Evan Jackson and Sarah Finch compete in Extreme Cowboy Competition.
After making it through multiple qualifying rounds, two of our own recently traveled to Hamilton, Texas to join 200 other riders from the U.S., Canada, and Europe participating in the Extreme Cowboy World Championships. Evan Jackson ’17 and Sarah Finch ’18 squared off against 26 other riders in the particularly competitive Youth Division during the multi-day competition.
To have qualified for the world championships at all was an accomplishment in and of itself (Sarah was the California State Champion and Evan was second in the state), but both riders held their own and then some. By the second round Sarah had clinched 14th place and Evan was in 7th; his standing in the top 10 took him on to the third and final day of competition. So close was the field that the EXCA added a third judge to ensure accuracy as the riders took their final runs.
Evan started strong and never let up. Early on, his quick and agile spin box maneuvers set a break neck pace that he continued throughout the 13-challenge run (which included a free ride, roll backs, moguls, a broken jump, spin box, tree bridge, lateral lope left, straight line lead changes, dead man hide drag, cow roping, triple jump, free ride, dismount, and lead to finish). The impressive run, which was 25 seconds faster than that of the second place rider, earned him the 2016 Youth World Champion title (and a very snazzy belt buckle to boot!)
“Both riders got individual instruction from me on different things now and then, but they really did most of the work on their own,” said Horse Program Director Cam Schryver of their training leading up to the competition. “In other words it was Thacher’s Horse Program, in general, that gave them the foundation to compete so well.”