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The Faces of the 2022 Versatile Horse and Rider Competition

On Friday, April 8, 25 competitors and their mounts will enter the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Their goal? To become the 2022 Versatile Horse and Rider Champions! The VHRC is a popular competition that tests the partnership of a horse and rider as they navigate an obstacle course and race the clock. Competitors are judged on the horse’s attitude, the rider’s horsemanship, and the team’s overall performance. Times are translated into points, and points from each obstacle are totaled. The horse and rider team with the highest overall point score wins! Cash and other prizes will be awarded to the top four riders, while the top ten riders receive ribbons and prize packages. This year, all top ten riders will receive a special Farnam product prize package.

Ready to meet five of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire?

Melinda Arnitsis

Horse: Bella Beretta, 11 year old American Quarter Horse mare

Melinda has been riding “Retta” for six years. In that time, they’ve performed at Breyerfest, competed in a freestyle reining, won third place at the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships in ranch reining, and placed in the top ten multiple times at the VHRC. Melinda says, “Retta isn’t an easy mare, but usually the best aren’t easy. Retta has so much to give and I believe she can win this competition.”

Melinda and Retta


Tammy Burgard

Horse: A Lot Nu Jazz or “Badger,” 10 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Win or lose, “Badger” is Tammy’s forever horse, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ve been together since Badger was a 2 year old, and in that time, they’ve won numerous state, regional, and national championships in obstacle competitions. Tammy says Badger is the smartest horse she has ever owned.

Tammy and Badger


Amanda Malone

Horse: Buckshot, 16 year old Arabian/Tennessee Walking Horse gelding

Amanda and Buckshot have competed in a variety of events, including speed events, driving, trail riding, hunter paces, and more. They also enjoy riding bareback and bridleless. Amanda says Buckshot takes great care of beginner riders and children and serves as a steady influence around green horses. In addition to his steadfast nature and handy ways, he’s always up for a challenge – and that’s why Amanda is excited to ride him in the 2022 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Amanda is also competing aboard Ironwood Turbo.

Amanda and Buckshot

Wendy Montgomery

Horse: SF Distinguished Gentleman or “Rocky,” 17 year old Rocky Mountain gelding

Before Rocky came into her life, Wendy didn’t even know what a Rocky Mountain Horse was. All she knew was she loved his calm, levelheaded, and willing disposition. Fast-forward 13 years, and Wendy and Rocky are dedicated partners with a history of success in obstacle challenges in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. The pair also competed in the VHRC in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and were accepted to compete in 2020 before the event was postponed. They’re excited to compete this year in what Wendy says is her favorite competition.

Wendy and Rocky

Danelle Osinchuk

Horse: Slip Me a Dual Pep or “Magic,” 22 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

VHRC veteran competitors Danelle and “Magic” are a competent, confident pair with a lengthy partnership. They enjoy competing in O.H.I.O EXCA events and versatility competitions. Together, they’ve earned multiple year-end championships in stock horse events and led the buckle series in O.H.I.O EXCA for the intermediate and non-pro divisions in 2021. The pair also won the 2019 and 2021 Massachusetts Versatile Horse and Rider Competitions. When he’s not competing, Magic spends his days teaching Danelle’s kids how to ride.

Danelle and Magic

Excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 8, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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