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What is the Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge?

Rachel Koehler and Bacardi attempt the Circle of Death, a high value obstacle in last year’s Gambler’s Choice

So glad you asked! The Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge is an event that debuted at the 2014 SAFE Benefit Horse Show. It’s held during dinner on Saturday night and it’s a lot of fun for spectators and competitors alike.

Here’s how it works: We’re inviting 8-10 trainers who’ll be attending the SAFE Show to compete. We’ll have riders. Each rider has 2 minutes to successfully complete as many obstacles on the Trails course as he or she can. The course, specially designed to challenge the riders, consists of about 10 obstacles, each worth a specific point value based on degree of difficulty. Riders have to attempt a minimum of 4 different obstacles, and while they are allowed to try an obstacle more than once, they can’t do the same obstacle back-to-back. The rider who earns the highest point total is the winner.

But before the competition begins, each rider will be auctioned off to the crowd and “sold” to the highest bidder. When all ten riders have been sold, all the money goes into a pot, and half of the pot goes to the SAFE Horses. The other half of the pot is split between the winning rider and the person who “bought” that rider! Last year’s winner, Rachel Koehler, took home $1,014. Not bad for two minutes of work!!

If you’re a trainer who is coming to the SAFE Show this year and you want to get in on the fun, contact Bonnie Hammond at bonnie@safehorses.org to find out if there are any spots open in the Gambler’s Choice. We want to see as many barns represented as possible! It’s for a great cause, and it’s a lot of fun too!

Big thanks to Kathy Richardson and Lynn Mazer who will be running this year’s Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge, as well as Horse Agility classes on Saturday and Trails classes on Sunday!

We are still selling dinner tickets, so if you want to enjoy some Dickie’s Barbecue and SubZero Ice Cream while you cheer on the riders in the Gambler’s Choice, buy your dinner tickets before the deadline. We will not be selling dinner tickets at the event; we have to provide meal counts to the caterer a few days in advance so they can get ready to feed a big group of people! Click here to buy your dinner tickets!

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