Dusty Spurs Gymkhana held its year-end Barrel Racing and Speed Flag precision competitions Saturday, October 15th, 2022, at the Dusty Spurs Ranch in Phelan. They teamed up with the High Desert Hustlers, another equestrian organization that had presented equestrian events here in the high desert for some 20 years. “We used to share the arena a few weekends a month here,” said Pam Garon, President of the Dusty Spurs. Now Dusty Spurs Gymkhana calls it home for their equestrian competitions. Catering to the younger riders, called Little Spurs, Dusty Spurs Gymkhana also teaches horsemanship, responsibility, and goal setting to all age groups, boys and girls.
While the tractor was grooming the track for the day’s events, the horse trailers started rolling into the not-yet-dusty staging area. The aroma of the ranch, the occasional horse whinny in the background, and the riders unloading and preparing their horses with the rising sun, set the stage for a beautiful day of riding. Bryana Jacobs and her horse, Stella Rosa, arrived early, along with member friends Josh and Patrese from Apple Valley. Bryanna operates a tack and equestrian accessories store, which sells brand apparel and custom tail bags for the equestrian community. “They run these events from January through November, every third Saturday,” explained Bryanna.
Gina Hutton, Secretary of the Dusty Spurs organization and all-around do-everything person, was preparing the awards table for today’s competitions with trophies and ribbons. “We all have grandkids that are riding now,” Pam Garon reminded Gina nodding in agreement. When asked if they still ride in the competition, Pam said, “After twenty years of doing this, our kids are doing it now, and our grandkids are riding too!” “You’re never too young to sit on a horse,” Gina stated. Both ladies would have their hands full today organizing today’s festivities, including the snack stands, a raffle, an awards ceremony, the many equestrian events, and a Halloween-themed Cakewalk. “It’s always frantic at the beginning because we’re setting things up,” said Jackie Short, rider and volunteer. In fact, many of the Little Spurs and their horses were in costume for the day’s competitions. “This is our Halloween, which is always a fun one because we have a Costume Contest and a Cakewalk, so there are goodies,” Pam said as she handed Gina some treats for the raffle prize table.
Horsemanship and Safety go hand in hand when working around large animals, especially during competitive events. “All of our kids under eighteen wear helmets when riding, and we are sponsored by Equestrian Trails Incorporated, which also manages our insurance,” assured Pam Garon, President of Dusty Spurs. The arena was looking ready for the competitors with its red, white, and blue colors in remembrance of 911. Pam liked the patriotic color scheme. The front loader was finished dragging the track as the loudspeaker cracked, “Good Morning, Dusty Spurs Members,” President Pam called out to announce the rider’s meeting, which signifies the beginning of the event. The riders and their horses will perform in several horsemanship events, such as Barrel Racing and Speed Flag precision racing, earning points for their efforts towards Hi-Point awards, which are redeemed for trophies, ribbons, and prizes for the winners.
The Hi-point and Reserve winners are as follows: Krissy Russell, Alysee Sarabia, Patrice Sarabia, Bryana Jacobs, Leah Kelly, Amy Irwin, Kim White, Kailynn Stallings, Madisyn Warner, and Stacy Carames. Congratulations! Dusty Spurs Gymkhana would also like to welcome new members: Kalee Anne, Haley Thomas, and Teri Thurbush. Special thanks to the great staff and members of Dusty Spurs Gymkhana for a terrific event. For more information, please visit Dusty Spurs Gymkhana on Facebook.