Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Wall of the Cal Guard’s 223rd Infantry Regiment won the 8th Annual National Cavalry Competition this year, beating 54 riders from across the country.
The event, Sept. 24-26 on Fort Robinson, Neb., tested riding, weapons use and military knowledge in four individual competitions: military horsemanship, stadium jumping, mounted saber and mounted pistol. The top five finishers in each event moved to the finals, the Bolte Cup.
Wall finished fifth in two individual competitions -- mounted pistol and mounted saber -- and placed seventh in stadium jumping, which requires competitors to ride their horses over a series of fences.
Including Wall, 15 riders qualified for the Bolte Cup, a challenging and complex course of jumps, obstacles, saber targets and pistol targets. The course also requires the rider to dismount from their horse, fire a cavalry carbine at a target, and then remount and continue to engage the remaining targets.
“It is truly a test of military horsemanship unlike that of any other organized competition,” said Frederick Klink, vice president and director of the U.S. Cavalry Association, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. cavalry, both horse-mounted and mechanized.
Klink said this year’s Bolte Cup was the most competitive it had ever been, with the top five finishers separated by only nine points. He added that in addition to winning the individual championship, Wall contributed in other ways, improving the competition for years to come.