It is time for one the areas most popular horse events of the year, the Intermountain Horse Association (IHA) Poker Ride. This year, IHA is teaming up with the Buffalo Bill Saddle Club (BBSC) and proceeds will benefit Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, Colorado.
Harmony Equine Center is located on a beautiful, pastoral property along Highway 86 in Franktown, Colorado and is the equine division of the Denver Dumb Friends League. So far this year, they have been given more than 225 starved horses by law enforcement. They believe that communities are now recognizing vulnerable and at-risk horses and are reporting this type of neglect, bringing Harmony more horses than ever. For more information and for specific stories on rescued horses, go to harmonyequinecenter.org/.
As with all equine events this summer, Vesicular Stomatitis (VSV) is a big concern and Aspen Creek Veterinary Hospital of Conifer, Colorado will be on site to check all horses before they are unloaded from the trailer. It is thought and certainly hoped by the horse and veterinary communities, that the virus will be waning by time of the Poker Ride.
The Poker Ride is open to the public and family friendly for all ages of riders. People are also welcome to lead horses and or ponies. If you have not been to a Poker Ride before, it is a fun way to spend a fall morning with your friends and horses.
Here is how it works: participants ride their horses to 5 stations along the designated trail. At each station, riders will pick a playing card and a station volunteer will record it on their card received at registration. Once all riders are back to the finish point, the winning hands will be determined. Next the participants select a prize from an array of horse related merchandise. Best hand picks first, the second-best hand picks second and so on until every participant gets a prize. Of course, you must be present to select a prize. Lunch will be served at the finish for all participants.
As in years past, the Poker Ride will be held at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park at 30357 Buffalo Park Road Evergreen Colorado. The trails vary from sandy to rocky, so it is recommended that horses are shod or have trail boots. There are three route options to choose from that coincide with the card stations:
* SHORT 3.4 miles about 1.5 hours
* MEDIUM 4.66 miles about 2 hours
* LONG 5.85 miles about 3 hours
Riders start at their discretion, leaving no later than 11 am. Everyone must be back by noon and out of the parking area by 2pm. There is no public water available, therefore please bring water for yourself and your horse.
- Single adult $45
- Senior age 65 and up $35
- Minor under 18 must be accompanied by adult or senior $20
- Family – up to 2 adults and 2 youths $100
- Lunch only $10 for non-riders
- Buy an extra card to replace your worst card – One per rider $10
- Sponsorship $75 individuals and businesses
Saturday October 26th:
- Gate opens 8:00 am
- Onsite registration begins 8:00 am
- Ride begins 9:00 am
- Last rider out 11:00 am
- All riders return cards 12:00 noon
- Lunch 12:00 noon
- All vehicles out of the parking area 2:00pm
You will be able to register using our online store as well as in person. Online registration at bbscgolden.org/Poker_Ride OPEN NOW and is HIGHLY recommended. When you open the store please scroll down the page to see the registration choices and sponsorship and the option to make an additional donation. IN ORDER TO HELP PLAN ONSITE PARKING, PLEASE TRAILER POOL IF POSSIBLE AND REGISTER ASAP!
For more information on the Poker Ride and other BBSC events, go to www.bbscgolden.org. The Buffalo Bill Saddle Club was founded in 1947 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting our Western heritage through family-oriented activities with our horse companions. They accomplish this through trail riding (day rides and overnight camping rides), monthly meetings, parades, social events and two Gymkhanas. The fall Gymkhana will be on September 15th at Indiana Equestrian Center in Arvada, Colorado.
Heather McWilliams © 2019