February 2017 Issue - page 6

Page 6
February 2017
Applications are due Febru-
ary 15 for Equine Affaire’s pop-
ular Versatile Horse & Rider Com-
petition that will take place in the
afternoon on Friday, April 7, in the
coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center
in Columbus. A select group of
horse and rider teams will tackle
a challenging obstacle/trail course
in this timed and judged race in
pursuit of $5500 in cash and the
coveted title of Champion at the
2017 Versatile Horse & Rider
Cash prizes will be awarded
to the top four contestants with
the first place team receiving
Equine Affaire's Versatile Horse & Rider Applications Due
$2,500 and the title of Versatile
Horse & Rider Competition
Champion 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. All awards will be
presented at the conclusion of the
race on Friday afternoon.
The Versatile Horse & Rider
Competition—aka “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 “di-
visions” based on gender or age.
A maximum of only 25 horse/
rider teams will be pre-selected
based on application materials
The VHRC course will fea-
ture a combination of traditional
and unique riding obstacles and
patterns set in the 90’ x 212’ are-
na of the Ohio Expo Center coli-
seum. The obstacles may include
jumping over or through struc-
tures, 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 horsemanship perfor-
mance of each contestant will be
judged on each obstacle. Perfor-
mance 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. Horses and riders
will be required to complete the
course within a given time. Any
contestant who fails to meet this
time limit will be disqualified. Ride
times will be translated into points,
and the team with the highest over-
all point score will be the winner.
Over the years the VHRC has
become really popular for attend-
ees because it’s fast-paced and
unpredictable. You can’t be sure
how any horse and rider team will
perform until they’re on the course-
--and a lot of unexpected things
happen. Riders in the audience
empathize with the contestants as
their horses succeed at some obsta-
cles and fall short at others. They
also learn a lot by watching the dif-
ferent approaches that outstanding
horses and riders take in tackling
the same obstacles. Admission
to the Versatile Horse & Rider
Competition is included in general
admission to Equine Affaire.
For all the details on the
VHRC and an entry form, visit
equineaffaire.com, click on the
Ohio event and “Participate” link
to access the VHRC page, email
or call
(740) 845-0085 ext. 105. The
entry fee for each horse/rider
team is $350 and includes sta-
bling Thursday to Saturday and
three single-day tickets to Equine
Affaire. Applications and support
materials will be accepted by
Equine Affaire through February
15. The management of Equine
Affaire will select the final con-
testants for the competition and
notify contestants by March 3.
Horse harassment is a felo-
ny—already on the books.
18PA1511 defines harass-
ment of animals used for public
service as a third class felony.
The statute also includes
imposing restitution as part of
the penalty. Restitution includes
veterinary costs, disposal and
replacement costs for the animal,
training costs, and even lost time at
work by the owner/handler. These
provisions apply 24/7, even when
in pasture for horses. They do not
require any special notices be post-
ed on the animal or the property.
Finally, the statute covers
animals owned by volunteers, as
well as animals owned by public
This statute protects the
owner of a horse or other animal
used for the public good as part
of their volunteer commitment to
Search and Rescue, Community or
Park Patrols, and similar activities.
The statute requires the owner or
handler to be a member of a rec-
ognized organization but does not
require the animal to fully trained
and accepted by the organization.
The protection begins when
the animal is offered for service,
begins training, and does not end
until the animal dies.
It should also be noted that if
the organization being served is a
government agency sponsored group
or has independently been certified
as an IRS 501c3 public charity the
expenses involved are tax deductible
federally and in the Commonwealth.
Irvin Lichtenstein
Harassment of Public
Service Animals a Felony
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,...32
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