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 Virginia Highlands Competitive Trail Ride

Sanctioned by the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) 

Date- April 29-30

NEW Location - Iron Mountain Horse Camp

New Ride Management- contact Marsha Howard-

A competitive trail ride (CTR) is a distance event over a measured course completed within a specified window of time. In NATRC competitions, the horses are evaluated by an approved veterinary judge, and riders are evaluated by an approved horsemanship judge. The judging begins at the preliminary examination, usually the day before the ride, continues during the ride, and concludes at the final examination. The equines (horses, ponies, and mules) are evaluated on condition, soundness, their trail manners and ability, and way of going. Riders are judged on horsemanship as it applies to competitive trail riding. Trail safety and courtesy are key elements as is the ability to care for a horse during and after a long day in the backcountry.

The pace for CTR is more relaxed than endurance with the Novice/Competitive Pleasure divisions covering a course of approximately 20 miles a day at 3.5 - 5mph and the Open division 50-60 miles over a 2 day period with a speed of 4-6mph depending on terrain. CTR is a great venue for young or inexperienced horses before tackling the rigors of the endurance trail as well an excellent educational opportunity for riders interested in furthering their partnership with their horses. NATRC competitions are education based with emphasis on caring for your horse on a long distance ride. 



For more information about NATRC and to register on-line for this ride please go to


The Virginia Highlands Competitive Trail Ride will be held at Iron Mountain Horse Camp, a full service camp in Ivanhoe, Virginia (only 3 miles from old location at Triple C) and will use the same trail system in the Mount Rogers National Recreational Area. Make camping arrangements with Iron Mt Horse Camp. Electric hook ups available and stalls for your horses. 

The terrain is mountainous with some rocky areas and breathtakingly beautiful views. Hoof protection is highly recommended.








Garrie Bates negotiates an obstacle at the 2000 NATRC Championship Challenge in TennesseeGarrie ObstacleGarrie Obstacle

Riders stop for Pulse and Respiration Check on the trail.

Riders enjoying the paceOn the trailOn the trail

Junior rider executes a backing obstacleJunior riderJunior rider