The team of Delaney Belle Bowman and her Quarter Horse mare, Pocos Ebony Essence, or Minx as she is called around the ranch, won first place in the 12 and under age division of the Battlefield Equestrian Society Fall judged pleasure ride. One-hundred and seven horses and riders competed in a course through one of the most historic battlegrounds in America, Manassas Battlefield. During the approximately 10-mile course, riders and their mounts encountered 10 natural or man-made obstacles challenging their skills and technical horsemanship. The horse and rider were given between 30 seconds and 1 minute to negotiate the challenge. Obstacles included trotting over and around poles, signs, cones and other man-made distractions. Rider and horse were tested in backing through narrow winding passages, side passing, turns on the forehand and haunches and trotting without the use of stirrups. Teams were also judged on walking over tarps, rugs, wooden platforms and opening and closing gates. Judges considered the horse and rider communication skills, calmness and time management while attempting the obstacles.
The team is awarded a score from 0 to 10 for each obstacle. Delaney and Minx received 5 tens and an overall score of 83 points.
She placed 37th out of 107 riders and took first place in the 12 and under age group winning a blue ribbon. This event was part of the Crystal Crown Series of judged pleasure rides held during the year in which riders compete for overall year-end standings. The events are not about speed, but showcase the partnership between horse and rider. “Winning the blue ribbon was cool, but finally beating my dad was pretty awesome” said Delaney. Delaney lives in Heathsville.