17th Davao Horse Show flies high

 A TOTAL of one hundred and eighty (180) horsemen and horsewomen from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with over a hundred horses converged in Davao City from October 27 thru the 29th in what could yet be the biggest horse show and competition in the country. Man and horse action went non-stop at a forested estate located in Shanghai, Matina Aplaya, venue of the event. In the end, Davao was victorious in hosting a most unique form of sport – horse sport. Lumba ‘Ta, The 17th Davao Horse Show & Competition, organized by the Davao Horse Club to coincide with its 20th anniversary celebration, cantered to a smooth finish – the inevitable falls from the horse here and there notwithstanding.

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An equestrian team from Clark Ecozone’s El Kabayo Stables in Pampanga, Teams from the Visayas Horsemen’s Association (VIHA), the Cebu Equine Owners and Breeders Sportsmen’s Association (CEOBSA) and the various Mindanao teams such as the Cagayan de Oro Horsemen’s Association, Bukidnon Province’s “cowboy countries” Libona, Imapasugong and Malaybalay, Agusan del Sur Horsemen’s Association (ASHA), the Davao del Sur Horsemen’s Association and the Davao Horse Club fought it out in thrilling games on horseback while spectators loudly cheered or sneered, depending on how their favored horse and rider tandem was doing as it thundered toward the finish line.

Indeed, two days were rather short for the amount of competition that went on during the event, observed George Walter Misa, president of the Davao Horse Club. For competition among horses, there was the Halter Class (Best Looking Horse) and The Most Talented Horse contest; for the individual rider, there were the Barrel Race, Eventing (Obstacle Race) and the Oval Race; for the Team Competition, there were the Team Relay, the Talent Show and the newly-introduced Drill Team Competition. For the first time ever, Misa informed, the Obstacle Race was partly set in a forest environment hence the term Eventing, meant to upgrade the original obstacle course as well as to better show the level of riding skills of participating horsemen. Another new feature introduced by the Davao Horse Club was the Drill Team Competition, he added. This was done to add a new dimension to riding and to improve the show’s attractiveness in general as this act calls for synchronized movements among riders in a team of ten or more in a routine set to music. The Drill Team performances drew the most applause and wolf whistles from the crowd. On the other hand, the Talent Show among the teams was literally brought out to the fore (instead of being an after dinner activity) in the open field at lunch break to the delight of the crowd. Various categories classified the riders into: Youth (15 years and below), Novice, Intermediate, Expert and Auxiliary. Non-official categories included the Ladies

Division and the Royal Division (for executives who own horses but only ride occasionally). The kiddies too had their share of fun and excitement. They had their own category in the Barrel Race. Capping the horse show, as always, was the Oval Race. Running four laps in the finals, horses and jockeys in two divisions charged to the finish line in a blatant display of horsepower. At the end, the Cagayan de Oro horsemen were declared the overall team champion.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as Guest of Honor at the Opening Ceremonies was ably represented by Mr. Michael Denton P. Aportadera, Officer in Charge of the City Sports Development Office, who, after seeing the well-prepared event grounds and the record number of horsemen present, promised to support the activity even more and turn it into one of the city’s annual sports events. As a solo trumpeter announced the start of the program, members of the Davao Horse Club galloped around the field accompanied by triumphant martial music. They were then followed by the different participating teams in their best western uniforms ever. A special performance by One Light Orchestra of the Davao School for the Blind provided inspiration to everyone present as it played well-loved western music.

Lumba ‘Ta, the 17th Davao Horse Show & Competition was organized by the Davao Horse Club under the auspices of the Philippine Horsemen’s Federation and in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission, Tourism Promotions Board, Department of Tourism Region XI, the City Sports Development Office, the City Tourism Operations Office, the Department of Agriculture Region XI and Nestfarms.

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