The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) will once again conduct a competitive trail riding (CTR) clinic and two competitive trail rides at the Mozingo Lake Equestrian Park. This year’s event is scheduled for the weekend of June 21-23.

A NATRC competitive trail ride is a distance sport competition that covers a measured and marked distance within a specified window of time. It is a great family activity because it is open to riders ages 8+ and all equine breeds.

The judging begins at the preliminary examination and ends at the final examination. Judges evaluate the equines, whether horses, ponies or mules; on condition, soundness and trail manners. They evaluate the riders on horsemanship, as it applies to trail riding, and caring for horses naturally, that is without drugs or artificial appliances, during and after a day on the trail. The emphasis is on education, safety and sportsmanship in a fun, family-oriented environment.

The event goals are to increase awareness about NATRC and competitive trail riding, to enhance the partnership between riders and their horses, and to showcase the facilities and horse trails at the Mozingo Lake Equestrian Park.

Ride manager, John Zeliff, explains, “NATRC is a non-profit organization that sanctions distance competitive trail rides across the country for riders of all equine breeds and from all disciplines. For over 60 years, through these rides, we have been educating horse owners about how to care for and manage horses ridden over long distances. The competitors are friendly, welcoming, and helpful to new contestants. In addition, NATRC is offering a free membership to all first-time members in 2024.”

The CTR clinic will start with participant check-in beginning at 5 pm, Friday evening June 21, at the Mozingo Lake Equestrian Park. This is a hands-on clinic for participants and their horse. Horses will need to be saddled and ready for the start of the clinic by 6 pm. The clinic will go until 8 pm.

Two Leisure Division (LeD) CTRs will be held, one each on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Rider check-in will be at 8 am both mornings. All horses must have a current negative Coggins. Out-of-state horses must also have current health papers. A ride briefing for all riders will be held at 8:30 am each morning, followed by checking horses in with the judge at 9 am. Riders and their horses will time out at beginning at 10 am each day.

The clinic and rides are open to anyone who enjoys time on the trail with their horse. Participants will learn how to bring their trail riding enjoyment to a whole new level through competitive trail riding.

The distance for each ride will be 10 to 12 miles at a pace of 3.5 to 4.0 mph. There will be one horse pulse and respiration check and three to five judging observations. The trails are barefoot equine friendly. Since these rides are nationally sanctioned NATRC rides, members will earn points towards year-end awards and mileage. Horse and rider teams will be scored and placed first through sixth.


New for 2024, first time competitors, who have never ridden a NATRC ride before, will get their first ride free. This is made possible through a paid sponsorship by the Nebraska Endurance and Competitive Trail Riding Association (NECTA).