February 2016 Issue - page 6

Page 6
February 2016
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
Apply for Equine Affaire’s
Versatile Horse and Rider
Competition by February 16
The 2016 Equine Affaire
returns to the Ohio Expo Center
in Columbus April 7-10. In
addition to equine education,
shopping, and entertainment,
the expo features the ultimate
test of horsemanship—the Ver-
satile Horse & Rider Competi-
tion. A select group of talented
riders and their horses will
tackle a challenging obstacle
course in pursuit of $5,500 in
cash and the coveted title of
Champion. The competition is a
timed and judged race through
a course that presents a unique
set of riding challenges and
tests a wide range of horseman-
ship skills. In contrast to previ-
ous events, this year’s compe-
tition will consist of just one
round (not qualifying and final
rounds) and will take place in
the afternoon on Friday, April
8, in the coliseum at the Ohio
Expo Center.
“The competition usual-
ly draws some pretty amazing
contestants, so it is our task to
develop a course that is both
difficult and doable---as well as
suitable for different breeds and
sizes of horses and riders of all
disciplines,” Eugenia Snyder,
the producer of Equine Affaire,
explained. “I think the VHRC
has become really popular for
attendees because the race is so
unpredictable. You can’t know
how any horse and rider team
will perform until they’re on the
course---and a lot of unexpect-
ed things happen. Riders in the
audience can also envision how
they would approach the obsta-
cles, imagine how they and their
horses would do, and empathize
with the contestants as their hors-
es succeed at some obstacles and
fall short at others. And, those
who attend learn a lot by observ-
ing the different approaches that
contestants take in tackling the
same obstacles.”
The VHRC is open to all
riders age 18 years and older
and horses of all breeds and
disciplines. All horse and rider
teams will compete against
each other; there will be no
“divisions” based on gender or
age. A maximum of 25 horse/
rider teams will be pre-selected
based on application materials
submitted. The course will fea-
ture a combination of traditional
and very unique riding obstacles
and patterns set in the 90’ x
212’ arena. The obstacles may
include jumping over or through
structures, backing through a
pattern, pole bending and/or
roll backs, gait changes, various
gymkhana games, ground tying,
working gates, and riding over
or through difficult or spooky
objects.
The performance of each
horse and rider team will be
judged on each obstacle for
both quality of horsemanship
and timing. Performance points
will be awarded on a scale
of 1 to 5 based on the rider’s
horsemanship, the horse’s
attitude, and the team’s overall
performance for each obstacle.
Horses and riders will have a
time limit which when exceeded
results in disqualification. Ride
times will be translated into
points, and the team with the
highest overall point score will
be the winner. The judge for
this year’s competition will be
champion reiner and all around
trainer, Warwick Schiller, of
Hollister, CA.
Cash prizes will be awarded
to the top four contestants with
the first place team receiving
$2,500 and the second, third,
and fourth place teams receiving
$1,750, $1,000, and $250 respec-
tively. Ribbons will be presented
to the top 10 teams, and addition-
al awards will be announced prior
to the event.
Details and an entry form
are at equineaffaire.com, click
on the Ohio event and “Partic-
ipate” links or contact Kristen
Gump at kgump@equineaffaire.
com or (740) 845-0085 ext.
104. The entry fee is $350 and
includes stabling Thursday to
Saturday and three single-day
tickets to Equine Affaire for
the contestant. Individual riders
may compete with more than
one horse in the race, but they
must submit a separate appli-
cation, video, and fee for each
entry. Application deadline is
February 16. Final contestants
will be notified by February 26.
Admission to the Versatile Horse
& Rider Competition is included
in general admission to Equine
Affaire.
Manheim, PA
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