SAN ANGELO, Texas – Five competitors with the 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard are competing in the Regional Cavalry Competition this weekend.
The event kicked off early Friday morning with a pistol competition, followed by combat horsemanship 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 U.S. Cavalry service. Cavalry means Soldiers fighting on horseback, which was the only way troops got around in the 1800s. The competition honors the era by encompassing the attire and horseback riding used for battle.
Five competitors with the 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard competed in various stages of skill level throughout the day, ranging from easiest to most difficult.
Sgt. 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. Maj. Tank was excited for the second day of the competition to begin.
“Tank was ready to go, and I was ready to go,” said Aquino. “We were just thrilled to be here.”
The day’s first event was the mounted pistol shooting, followed by a saber competition.
“Saber is the classic cavalry weapon,” said Jeff Wall, a judge for the Regional Cavalry Competition. “The point of a horseman with a saber is to close with the enemy, and the horse is just as much of a weapon as the blade.”
The next and final event of the day was combat horsemanship.
“Combat horsemanship is similar to compulsory figures in figure skating, except you’re on a grass field, on a horse instead of skates, and you’re holding weapons,” Wall said.
According to Aquino, combat horsemanship challenges riders and their horses individually while showing their strengths and weaknesses.
“Combat horsemanship comes down to how precise you can make everything look, how professional you are, and your military bearing,” Aquino said. “It’s a great course. It shows everything about your level.”
Aquino said even though he was feeling anxious at the beginning of the day, thanks to the trust built from six months of riding together, Tank was the main creditor to their success during the various complex events.
“He has done a lot of competitions,” Aquino said. “Without his success and knowledge, I would not have been able to perform at the level I did today.”