Troopers assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment competed in the 2023 Reginal Cavalry Competition at Fort Concho, Texas from April 19-23.
“Competing was very stressful,” said Sgt. Steven Jones, 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment rider as he discussed competing. “Having butterflies in your stomach until you get out there and it is just you and your horse. You want to give it your best to make your unit proud.”
He said it was a great opportunity to work with all the other units and see how they run their horse cavalry programs.
“I was so excited to be invited to compete for the Hesse Cup which is the top competitors after placing third in the pistol competition,” Jones said. “When they were doing the ceremony and called my name, I was so ecstatic to find out that I placed second.”
During the Regional Cavalry Competition, individual competitors are judged and scored on military horsemanship, combat horsemanship, military field jumping, mounted saber, and mounted pistol demonstrations.
“There is a big difference competing compared to the demonstrations we usually do,” Jones said. “You’re out there all by yourself on your horse, you are not with your team working together. You’re nervous and then you finally hear your unit, your friends and the crowd cheering and it helps ease the nervousness.”
The Troopers competed against Fort Huachuca, Fort Irwin, Fort Carson and civilian teams.
“I had a lot of fun,” Spc. Andrew Valencia, 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment rider said. “A lot of people from the community came out and it was great to be able to put a smile on their faces.”
Many of the Soldiers have never ridden a horse in their life before being assigned to the detachment he said as he discussed how difficult the competition can be for newer riders.
“I wish we did more events together with the other cavalry units,” Valencia said. “It was great to see everyone being cohesive and cheering for each other and some of their ferociousness as they rode their horses.”
The crowd went wild as the First Team Horse Cavalry Detachment concluded the competition by giving a 1st Cavalry Division demonstration.
“I love how they are trying to keep the cavalry tradition alive,” Valencia said.
The U.S. Cavalry Association who is dedicated to preserving the history and tradition of the U.S. Cavalry, hosts multiple competitions annually for both civilian and military personnel.
They said that they plan to compete at the National Cavalry Competition that will be held at Fort Reno, Okla. from Sept. 27-30.