WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA, November 4, 2022 — The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition happens one week from today! We are so thrilled for another round of this fabulous competition. As part of our preparations, we’re introducing you to all 25 horse and rider pairs that will be competing in this year’s competition. If you missed the first three posts, click here and check them out! Then come back to meet our last five riders.
Sponsored by Nutrena, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will take place in the US Equestrian Arena in the coliseum at the Eastern States Exposition on Friday, November 11, from 1 to 5 pm. Riders will traverse our obstacle course and race the clock to see who will win the title of the 2022 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider champions.
Every obstacle is designed to test communication between horse and rider as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills and athletic prowess. Their efforts will be evaluated by our celebrity judge, Scott Purdum; narrated by our emcee, Steve Lantvit; and applauded by an audience of excited fans.
The champions will win $2,500 in cash and a champion rosette, while reserve, third, and fourth will take home rosettes and cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000, and $500, respectively. Fifth through tenth will take home rosettes.
Ready to meet the next five competitors for this year?
Jackie Rappel and Beckett’s Hickory Doc, 20 year old American Quarter Horse gelding
Jackie and “Roanie” are VHRC veterans and have competed six times. It’s safe to say they love versatility work! Jackie, now a practicing attorney, first met Roanie seven years ago when she was between jobs and earning money riding horses. She started riding Roanie, who was a sale horse at the time, and fell in love. She has taught the senior gelding to perform flying lead changes. They’ve also competed in reined cow horse. These days, Roanie is semi-retired, but Jackie says that as long as he has the ability and desire to compete, she’s going to keep chasing a top 3 finish in the VHRC.
Kayla O’Leary and Wildfire, 12 year old Mustang mare
Together for seven years, Kayla and Wildfire are jills-of-all-trades. They’ve competed in local Western and ranch pleasure shows as well as English shows. They’ve done mounted shooting and cow work, revolutionary war re-enactments, and trail riding. They’ve even performed in multiple parades as members of Teddy Roosevelt’s rough riders from the Spanish American wars, demonstrating various cavalry techniques such as mounted shooting, drill formations, saber work, and other skills. This year marks their fourth time competing in the VHRC.
Brittany Mayer and Copperhead Road, 7 year old Mustang mare
Brittany is a trainer and riding instructor from Cumberland, Rhode Island, and has competed in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition twice before. This is the first year she will be competing with “Copper”. Brittany and Copper have known each other for just over two years, but have been a consistent team for about 6 months — ever since Copper officially joined the family this summer. In the last several months, they’ve gotten to know each other quite well in a variety of ways including trail riding, ranch sorting, showing, and plenty of obstacles. They have lots of showing goals for next year in the ranch horse events and are hoping to become an even stronger team as they continue to learn about each other.
Amanda Malone and Ironwood Turbo, 17 year old Fjord gelding
Amanda and “Turbo” have been partners for four years. Amanda says, “This little horse has made me proud of who [he is] and what he has accomplished. Turbo is a one-of-a-kind horse.” Hailing from Mathias, West Virginia, Amanda and Turbo have competed in eventing, trail, games, parades, jousting, and lots more, plus many expos and demos as representatives of the Fjord breed. They also participated in the Apple Blossom Parade in Winchester, Virginia, this year. Turbo loves people and learning new things. Turbo has been helping train young horses and being a solid horse for new people to experience the Fjord horse. This will be Amanda and Turbo’s third time competing in the VHRC.
Karli Knapp and Meadowbrook’s Sir Prize, 14 year old Gypsy Vanner gelding
Karli and Meadowbrook’s Sir Prize competed in the VHRC last year for the first time and took eleventh place. Karli and her Gypsy Vanner compete in English, Western, dressage, reining, and driving. This year, they entered many more obstacle clinics and competitions in order to improve their skills in time for this year’s competition. Karli is excited for the chance to be back and work on her precision over obstacles.
Are you excited yet? We’ve got five more competitors to introduce to you before November 11th gets here. Watch this page for all the updates, then plan on attending the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 11th, from 1-5 pm in the US Equestrian Arena in the coliseum, to see who will win!