The last Gymkhana

The Ramona Santana Riders had organized eight Gymkhanas in 2017, seven of which took place at the beautiful Casey Tibbs Western Center (CTWC). Today was that eighth and final event and many division winners still needed to be determined.

Yadira Gilbert on Senorita

Gymkhana is an equestrian event consisting of speed pattern racing and timed games for riders on horses. In parts of the western United States, this type of competition is usually called an “O-Mok-See” (also spelled “omoksee” or without hyphenation as “o mok see”) competition, a term derived from a Native American phrase said to mean “games on horseback.”

Chris Calvert on Sparky

Gymkhana and o-mok-see classes include timed speed events such as barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole race, keg race (also known as “down and back”), flag race, and stake race. Some organizations include ride and run, musical mats, egg stomp, $1 bill race or “ride a buck”, and sack race.

Jacy Epperson on Teia


Katlyn Barath on Sunshine

Most of these events are designed to display precise, controlled actions and tight teamwork between horse and rider at speed, and demonstrate many skills such as flying lead changes, sliding stops and more. Most clubs offer a variety of classes for all ages and abilities of people, allowing riders to compete at the speed level at which they are most capable and comfortable.