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Gymkhana attracts riders to Barton

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Lexie Vinal and her family spent all day at the Barton fairgrounds Saturday. It was 13-year-old Lexie’s first gymkhana competition, and her horse Shamrock’s first time out, too.

The sport of gymkhana originated in India in the nineteenth century, and it is actually not limited to horses. It is a timed sporting event that shows off the athletic ability of the horse and rider, or the skills of a car and driver, or a motorcycle or other vehicle.

Riders and horses spend a lot of time training and preparing for competitions. Rebecca’s Guillette’s farm Open Acre Ranch in Fairlee is home to 40 horses, and in addition to lessons, camp, and trail rides, Ms. Guillette helps riders train for gymkhana and barrel racing. She brought 11 riders to the event in Barton, including a friend, Robin Mariotti.

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