Are you familiar with Extreme Cowboy Racing?

As many of you know I'm involved in Extreme Cowboy racing here in Ontario. As a founding member and participant since 2012,  I have supported the Texas-based Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA) as a board member, promoter and competitor for over 10 years. I developed and coordinated Rookie Series racing here in Ontario for four years. In 2022, I obtained my Level 1 EXCA Judge's Card in 2022 and support EXCA initiatives in Ontario and New Zealand. Now, in 2024, I have asked Grass Roots Extreme Cowboy Club, one of several EXCA affiliated clubs here in Ontario, to be our host at the Erin Fall Fair Extreme Cowboy Classic Race on October 13, 2024. It will be our fifth appearance at the Fair. You're coming, right?

What is Extreme Cowboy racing? It turns out it's not all that extreme but it sure is fun! Imagine you are going to a job interview to work on a ranch. I know, we don't have a lot of 'ranches' here in Ontario, so you may still be in an English saddle, but anyway, just go along with me...

The Judge is the Ranch Boss; your run is your interview. He or she is looking for someone who has a handy horse that can complete a series of obstacles in an arena that will demonstrate some working skills, negotiating the obstacles with ease as if you've done them a thousand times, making a bit of time so he or she knows if they hire you that the working day won't go on forever. You'll need to be able to ask your horse to do some stuff you maybe didn't imagine to show that you are a thinking cowboy or cowgirl and to let the judge know that you and your horse are a team - that your horse trusts you.

Are you with me so far? 

While it's exciting to watch the Professional levels of Extreme Cowboy Racing at the Calgary Stampede or the World Championships in Texas, there's a whole lot of fun at every level, right from lead line to Pro, right in our own backyard. The bonus is that by following the EXCA (Extreme Cowboy Association) rules and guidelines, you will be developing your ride with consistency with an eye on moving up through the divisions, if you wish to do so, and maybe some day to the World Championships in Glen Rose, Texas.

The important thing to remember it's not all about speed. The best runs are the most efficient runs, at any level. You are being timed but you are also being scored on your horsemanship and capability. Get good first, then get fast. 

At the training level, it's all about building a solid foundation. The skills you need to compete are those that build a better horse and rider. Basics like good gaits, transitions, and maneuverability are transferrable to many other equestrian disciplines, developing a confident partnership with your horse to have fun on the trail or in the show pen. If you want to know more about Extreme Cowboy racing or how to get started I can help. For those already started I can help you to strategize your run to build your performance. Contact me for more details about how you and your horse can get involved in Extreme Cowboy Racing in Ontario.

Let's Ride!

Private or semi-private lessons are available with one of our horses or you can bring your horse here to Sweet Grass Farm near Orton. Call or text for more information 519-855-1127, or e-mail karen.dallimore (@)