Equine Affaire Press Room

02 09

Equine Affaire’s Diverse “Ride With A Pro” Clinic Program Offers Special Opportunities this April

London, OH, February 9, 2018— Elevate your equestrian experience this spring at Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering.   The 2018 Equine Affaire will take place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 12-15 and offer horse enthusiasts not only the opportunity to attend literally hundreds of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, but also to participate in dozens of clinics on a wide range of equestrian disciplines.  Through Equine Affaire’s unique “Ride With A Pro” clinic program you can ride, drive, and have your horse trained in clinics conducted by many of the nation’s foremost coaches, competitors, judges, and horse trainers—for clinic fees designed to fit your budget.

The Clinics and Clinicians. Most of the clinicians who will be featured at the 2018 Equine Affaire will be participating in the Ride With a Pro program and accepting horses and riders for their clinic sessions. Whether your equestrian tastes lean toward the English disciplines or are solidly in the western realm—or you simply want to improve your riding skills or your horse’s performance, you can enhance your riding and training skills through individual instructions in this unique program of clinics.

Among those who will be presenting sessions on general horse training and horsemanship topics are Ken McNabb, Warwick Schiller, James Cooler, Dan James, and Van Hargis. Clinicians offering sessions in the English disciplines will include Jan Ebeling and Stephen Hayes (dressage), Lynn Symansky (eventing), Jeff Cook (hunter/jumper), Bob Giles (driving), Keith Miller (hunter under saddle) and Liz Bentley (English and hunter pleasure).  Those conducting clinics on western disciplines will include Stacy Westfall (reining), and Nancy Cahill (western horsemanship and trail). Larry Whitesell will present sessions on training and riding easy gaited horses, Sandy Croote will teach techniques for training Miniature horses, and Ty Evans will conduct sessions on training and riding mules.

Clinic fees and how to apply.  The modest fees for Equine Affaire’s “Ride With A Pro” clinic program range from $70 to $150 and cover clinic participation, stabling, and admission to Equine Affaire. Clinicians will select the participants for their sessions from written applications and videos submitted by applicants to Equine Affaire. While some are seeking riders and horses with specific skills or problems to demonstrate and resolve during their clinics, others are seeking any riders interested in improving their general horsemanship and relationships with their horses.  The 2018 Equine Affaire will offer a wide range of learning opportunities—and you and your horse may be the ideal participants for one or more sessions.

Full clinic details and a “Ride With A Pro” application are available at equineaffaire.com. Click on the Ohio event and follow the “Participate” link to information on the “Ride With A Pro” program. Interested riders and horse owners may also request an information packet and clinic application by contacting Beth Volpe at bvolpe@equineaffaire.com or by calling (740) 845-0085 ext. 103.  Consult equineaffaire.com for continuously-updated information on the program. Contact Equine Affaire soon; the application deadline is February 20th.

In addition to Equine Affaire’s legendary program of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, the 2018 show will feature the largest horse-related trade show in the nation with hundreds of retailers covering acres of exhibit space; the Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse–sponsored by Absorbine®–on Thursday-Saturday nights; an engaging and hands-on Breed Pavilion and Horse & Farm Exhibits area; a new Your Farm Forum with exhibits and presentations focused on the horse’s home and environment; the Equine Fundamentals Forum; and the popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition on Friday afternoon.  For everything you need to know to go including an event schedule, ticket information, and discounts available at Equine Affaire nearby host hotels, visit equineaffaire.com.

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02 08

Test Your Horsemanship & Win Cash in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition

LONDON, OH, February 8, 2018— Are you ready to show the world your horsemanship skills and earn some cash in the process?  Applications are now being accepted for Equine Affaire’s popular all-breed Versatile Horse & Rider Competition—aka “VHRC”–that will take place on Friday, April 13th, 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 for $5500 in cash prizes and the coveted title of 2018 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion.

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is now in its eighth year at Equine Affaire in Ohio.  As Eugenia Snyder, Equine Affaire’s founder and President explained, “It is a challenging test of horsemanship for those who choose to put their skills to the test, and it attracts some pretty amazing contestants. The event has become really popular for both the contestants and Equine Affaire attendees because it’s fun, fast-paced and unpredictable.”  Admission to watch the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is included in general admission to Equine Affaire—providing just one more reason to travel to the 2018 Equine Affaire in Columbus.

Win $5500 in cash and more!  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top four contestants with the first place team receiving $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 respectively. Ribbons will be presented to the top 10 teams, and additional awards will be announced prior to the event. All awards will be presented at the conclusion of the race on Friday afternoon.

Who can compete.  The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is open to all riders age 18 years and older and horses of all breeds and disciplines. Horse breeds as diverse as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, Morgans, Norwegian Fjords, Rocky Mountain Horses, Warmbloods, and Gypsy Vanners have participated successfully in past events demonstrating that the competition is truly “all breed” in nature. A maximum of only 25 horse/rider teams will be pre-selected to compete based on application materials submitted, and all horse and rider teams will compete against each other.  There will be no “divisions” based on gender or age.

The competition course.  The VHRC course will be made up of 12-13 obstacles and patterns set in the 90’ x 212’ arena of the Ohio Expo Center coliseum.  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.

How the competition will be judged.  The horsemanship performance of each contestant will be judged on each obstacle. 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. 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 overall point score will be the winner.  Van Hargis will serve as this year’s judge, and Warwick Schiller will provide obstacle-by-obstacle commentary.

Are you and your horse ready to compete?  To obtain all of the details on the VHRC and an entry form, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event and “Participate” links to access the VHRC page.  You may also contact Beth Volpe at bvolpe@equineaffaire.com or by calling (740) 845-0085 ext. 103. The entry fee for each horse/rider team is $350 and includes stabling from Thursday to Saturday and three days of admission to Equine Affaire. Applications and support materials will be accepted by Equine Affaire through February 15th. They will be reviewed by the management of Equine Affaire, which will select the final contestants for the competition and notify contestants by March 2nd.

Just want to watch?  Come and cheer on the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others. You can also learn a lot by watching the different approaches that outstanding horses and riders take in tackling the same obstacles. Be sure to visit equineaffaire.com for everything you need to know to attend the 2018 Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering—on April 12-15 including details on all of the top quality clinicians and presenters; the clinic, seminar, and demo schedule; a list of trade show exhibitors; ticket information; and details on discounted rates at Equine Affaire’s convenient host hotels.

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11 11

2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Challenge Results

W. Springfield, MA, November 11, 2017–Yesterday’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition – sponsored by Nutrena – was in incredible show of horsemanship! Check out the official results here: 17 MA Score Calculation Spreadsheet FINAL

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11 06

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 4)

London, OH, November 6, 2017–The 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition – sponsored by Nutrena – is just quickly approaching, and today we’re introducing the final group of competitors! Watch the competition and cheer on your favorite contestants this Friday, November 10 at 1:00pm at Equine Affaire!

Alice Barlow

Alice Barlow, of Middletown, VA, and her 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Ares have competed in everything from endurance to cow work and everything in between in the 13 years they have been together. This year, they have competed in nearly every trail challenge at horse expositions of nearby states. Their trail class accomplishment include being named Champions at the Maryland Expo, Reserve Champions at the PA Expo, and placing third at the VA Expo.

Melissa Ellis

Melissa Ellis, of W. Dover, VT, and her 7-year-old Morgan mare Steepway Cosmo Girl, or “Cosmo”, are no strangers to Equine Affaire. Their first foray in the event came when Cosmo was selected by Guy McLean in 2013 to participate in his popular colt starting clinics. Melissa knew then that she wanted to come back to Equine Affaire and compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. She and Cosmo accomplished this goal last year, and placed fourth in their very first VHRC event. They are excited to be back this year and show off some new skills!

Andreah Lytle

Andreah Lytle, of Skaneateles, NY, has been working with her 10-year-old Haflinger mare, An Expensive Decision Yes, for six years. The pair competes in everything from hunter/jumper and gymkhana classes to driving and western events. This will be the first time the pair will test their skills in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.

Andreah Lytle & An Expensive Decision Yes

Brittany Mayer

After a memorable round in last year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, Brittany Mayer, of Cumberland, RI, and her 14-year-old Quarter Horse mare My Sharona are back for another go. Last year, one of Brittany’s reins broke soon after starting the VHRC course. In a true display of horsemanship, Brittany and My Sharona not only continued, but also placed in the top ten. The pair also competes in eventing, hunters, western pleasure, and other versatility competitions.

Danelle Osinchuk

Danelle Osinchuk, of Springfield, VT, and her horse Slip Me A Dual Pep, or Magic, a 17-year-old Quarter Horse gelding are regular competitors in cutting and versatility classes. Partnered for six years, Danelle and Magic enjoy the challenge of versatility events and the way it strengthens their partnership. They have competed in two prior Versatile Horse and Rider Competitions at Equine Affaire, placing in the top five each time.

Jackie Rappel

Jackie Rappel, of Huntington, NY, and her 16-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Becketts History Doc are another returning pair to Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. This will be their fourth go at the VHRC course, and Jackie hopes they will finally crack the top three in the placings. Jackie and Becketts History Doc have been partnered for more than two years, and also compete in sorting, penning, and  cow horse events.

Jackie Rappel riding Quarter Horse gelding Becketts History Doc

Rob West

Rob West, of Middle Island, NY, adopted his 7-year-old Mustang mare Moonshine Lady 1.5 years ago when she had just been removed from the range. His early training on her earned them a fifth-place finish at the Virginia Mustang Makeover. The pair now competes in western and trail events, and this will be their first time competing in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.


Don’t fret if you missed parts 1-3! Click below to check them out:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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11 06

Top 8 Things to Do at Equine Affaire

What is special about Equine Affaire?

It’s the one place where horse people from all walks of equestrian life get together to share their knowledge and passion for horses in a non-competitive environment!  The horse world is as diverse and complex as any other, and horse people associated with different breeds and disciplines rarely have the opportunity to interact with one another.  Horse owners and competitors attend shows and events associated with their breeds and sports and have no venue other than Equine Affaire in which to learn about each other and share their expertise, experiences, and common passion for horses.

What is also unique about Equine Affaire is that it provides top horse men from different disciplines and different countries with the opportunity to meet each other—and to share their knowledge and training philosophies with young and aspiring horse people. At Equine Affaire backyard pleasure horse people can rub shoulders with the stars of the equestrian world—people to whom they would not otherwise have access.

Equine Affaire was created in 1993 to bridge the gaps—to bring horse people from all facets of the horse world together in an event focused on education.  The 2017 event in W. Springfield will be our 56th event. It is certainly a feather in the cap of the Springfield area as avid horse enthusiasts from throughout the Northeast and well beyond travel to the show to take advantage of the unparalleled educational, shopping, and equine entertainment opportunities. Within the horse world…there is nowhere else like Equine Affaire.

The Top Eight things to do at Equine Affaire:

  1. Check out the awesome horses.  There will be horses of dozens of breeds from around the world on exhibit in the Breed Pavilion in the Stroh Building and  the Horse & Farm Exhibits in C Barn. Breed associations will host demos throughout the weekend in the coliseum and Mallary arenas…showcasing the conformation, qualities, and talents of horses of each breed. Horses will also be available for up close and personal interaction in breed spotlights featured in the Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Mallary South. Affaire goers can see everything from miniatures to drafts and from stock horses to sport horses and gaited horses. Clinics throughout the weekend will also showcase a great variety of equestrian sports and horses and their riders honing their skills in those sports.

    Meeting an American Mustang in the Breed Pavilion
  2. Learn about horses and horsemanship from some of the foremost competitors, trainers, and equine professionals in the business. There will be more than 120 clinics, seminars, and demos featured throughout the weekend at arenas and stages scattered throughout the Eastern States Exposition. Sessions will be conducted by some of the foremost horse men and women in the equine world including Olympians, World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games participants, national and world champion competitors, Hall of Fame inductees, top trainers and judges, and well-known TV personalities.

    Julie Goodnight teaching a Ride With a Pro clinic
  3. Catch the action. Equine Affaire will feature their signature Versatile Horse & Rider Competition on Friday afternoon in the coliseum. Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider teams will race through obstacle courses designed to put their horses and horsemanship skills to the test while competing for $5500 in cash.  It’s great fun to watch—and educational all the same.  Get there early to get a good seat for this popular event within an event.

    Don’t miss the action on Friday afternoon!
  1. Be dazzled. Equine Affaire’s Fantasia on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights is the perfect ending to a perfect day at Equine Affaire.  This legendary musical celebration of the horse will feature top equine and equestrian performers from throughout the United States performing to a wide range of musical styles.  The Fantasia showcases the beauty, intelligence, and talent of horses of many breeds—and reminds us of why we find our four-legged friends so enchanting.

    You’ll be jumping for joy you didn’t miss this year’s Fantasia!
  2. Shop for all things horse and rider related. Equine Affaire’s trade show is the largest horse-related shopping opportunity in the East. Nearly 400 exhibitors will feature everything from tack, riding apparel, and the full range of horse necessities to fine equestrian art and jewelry, books, equine studies programs, and horseback riding vacations.  Shoppers can take a break from online browsing to actually see, touch, and try on items and speak to knowledgeable product representatives before investing.

    Shop ’til you drop!
  3. Buy a Horse. Visit C Barn and peruse the many horses that will be on display and for sale at the event. Look for the “For Sale” signs on stalls to identify what might be the perfect horse for you!
  4. Hone your skills. Those new to the horse world will find a wealth of basic information about horses in the Equine Fundamentals Forum—an area in the Mallary South dedicated to demos, displays, and video presentations to educate new riders and horse owners of all ages.

    Learn the basics at the Equine Fundamentals Forum
  5. Share your passion. Gather with family and friends to share your passion for horses and mingle with other folks who “speak horse.” You’ll have four full days to indulge yourself in all things horse-related.
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