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Fort to host national cavalry competition

Post Date:02/01/2018

The Fourth Annual Regional Cavalry Competition will be April 19-21 at Fort Concho.

Riders interested in competing should call Fort Concho Cavalry commander Ron Perry at 325-234-0493. Riders must wear a historical uniform that portrays an era of the cavalry and use a saddle and equipment that reflect that time period. Competitors also must belong to the USCA, which offers a one-time special competition membership of $40. The registration form can be found at fortconcho.com.

On Saturday, April 21, the competition’s Pass in Review and all event finals will occur as part of the fort’s annual Frontier Day, which starts with a Lions Club pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Up to 40 riders representing eras from the 1800s to the early 1900s will compete in the United States Cavalry Association event. Founded in 1976, the USCA is a national organization dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the mounted service.

Perry noted the number of riders in the event has doubled in just two years. Competition events include courses in riding, jumping and pistol skills, plus events in military and combat horsemanship on Thursday and Friday, April 19-20. Top competitors ride in the finals Saturday afternoon, April 21, in the Hesse Cup, named after longtime Fort Concho board member, president and supporter Barbara Hesse.

An opening ceremony will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the Pass in Review will occur at 9 a.m. Saturday. All events will be on the Parade Ground. There will be no charge for watching the competition. Frontier Day is also free, except for the pancakes.

Special hotel rates have been arranged for out-of-town guests. These can be found at fortconcho.com. For more information, call Fort Concho at 325-481-2646.

Fort Concho Manager Bob Bluthardt said the event will honor surviving veterans of the cavalry, which last served the nation in 1943.

“Few horse soldiers are left in the country,” Bluthardt noted. “We honored six of them in 2010 when the fort first hosted the event, and all but one have passed away since. We would be honored to have anyone from that era at our event.”

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