy contestant, to over 25 minutes for another participant who apparently found the course more challenging than she could imagine.

“Overall I was pleased with the horsemanship these contestants displayed,” says Craig Cameron, “and the horsemanship aspect is really important. It’s not just about speed. The judges are looking for quality horsemanship, like nice loose reins, correct cues, ability to communicate directions to the horse without any kind of abuse. There were a few folks out there during the race who weren’t as prepared as they should have been, for sure. But they still had fun, and I’ll bet they came away from the event knowing that they need to practice more and be better prepared next time.”

Competitors were judged both on horsemanship and speed. The course was tough, but not too tough for those who came ready to race. The first obstacle seemed to be the crowd pleaser, though --- a drop-off water obstacle (with no graded edges) that took faith and confidence for the horse to plunge in. The horse-and-rider pair then lunged and climbed up a steep dirt hill, only to descent into another water obstacle, then up a steep dirt hill, then they still had to negotiate a third water hole.

The audience, many splashed by the water (sort of like being at Sea World!), was then entertained as the horse-and-rider team galloped from obstacle to obstacle ---- performing such feats as log dragging, cattle penning, opening gates, jumping off embankments, backing through a long L-pattern, galloping with a blue tarp streaming alongside (“like a Zorro cape,” Craig Cameron quipped), and jumping a series of barrels.

“This Extreme Cowboy Race will start airing in September on RFD-TV,” says Dohrn. “And we’ll be back again next year at the Expo --- with a different, bigger course and easier access for the audience.”

Winners of the Extreme Cowboy Race were announced after the finals on Sunday.

The top ten contestants were:

1 Bob Banks / Roseburg, Oregon

2 James Chico / Porterville, California

3 Ted Williams / Grande Ronde, Oregon

4 Pat Sprague / Gridley, California

5 Sherry Oncale / Willits, California

6 Nicol Kunka / Dayton, Nevada

7 Laurie Cameron / Winters, California

8 Erin Murphy / Penn Valley, California

9 Kathy Rohde / Dunlap, California

10 Mary Leisure / Tallapoosa, Georgia

“You might note,” smiles Miki Cohen, “that of the top ten, six were women. Maybe we can get Craig Cameron to change the name next year to the ‘Extreme Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Race!’ Wouldn’t that be a hoot!”

Dates for the 2007 Western States Horse Expo are Friday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10. For more information on the Expo, visit http://www.horsexpo.com or call 800/352-2411. For more information on HorseCity.com TV, visit http://www.horsecity.com.


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