The Colorado State Fair will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Youth Championship Freestyle Reining horse competition this year. • Photo by Primo Morales

Colorado State Fair Celebrates Decade-Long Youth Freestyle Reining Competition

The 2017 Colorado State Fair is proud to announce the 10th anniversary of the Youth Championship Freestyle Reining horse show competition. This event features competitors aged 9-18 years old strutting their talent in front of the audience and judges in an effort to be crowned the winner. This traditional horse event is perfect entertainment for families, equestrians and professionals to enjoy.

Lindsay Wadhams and Jan Guynn established this competition in 2007, and it was the first Youth Freestyle Reining competition to be sanctioned by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).

“The Youth Freestyle Reining Competition has been a great way to encourage younger participants to get involved, both at the Colorado State Fair and with the National Reining Horse Association,” said Lindsay Wadhams, Horse Show Coordinator at the Colorado State Fair. “My partner, Jan Guynn, and I are very proud of having the first sanctioned youth freestyle event held at the Fair, and it has continued to be extremely popular for the last 10 years.”

The competitors have a total of four minutes to complete a personal routine of their own design which is judged by two carded NRHA judges. Each routine is choreographed to the music of the rider’s choice and must include a minimum of four spins to the right, four to the left, and three sliding stops. It also must include one lead change at a lope from right to left, and one from left to right.

No duplicate songs are allowed. After each performance, the participant will be scored, and the rider with the highest score will receive the coveted championship title. In addition, Linda Seager, a patron of the Horse Show department, will award a $100 cash prize to the winner with the best choreography.

With the combined contributions of dedicated sponsors such as Equine Oasis, Guynn Training Center, Shane Brown Performance Horses, Discount Tire and the Colorado State Fair, this year the first-place winner will receive a special edition 10th anniversary NRHA saddle and a bronze sculpture. All 15 competitors that participate will receive an award sponsored by Classic Equine, Formula 707 and the Colorado State Fair.

This event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the covered arena in the Horse Show Area inside the Colorado State Fairgrounds. The Colorado State Fair runs Aug. 25 – Sept. 4, 2017. For more information, visit

The 2017 Colorado State Fair will mark the Fair’s 145th year as Colorado’s premier celebration of agriculture. The Fairgrounds provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual State Fair event. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features one of the country’s largest traveling carnivals, artwork, crafts, food competitions, thrilling rodeo action, a wide variety of food and merchandise booths and a Fiesta Day honoring Colorado’s ties to Hispanic culture.