KALISPELL — The Event at Rebecca Farm is the largest equestrian triathlon west of the Mississippi and with competitors at the highest level and participants from all across the country, it is certainly a sight to behold.
"I think they call it the best weekend all year, don’t they?" asked Dressage Rider, Tamra Smith to her daughter.
"The best weekend," replied fellow Dressage Rider, Kaylawna Smith, with a smile.
Something the thousands of spectators in attendance every year would no doubt agree with.
"I don’t think it’s actually comparable to anything else in the country which says a lot, but the Broussards have found a piece of paradise up here and the venue is second to none," said Tamra.
A venue that draws in over 600 competitors every year, which in turn draws in massive crowds.
"There’s so many spectators and the weather is always perfect and there’s just so much atmosphere," said Kaylawna.
While the horses are the highlight, this event is more than just horses, serving as a fundraiser for the Halt Cancer at X Foundation.
"That’s not what any other venue I think in the world does," said Tamra. "Just their sense of giving back to the community and the sport, it really shows here."
The charity doesn’t stop there as the organization also bestows grants to up-and-coming riders to help them with their careers.
"It’s like no other grant that we have in the United States through our federations and so I think it’s a bit underrated I don’t think people quite understand the significance of it," said Tamra.
Tamra and Kaylawna make up just one of the many families who are tied to the Event at Rebecca Farm.
"This is my dream, both my daughters rode here at Rebecca and I never ever ever thought that I would end up riding and being a three-day event," said cross-country rider Clay Sanders. "But they went off to college, they left me with this guy, and I said well I've got to do something with him so I said I’m going to try it. And five years later here I am, a dream come true."
A dream that Sanders gets to relive every year with his daughters in what he believes is the best venue for riders out there.
"The beauty, Montana, don’t need to say anything else," said Sanders while gesturing around. "It is so beautiful out there, you can see Glacier, you can see the mountains, it is wide open, it is blue sky. It is just the event at Rebecca Farm."
Riding has played a significant role in not only Sanders family but thousands of others, and something he encourages for anyone and everyone else.
"Getting my daughters into horses was about the best thing that you can do for your child. Because there are no participation trophies in three-day-eventing, you’re either good or you’re not," stated Sanders. "It teaches them responsibility for their animal, and you’re on a 1200lb horse, and you’re telling that horse how to ride, where to go, and what to do. And that is an extremely difficult thing to do but it makes them so much stronger as individuals as they go through life."
This incredible event is free to anyone willing to make their way out and will be continuing to raise money for Cancer research throughout the weekend and for years to come.