Buckin' Good Time

Rocky Mountain Expo is the source for everything horse

 FRI, 3/12

Thoroughbred Fighting Ferrari may not have won at the races, but the long-shot pony became a hero of the silver screen after galloping through a first-place performance as Seabiscuit in the equine saga of the same name. Ferrari will be just one of the "horseonalities" featured at this weekend's Rocky Mountain Horse Expo at the National Western Complex. More than a hundred hoofed celebs will saddle up in the paddocks alongside Ferrari, including the Denver Broncos' Arabian Thunder and Goliath, the world's tallest horse at 19.1 hands (six feet, five inches from the ground to his back). The halls of the horsey hoedown will be filled with entertainment, educational seminars, gift markets, informational clinics, breed exhibitions and a few stick-horse races for the kids. Expo executive director Brian Kitchen promises something for everyone, even urban cowboys who don't know the difference between a hackney and horse apples. "It's okay if you've never been on a horse before," says Kitchen. "We invite you to come on down anyway and take a free test ride."

The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo runs today through Sunday at the National Western, 4655 Humboldt Street. Admission is $10, or $20 for an event pass, with discounts available for students and seniors. Call 303-292-4981 or visit www.rockymountainhorseexpo.com for a complete schedule. -- Kity Ironton

Horses walk tall at the Rocky Mountain Expo.
Horses walk tall at the Rocky Mountain Expo.
Rob Ullman

Stay Hungry
Packer Trail Challenge is a killer
SAT, 3/13

Named for America's first convicted cannibal, today's Alferd Packer Trail Challenge is intended to kick some serious rear body parts with half-marathon, full-marathon and ultra-marathon treks. Designed to "eat you for breakfast," the endurance event features four course lengths: 13.1-mile, 26.2-mile, 39.3-mile and 52.4-mile, all promising lots of cacti, river crossings, mud puddles and more.

The Challenge takes place at Chatfield State Park, 11500 North Roxborough Park Road in Littleton; the two longer races start at 6 a.m., the shorter ones at 9 a.m. Entry fees range from $55 to $80; to register, log on to www.active.com. Those hungry for information should also visit the site, which warns that "crybabies, the under-insured, the thin-skinned, the aqua-phobic and the humorless" need not apply. Call 303-791-7275 for details. -- Julie Dunn

Rock Steady
SAT, 3/13

Climb the walls at today's Boulder Rama, an indoor bouldering competition sponsored by Aspen Recreation. "There is this misconception that you have to be this strong gorilla type to be a good climber," says Jeremy Graham, head climbing instructor for Aspen Recreation. "But a lot of it is technique, which is why women are typically better climbers."

Open to ages six through adult, the contest -- rock climbing without ropes -- will begin this morning at 11:30 a.m. on the 3,100-square-foot climbing surface at the Red Brick Recreation Center, 110 East Hallam Street in Aspen. The competition will be broken down into four levels of difficulty.

"We'll have everyone from beginners to elite climbers come out," says Graham. "This is a good training tool for year-round climbers and a chance to do something different during the winter."

Registration fees are $20 for adults, $15 for children under age eighteen. For further information, call 1-970-920-5140 or go to www.aspenrecreation.com. -- Julie Dunn

 
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