Xtreme Cowboy Racing Is Rising Up in Ontario
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 00:24

Straw Jump in the Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood - Jennifer Postma Straw Jump in the Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood - Jennifer Postma

The newest sport that's taking over the Equine World is Extreme Cowboy Racing.  Billed as a "Family Cowboy Sport for all Riding Levels", it is open to riders with various backgrounds, and mounts of the Horse, Mule or Pony Kind.

The brainchild of Craig Cameron, an internationally recognized and award-winning horsemanship clinician, Extreme Cowboy Racing is a balance of Horsemanship and Speed, in celebration of the greatest animal on earth, the Horse.

The Sport has been featured at the Calgary Stampede, as the "Cowboy Up Challenge", and at Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo in Canada, while experiencing rapid growth across the United States, since its launch as a recognized association, the Extreme Cowboy Association in 2008, has created a community and competition spanning 17 Regions culminating point to the EXCA World Finals in Texas.

Tree Obstacle at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario Tree Obstacle at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario

A course is set with approximately 10 obstacles depending on the level of the class.  The obstacles are challenging, and their accomplishment exemplifies a trusting, broke horse, and a relaxed and rewarding rider.  Obstacles may feature a ground-tying component, lead change, side-pass, speed, stop, roll-back, etc., in addition to out of the paradigm conditions to simulate "ranch work" or "trail riding".  Some examples would include:

  • ground tie a horse, crawl through a tunnel maze made of straw bales and remount;
  • dally a rope to a saddle horn and raise a flag;
  • jump over a series of obstacles (i.e. straw bale or log jumps);
  • transport an object from a-b by carrying it;
  • transport an object by dragging it;
  • go over a tarp with branches on it;
  • sort out a cow from a herd;
  • blindfolding the horse and leading it;
  • loading the horse on a trailer; etc.

Through the Straw Jump at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario Through the Straw Jump at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario

Judging is based on the obstacles, overall horsemanship and time.  Each obstacle is scored out of 10: 1 point for "Approach", 8 points for the obstacle itself, and 1 point for "departure".  Horsemanship is judged on speed, control, loose reins, straightness, correct lead changes, seat, attentiveness, etc.  And the Time is scored based on finish-time.

I first heard of the Extreme Cowboy Race when I was invited to watch at the 2011 Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo at Iron Horse in Burlington.  I missed the performance, but saw the great reviews on social media and from subsequent conversations.

Craig Cameron and Joe Scully at the Extreme Cowboy Race at Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo in Burlington, Ontario Craig Cameron and Joe Scully at the Extreme Cowboy Race at Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo in Burlington, Ontario

In 2012, I was invited to co-host the Extreme Cowboy Race at the 2012 Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo, along side the originator, Craig Cameron.  It was an honour to be a part of the event, and I had a lot of fun throughout the event with commentary between Mr. Cameron and myself.  I learned more about horsemanship in the 2 days just working the event than I had spent years through trial and error and reading.  And, it was tied together with both the personality of Craig Cameron and the competition of the Extreme Cowboy Race.

After two consecutive Extreme Cowboy Races at COEE, a group of participants collaborated to launch an Ontario affiliate of the parent EXCA.  Ontario's Xtreme Cowboy was formed.  Their next point of business was to acquire me to MC and DJ as I had with Craig Cameron.  I again was honoured, but more excited as I enjoy the challenge of making competition interesting and engaging, and this was well out of my paradigm.

Course is set for Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario Course is set for Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario

The inaugural event was in Norwood in conjunction with the Norwood Fall Fair.  We were slated for Thanksgiving Monday.  My expectation was a 2 hour "performance" as we had done in Burlington, but I was eventually informed that the entries were strong and this was going to be a 9am - 5pm kind of event.
Fortunately, my wake-up call and multiple alarms were able to wake me for a 7am set-up of sound equipment and preparation.

The event started shortly after 9am, and the "long go" of the Youth and Open Divisions carried straight through until 2pm.

What we noticed almost immediately, is that the crowd was "hooked".  The norm for a "fair show", be it rodeo, bull riding, monster trucks, is that the crowd usually watches for a half hour to an hour, and then slowly gets smaller as people go to see other parts of the fair.  A majority of the crowd stayed the duration of the go, and those that left the seats had their seats replaced by other spectators throughout.

About an hour separated the "long go" and the Finale, and again, surprisingly, a large number of spectators returned.

Reflecting on this event, it definitely is on its way to being something phenomenal.  It was the "big draw" at COEE, and it kept a crowd enthralled at a fair on Thanksgiving Weekend.  I'm certain people cancelled Family Dinner on Thanksgiving Monday to watch the event.  The participant numbers were strong for a first-outing, and lots of interest has been generated post-event to get involved.

Some reviews:
Wild Log Jump at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario Wild Log Jump at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario

"Paul and I attended the Norwood fair yesterday - just to see the extreme cowboy races - they were awesome - no wonder you all were smiling - what a great way to spend quality time with great horses and even better people - well done!" ~ Monica Schjott
"Amazing" ~ Dan Allen
"Extreme Cowboys at the Norwood Fair are awesome" ~ Josh Cutmore
"It was very exciting to watch. They showed a great skill." ~ Frank Lester
"It was something new and different and appealed to every personality and interest. There were a lot of different things involved and each a certain degree of difficulty.” ~ Ed Walsh, Norwood Agricultural Society President

Where Equine is a major component of entertainment or community, I believe the Extreme Cowboy Race will become a staple.  Equine Affair, Calgary Stampede, Norwood Fair, Canada's Outdoor Equine Expo… big names, but just a start.

More information on: Rider Interview at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario Rider Interview at Ontario Xtreme Cowboy Extreme Cowboy Race in Norwood, Ontario


Below are select videos from the Norwood, Burlington and Calgary Events.

Norwood 2012 - Preliminary Round - Open

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Sheila Toll and CD Mack Daddy - Open - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012


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Jennifer Postma and Harley - Open - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012


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Thomas Kerber and Molly - Open - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012

 

Norwood 2012 - Finale - Open

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Tim Fortune and Jackson - Open - Finale - Norwood - 2012


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Jennifer Postma and Harley - Open - Finale - Norwood - 2012

 

Norwood 2012 - Preliminary Round - Youth

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Morgan Kerber and Spirit - Youth - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012


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Kelly Redden and Peppy - Youth - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012


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Morgan Kerber and Firely - Youth - Preliminary Round - Norwood - 2012

 

Norwood 2012 - Finale - Youth

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Morgan Kerber and Firefly - Youth - Finale - Norwood - 2012


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Kelly Redden and Peppy - Youth - Finale - Norwood - 2012


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Morgan Kerber and Spirit - Youth - Finale - Norwood - 2012

 

Burlington 2012 - Finale - Open

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Jennifer Postma and Tanner - Open - Finale - Burlington - 2012


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Mary Ellen Lett and Willow - Open - Finale - Burlington - 2012

 

Calgary 2012 - Finale - Open

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Jim Anderson and Picasmokenlittlelena - Open - Finale - Calgary - 2012

 

 

Comments  

 
#3 LantzM 2012-10-24 08:46
Time to let all of Ontario know we have a new, fast paced, skilled Horse Sport bursting onto the scene. Norwood OXC was a great launch. More to come in 2013.
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#2 Thomas Kerber 2012-10-16 20:10
amazing write up Joe and thank you again for everything you have done and still are doing for this very thrilling sport and its followers
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#1 Sandy Landry 2012-10-16 19:25
Great Job Joe! Looking forward to next year.
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