Fort Carson soldiers participate in a cavalry competition
SAN ANGELO, Texas – Five competitors with the 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard are taking part in the regional cavalry competition this weekend.
The event kicked off early Friday morning with a pistol competition, followed by a combat riding competition and a saber competition on April 22, 2022, at the Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, San Angelo, Texas.
Each year, the U.S. Cavalry Association and the Fort Concho National Historic Landmark host the Regional Cavalry Competition. Its mission is to preserve the history and traditions of the United States Cavalry Service. Cavalry stands for Soldiers fighting on horseback, which was the only way for troops to move in the 1800s. The competition honors the era by encompassing the dress and horsemanship used for battle.
Five competitors from the 4th Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard Infantry Division competed in varying skill level stages throughout the day, ranging from easy to difficult.
sergeant. Vincent Aquino, a wheeled vehicle mechanic on special duty with the 4th Inf. Div. Mounted Color Guard and a level one competitor said he and his horse, Sgt. Major Tank was thrilled to have the second day of the competition begin.
“Tank was ready to go and I was ready to go,” Aquino said. “We were just thrilled to be here.”
The first event of the day was mounted pistol shooting, followed by a saber contest.
“The saber is the classic cavalry weapon,” said regional cavalry competition judge Jeff Wall. “A horseman’s purpose with a saber is to close in on the enemy, and the horse is as much a weapon as the blade.”
The next and final event of the day was combat riding.
“Combat riding is similar to compulsory figures in figure skating, except you’re on grass, on a horse instead of skates, and you’re holding weapons,” Wall said.
According to Aquino, combat riding challenges riders and their horses individually while showing their strengths and weaknesses.
“Combat riding comes down to how precisely you can make it all look, how professional you are, and how military you look,” Aquino said. “It’s a great course. This shows everything about your level.
Aquino said that although he felt anxious at the start of the day, thanks to the trust built up after six months of riding together, Tank was the main creditor for their success at the various complex events.
“He did a lot of competitions,” Aquino said. “Without his success and his knowledge, I would not have been able to perform at the level I have today.”