Winning, Just for Fun

Conifer senior Connor Dastur places 3rd in CINCH Equicross event

Maya Dawson

Goldie the horse explores Mustard Seed Ranch. The next stock show opens January 6-21st. The CINCH race will take place on January 12th, 2023. (riders can also apply on the website ).

Many enjoy the stock show, whether they ride horses or just like watching and admiring experienced riders. The experience was even better for Conifer High School students, who had the opportunity to see one of their peers triumph in a stock show race January 12, 2023.

The CINCH Equicross event has multiple competitions. The winner of each event receives a $1,250 scholarship. Conifer High School senior Conor Dastur only entered one event, the rescue race, where one rider maneuvers a horse as another jumps onto it while it is running. Dastur and his partner won 3rd place.

“I don’t focus on winning and just have fun. I’ll compete with friends for fun but, besides roping, I don’t practice and just do,” Dastur said.

Because he doesn’t ride competitively, he only entered the race in order to help his friend, who needed a partner for the race. Although he doesn’t ride horses to compete, Dastur is very experienced. He originally started riding because it was necessary when he lived in Montana as a rancher, but has continued riding for over five years.

“If you focus on the bond with the animal and training the animal to listen to the inputs you give, you’ll be a lot more successful,” Dastur said.

While the bond between a rider and a horse is important for success, it is also one of the most enjoyable parts of the sport, according to Dastur. Horseback riding is “an incredibly free feeling… it’s a rush, and tons of fun; it’s also great because of the bond you have with the animal,” Dastur said.

Dastur seems to value the connection with his horse and the experience of riding over his performance at the Equicross event.

“I don’t care about winning; It’s just about getting better and having fun, there’s no reason to stress out yourself or your horse,” Dastur said.