On Saturday morning, the horses that live in the Adams-Atkinson Arena west of Overland Trail didn’t know what to think about their domain that was suddenly invaded by a pack of collegiate lumberjacks.
By Saturday night, the floor, usually covered by dirt and horseshoe prints, was blanketed in the remains of 130 blocks of wood that had been demolished throughout the day.
Carrying blades that would make any respectable chunk of wood tremble in its roots, teams from four states descended upon the Equine Center for the first logging competition that CSU has hosted in more than a decade.
Inside the arena, loggers sliced through hundreds of pieces of wood in the vertical and horizontal chop competitions.
Outside the arena, there was an axe throw, a caber toss, where individuals threw logs weighing over 100 pounds, and a pulp toss, where teammates tossed smaller logs back and forth.
CSU had not hosted a competition in so long for one simple reason: The closest school with a logging team is all the way in Missoula, Mont.
Considering this fact, CSU Logging Sports Club President John Solis and his team knew that they would have to do something unique to convince other teams to make the drive all the way to Fort Collins.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be fun if we had everyone come to Colorado?” Solis said. “What could we do to make it as easy as possible for them, and to make it different so it’s not the same as every other show?
“One of the cool things about (logging) is that every school can customize their competition,” Solis said.
Abandoning some of the traditional events that involve 7-foot saws and climbing wooden poles, CSU decided to feature its competition around chopping events.
“We want this to be like, yeah, Colorado has a show, but it’s different,” Solis said. “It’s a lot of fun because it’s something unique. It’s not your typical kind of show.”
The idea was unique enough to draw the interest from the University of Montana, the University of Idaho and Central Oregon Community College (COCC).
The three universities traveled a combined 2,996 miles to Fort Collins, but according to Kelsey Powers of COCC, the drive wasn’t an issue.
“It was a long drive but it was well worth it,” Powers said. “We made it fun, and I couldn’t ask for a better competition.”
Staff writer Chad Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.