Horses of every shape and size, from miniatures to Percherons gathered with their owners last weekend for the Nevada Carriage Club's Eighth Annual Extravaganza at Fuji Park.
"It's a popular pursuit," the organization's president Kathy Lewis said, noting it's a great alternative for the handicapped, or people who love horses but aren't in shape to ride.
The animals competed in a number of classes: obstacle driving, utility classes, reinsmanship and barrel racing. The event is staged primarily for fun and practice, but there are some cash awards for best overall horse: $900 for first, $600 for second, and third $150.
The kind of horse chosen for this sport depends on the kind of competition, but disposition is the main criteria for a good cart horse, according to Lewis.
A calm, and tolerant animal is best for the obstacle riding this sport often demands. But beyond that, anything goes: mules and donkeys can line up next to the Arabians, and Thoroughbreds.
With a membership about 60 strong, the group has been active since 1990 and is devoted to the preservation and promotion of the art and sport of carriage driving, education in the training and use of driving horses, safe and appropriate use of equipment.
The organization meets every third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at Round Table Pizza. For more information, call Lewis at 577-9693 or visit the Web site at www.nevadacarriageclub.com.
First place: Jane Merritt, Antioch, Calif.
Second place: Tom Lewis, Silver Springs
Third place: Jerry Myers, Silver Springs
Fourth place: Barb Walsh, Reno
Fifth place: Joannie Sobolewski, Stagecoach
Sixth place: Steve Thompson, Marysville, Calif.