- Bob LoCicero
National Trials Riding Championship Series Comes to Highgate, VT
Trials riders from across the country gather for National Championship Round in Highgate
Ninety-four competitors from across the country competed in the National Trials Riding Championship Series this past Saturday and Sunday in Highgate, Vermont. The Championship Series is contested each year, but hosted in Vermont only about every four years.
This year the National Championship series has weekend long events in New York, Arizona, New Mexico and Minnesota. Events are two or three days, with competitions on each day. Competitors must compete in six competitions to be ranked in the series standings. The Vermont event was the second event of the year and rounds three and four of the series.
Competitors ranged in age from 5 to 75 and came from states as far away as Texas, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona to compete in classes ranging from Club to Pro.
The competition is held on a course that is a series of trials sections, joined by a loop trail. Competitors run through each trials section and then trail ride to the next section. Competitors must follow specific routes through each section, navigating a series of natural obstacles of varying difficulty depending on their class. Points are assessed for touching a foot, missing a gate or failing an obstacle.
The Highgate course was just over 3 miles with 12 trials sections. All classes – except for Pro – ran the loop three times. Pro’s ran the loop twice and then competed on fours special “Pro Shoot” sections.
A rain soaked course made conditions difficult. Riders had to contend with loose, wet gravel, muddy rocks, moss and slippery roots.
Rider Pat Smage from Wisconsin took the top spot in the Pro group on both Saturday and Sunday, followed by Bryan Roper of Arizona. Ray Peters of Texas won the Expert class on both Saturday and Sunday. For complete results, see the Mototrials web site.
Local riders interested in trials riding or competing should contact the Green Mountain Plonkers Trials Club. The club has about 30 members and is open to interested riders of all abilities.