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NHTC Haunted Trail Challenge 2021

You want it?  You got it!  The NHTC Trail Challenge is back!  Let's 'do-over' 2020 - we have the first prize buckle to prove it!  

The Haunted Trail Challenge will be held Oct. 30 & 31, 2021 at Branched Oak Lake near Raymond.  New this year, we will offer competition both days.  Enter one day or both; each day will be a separate competition using the same course.  A good way to extend your weekend.   

The Haunted Trail Challenge is just another scary day on the trail.  What makes it different is the fun and spooky obstacles you will encounter along the way!  Were your costume and be part of the scare!  Entry fee for this all-day event includes the ride, the ghost hunt along the way, and a bagged meal following the ride.  On Saturday, we will have our silent or bag auction.  And Sunday we will be selling poker hands!  Following Covid precautions, we will ask for social distancing.  Covid Masks are not required (unless mandated at that time), but scary masks are welcome!     


Two days of competition.  Enter one day or enter both.  Each day is a separate competition and not a carry-over.  We will be using the same course.  We will also be starting the ride a little earlier each day since the days are getting shorter!



While this ride brings out the best of the best competitive Trail Challenge participants, it is enjoyed by casual trail riders as well.  You spoke and we listened!  This year, we will be offering the following classes:

OPEN CLASS Riders who compete in the Trail Rider Challenge or other trail challenge events, sponsored or non-sponsored.  This class is based on YOUR experience, not your horse's.  So regardless if you are on a young or seasoned horse, if you are a regular competitor, please enter this class.  This includes experienced Junior riders.  Points will be provided to Trail Rider Challenge participants.  

AMATEUR ADULT:  For the casual rider who rarely competes in the Trail Rider Challenge or other trail challenge events, sponsored or non-sponsored, virtual or live.  Rarely is defined as entering less than 3 trail challenge events per year.  Your entry is based on the honor system and your integrity is worth more than a ribbon!  

AMATEUR JUNIOR:  Up to Age 16.  For the casual Junior rider who rarely competes in the Trail Rider Challenge or other trail challenge events, sponsored or non-sponsored, virtual or live.  Rarely is defined as entering less than 3 trail challenge events per year.  Your entry is based on the honor system and your integrity is worth more than a ribbon

RIDE ALONG:  For the non-competitor who wants to share the trail with friends but wants nothing to do with competition.  Ride Alongs must be on their on horse (no ponying or riding double).  You may participate in the "ghost hunt", the auction and the poker hand (depending on your ride day) and will get a bagged lunch after the meal.  "Trying" the obstacles will not be permitted.  Price is the same as we will need to cover every rider on our ride under our insurance.

VOLUNTEERS are needed to make this event happen.  Please consider joining us at this event.  More info here.....

Tee Shirts are available to competitors,
guests & volunteers. Orders must be made
by Oct. 10. Pick up at the ride. $20 - $23



Entry Fee is $35 per day if entered by October 8.  $10 discount if entering both days.  (After Oct. 8, $50. Walk-ups day of event, $75.)

Meals are included with your entry fee.  Extra meals for guests can be purchased with your entry for $10.

Due to COVID 19, we are only accepting online entries.  Please review the Waiver of Liability.  By registering for this event, you have "signed" the Waiver of Liability".  


Schedule Both Days  (Times after ride commences are approximate)

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM - Contactless Check-In.  Your online entry must be completed in full and will include the rider release forms.  Please complete them carefully.  Stop by the entry area to pick up your rider packet & entry number.

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM - Rider Briefing.  Come over the commons area (social distancing observed, please.  Masks recommended but not required unless changes in county requirements)  This briefing if important and will provide you with the intel on the upcoming ride.  Please attend. 

10:00 AM (or right after briefing, whichever is sooner) Trail Challenge Begins

After 2:00 PM(ish):  We will begin providing meals when riders return.  Meals are individually wrapped and bagged separately.  

Visit with friends, enjoy the auction or poker game while scores are tallied.

After 3:00 PM(ish)Auction Closes on Saturday & Poker Game closes on Sunday.   AWARDS PRESENTATION


Trails are closed to participants at noon on Friday so our volunteers can construct the obstacles.  Participants are welcome to ride the Wildlife Management areas to the south and west of the horse camp or Areas 3 & 7 of Branched Oak Lake.  

Camping reservations are needed in the electrical hookup site.  Contact Nebraska Game & Parks for availability.  For primitive camping, register and pay at kiosk at campsite entrance.  

Only registered campers are allowed in the primitive and electrical campground.  There is day parking to the north of the electrical campground and to the south of the primitive campground. 

All vehicles (day use & camping) are required to have a Nebraska State Park Permit on their vehicle.  This is your responsibility.  



1.  $35 entry fee must be received by October 10.  (After October 10th, entry fee is $50.  Fee day of event is $75.  $10 discount if entering both days).

2.  Entry fees are non-refundable and considered a donation to our organization. If NHTC cancels event, we will provide a refunds for your entry fee.  If you ordered a tee shirt and the order has been processed, we will mail to your address.    

3.  COVID19  If the Governor of Nebraska has issued new guidelines or restrictions due to the Covid pandemic which would disqualify this event under his guidelines, or require masks or other precautions, we will follow the guidelines.  See #2 if we are forced to cancel.  In addition, your signing the entry form is acknowledgement and agreement to our liability waiver.  

4.  No riding double or ponying another horse.

5.  ALL Riders, including Juniors and Ride Alongs, must be able to independently ride a horse & follow judge's instructions.  

6.  All riders participating with the Trail Challenge must be paid entrants and in one of the CLASSES shown above.  

7.  No dogs on the trail and dogs must be leashed in camp.

8.  Clean up manure in your corral, campsite, or beside your trailer.  

9.  HAVE FUN!  This is not an Olympic event!  Its for spending time with your friends, your horse and getting to know the NHTC and our events!


Your health and the health of our volunteers are very important to us.  We will practice social distancing as best we can at an event such as this and ask you to do the same. Please bring your own chairs when attending the ride meeting or stand 6' apart.  We will have hand sanitizer and utilize electronic pre-registration.  Your meal items will be individually wrapped and bagged by a vendor.  If you have questions specific to Covid prior to entering, please Contact Us.   

While we recommend participants consider wearing facial masks for their safety and concern, we do not have the volunteer staff to monitor the situation so masks are not mandatory.  If you do not want to be in an environment with people who are not wearing a mask, we recommend you not attend this event.  We are not making a statement in support or against masks, just saying we cannot police the campgrounds and trails.  

Please consider these questions before attending our event.  Do not attend if you answer YES to any of the situations below: 

  • Have you or anyone in your household had any of the following symptoms in the last 21 days: sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever at or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
  • Have you or anyone in your household been tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Have you or anyone in your household visited or received treatment in a hospital, nursing home, long-term care, or other health care facility in the past 30 days?
  • Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside the U.S. in the past 21 days?
  • Have you or anyone in your household traveled on a cruise ship in the last 21 days?
  • Have you or anyone in your household cared for an individual who is in quarantine or is a presumptive positive or has tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Do you have any reason to believe you or anyone in your household has been exposed to or acquired COVID-19?
  • To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity to any individual who tested positive for COVID-19?


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