An example of one of the many obstacles horses and their riders will go through in the Iron Horse Obstacle Series in Burnet on Aug. 13, Sept. 3, Nov. 12, and Dec. 3. The third event in the series on Oct. 8 will be held in Hamilton. Courtesy photo
The Iron Horse Obstacle Series has chosen Burnet and the Burnet County Fairgrounds as the site for its first major series of events, which begins Saturday, Aug. 13. The competition, which consists of several obstacles that riders and their horses must work their way through, is a new venture for Lori and G.W. Glass of Energy, Texas, who have been organizing extreme cowboy events for about 11 years.
“This is our first year to be putting on more than one event in the Iron Horse,” G.W. Glass told DailyTrib.com.
The Iron Horse Obstacle Series has booked the Burnet County Rodeo Association Arena for four of the five dates in the series, which goes through December: Aug. 13, Sept. 3, Nov. 12, and Dec. 3. The third event on Oct. 8 will be held in Hamilton.
“We would have had all five in Burnet, but the arena is booked for (Oct. 8),” Glass said.
Entry fees are $50 each for the amateur, novice, open, and walk/trot divisions. The cost is $30 for the youth division, which might be divided by age, depending on the number of entries. A lead-line division for youngsters will be held on a separate mini-course with an entry fee of $15.
Registration is at 7:30 a.m. on each day’s competition. The first walkthrough is at 8:30 a.m.
The events are open and free to spectators.
Prizes will be awarded at each competition. Riders who participate on three of the five dates are eligible for bigger awards.
Burnet hosted a trial run Iron Horse last Christmas, Glass said. The event was popular, so the Glasses came back this past July for an obstacle play day.
“We let everybody get their horses on the obstacles and pick my brain about how the judging goes,” Glass said.
He said the idea for the series came from watching his daughter, Kaitlyn Faith, for whom the family’s K Cross Ranch is named, compete in obstacle courses in college. The family collected quite a few of the physical obstacles used in the competitions, including leaning bridges, pedestals, bridge stack complexes, camelback bridges, and noodle alleys.
“We had all this money put into the sport, so we made our own rule book out of what we had, developed our own way of doing things,” Glass said. “It’s very sportsmanship based.We would like to grow it, and Burnet is instrumental in that because of its geographic location and because it’s a really nice town that hasn’t changed much. It still has that small-town, rural feel.”
Glass also pointed to the county’s rodeo association as another reason for choosing Burnet.
“Those guys are amazing,” he said. “I like the arena. I really like the rodeo club that’s there.”
He plans to come back in 2023 for a summer series.
“We start again in the spring, and we’ll be here in Burnet,” said Glass, adding that the family-oriented competitions include all skill levels and ages. “We have everything from little-bitty kids to professional riders. This is a sport anyone can do regardless of your skill. We have a class for people and horses who haven’t ever done it before.”
Participating in horse competitions builds lifelong friendships and community, he continued.