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What was Mark Bolender doing in Pahrump?

by P. Tyrone Smith

Mark Bolender and Barbara H. Callihan. Photo by P. Tyrone Smith

Rumors surfaced recently that Mark Bolender, the founder of International Mountain Trail Challenge Association and three times National Champion in Extreme Mountain Trail and Extreme Mountain Trail, was onsite at Happy Hoof Beats, giving way to speculation that something exciting might be in the works for Pahrump.

Mark did stop by on April 3rd, no joke. He took a tour of Happy Hoof Beats Equestrian Center, took some measurements, made some sketches, and imagined what a course might look like. So there’s nothing definitive to report yet. That said, we can confirm that Barbara Callihan has a deep passion for and connection to IMTCA, and is exploring opportunities to bring it to Southern Nevada.

Mountain Trail and Extreme Mountain Trail are judged challenges designed to show the confidence, boldness and athletic ability of all breeds and all disciplines of horses and mules while being challenged by trail obstacles. The IMTCA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of “degree of difficulty.” Learn more about IMTCA here.

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