Spalding Lab's very own Jill Von Ilten has qualified to compete in the Extreme Cowboy Race at Equine Affaire in Pomona, CA. The event will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, February 3-5. Jill will be competing Thursday evening.

Craig Cameron’s Extreme Cowboy Race started in 2005 and is a mix of horseback riding and thrills. The race spans fifteen half hour episodes featuring horse and rider teams as they complete various rounds of the course.

Jill will be riding a Gypsy Horse Stallion she co-owns named Gaelic Dancer. Gaelic is the first Gypsy Horse to compete in the Extreme Cowboy Race. Jill has known Gaelic since he was two, ridden him since he was three and has co-owned him for the last three years.

Jill and Gaelic have been busy in those few years. Jill has shown Gaelic in English 18 and over, at the Central Coast of CA Arabian Association Open Show and in Western classes too. In addition to showing, Jill and Gaelic work to create more awareness of the breed by participating in parades and going to Equine Affaire events. They also volunteer for Coastal Mounted Assistance for the State of California Parks by patrolling beaches in her area.

The Extreme Cowboy Race requires any skill needed by a ranch horse. Horse and rider teams need speed and accuracy as they work through obstacles, jumping, lead changes, carrying tarps, cowboy curtains and controlled backing, etc. Jill may also be required to rope off Gaelic and drag an object.

Gypsy Horses are naturally brave and athletic. Gaelic is smaller which will make it easier to pick a ball up off a cone but more difficult for Jill to place it high into a bucket. Jill says for tests like that she’ll just stand on his back ... Gaelic doesn’t mind.

The audition video has to show that the horse is a quiet and willing partner. If you’d like to view Jill’s video it is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKWYNagK8Dg.

If you plan to attend Equine Affaire in Pomona we hope you’ll watch the Extreme Cowboy Race and cheer on Jill and Gaelic with the rest of her friends and coworkers. Jill will also be available in Spalding Labs Booth #772 if you want to stop by for an autograph or to ask questions about Jill’s and Gaelic’s preparation for the competition.