Gary Clayton of Alabama and his Tennessee Walker win prestigious 2008 President’s Cup award from North American Trail Ride conference (NATRC).
Gary was first in the National Overall Open Horsemanship in the Heavyweight class, and his horse Generator’s Magic Pride won Overall Open Horse of 2008 in the Heavyweight class. They also won the Jim Menefee Memorial Award for high point team. Gary got his first horse at the age of 63. He began riding in NATRC in the novice division 2 years later in 2001. His wife suggested that riding a Tennessee Walker would be better on his body. After riding a non-gaited horse for a while, Gary was convinced and found Magic. Gary and Magic began competing in the Competitive Pleasure Division in 2002.
By end of 2003 season, they were fourth overall in Open Division in their region. Gary and Magic’s partnership progressed and they excelled. Magic won high point horse in his region and finished second nationally in 2006 and 2007. Then Gary set his sights on the President’s Cup.
Gary describes Magic as a very willing horse that will try anything that is asked of him. They train every other day in the off season and rides a few times between rides during competition season. He competes nationally as well as regionally. He and Magic utilize pasture, hills and some rocky area as their training territory. Gary’s choice of saddle is an English style treeless saddle.
The two truly are a team and NATRC is proud of their accomplishments. Gary and Magic are mentors in their region and have assisted in many NATRC clinics around the nation. Gary is a national board member for NATRC and a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA). Magic has been top TWH in NATRC for the past four years. NATRC reports mileage to horse registries upon request of the rider/owner. The points can be used by the registry for versatility and trail classes.
Their accomplishments alone are stunning, but we had to tell you that Gary is 72 years old and Magic is 11 years old. Both are going strong and have a lot more competition in them. Magic has accumulated over 4000 competition miles. NATRC has a large demographic of riders over 50 and horses over 20. This proves that with hard work and care much can be accomplished with a sound horse.
NATRC is the oldest and largest of competitive trail riding organizations in the U.S., founded in 1961. Its philosophies stress soundness of equines and strong partnership between horse and rider. All breeds are accepted provided they are sound.
The Philosophies of NATRC are:
• To stimulate greater interest in breeding and use of good equines possessed of stamina and hardiness and qualified to make good mounts for trail use.
• To demonstrate the value of type and soundness in the proper selection of equines for competitive trail riding.
• To learn and demonstrate the proper methods of training and conditioning equines for competitive trail riding.
• To encourage good horsemanship as related to trail riding.
• To demonstrate the best methods of caring for equines during and after long rides without the use of artificial methods or stimulants.
To learn more about NATRC and competitive trail riding visit www.NATRC.org.