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LONDON, OH, March 19, 2024 – The 2024 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition in Ohio is coming up quickly, and we are thrilled to introduce you to this event’s class of competitors.  

Sponsored by Espana Silk Grooming Products, the VHRC will take place on Friday, April 12, at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Coliseum during Equine Affaire. A class of twenty-five horses and riders will race the clock and each other as they tackle a challenging obstacle course, specially designed to test the athleticism, versatility, and horsemanship of each competitive pair. With $5,500 cash and other prizes at stake, it’s going to be one exciting race as our competitors vie for the honor of becoming the 2024 Ohio Versatile Horse and Rider Champions! In this post, meet five more of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire.


Diana Tomes and Rowan, 8 year old Mustang mare 

Diana Tomes works with mustangs at her training and teaching facility, Big Lake Farm, in Davisburg, MI. “Rowan” is an eight-year-old mare from the Adope Town, WY, herd. They’ve only been working together for a few short months, and the VHRC will mark Rowan’s competition debut.  

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to showcase how truly versatile and hardworking mustangs can be,” Diana says. “Rowan has a heart of gold, and it has been so fulfilling building a partnership with her.”

Faith Johnson and Rambo, 9 year old Thoroughbred gelding 

Like many horse kids, Faith Johnson started riding before she could even remember. She started out in 4-H and tried her hand at everything: showmanship, Western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, equitation, and hunter under saddle. Eventually, she moved on from 4-H to breed competitions and began showing American Quarter Horses in hunter classes. When COVID hit, Faith took a break from showing. Then, in college, she bought a project pony and fell in love with the process of working with “project horses.” That’s how she acquired “Rambo,” a Thoroughbred who came off the track with 45 starts, a sesamoid injury, and a right eye completely blinded by a cataract. When they applied to the VHRC in February, Rambo had only 30 restart rides to his credit, but Faith has made those rides count. The pair have ridden in the arena, gone trail riding, worked cattle, and tackled some simple obstacles. Rambo has also taken Faith tubing, and Faith has launched her drone off his back.  

“I want to bring Rambo out to Equine Affaire to test my horsemanship, expose Rambo to different things, and potentially even find him a new home,” Faith says.  

Jessica Mammel and Fancy Lik That, 5 year old American Quarter Horse mare 

Jessica’s lifelong love affair with horses started when she was just three years old. One of her favorite things about horses, especially Quarter Horses, is their versatility. She says that her own horse, “Boujee,” is an amazing example of how versatile the Quarter Horse can be.  

“We have been partners for two years now,” Jessica says. “I would describe Boujee as very brave, willing, and with a huge heart. She’s willing to try whatever I throw at her. This event is something I have always wanted to compete in. I think Boujee is the partner I need to get me there.” 

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Kat Wiegand and WHR Tiny Dancer, 8 year old Gypsy Vanner gelding 

According to Kat, “Tiny” is a lot of horse packed into a little hairy body. From his start under saddle, Tiny has been a force to be reckoned with in the show world, with wins in halter, Western, English, trail, and ranch classes. For the past three years, he has ranked top 10 in the nation in points with the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society and has earned many championships and reserve championships. Outside the show world, Tiny visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

“Tiny has a huge personality, and he’s a crowd favorite at shows,” Kat says. “His trademark squeal can be heard in most of his classes.” 

Katie Finley and Travel Gun, 6 year old American Quarter Horse gelding 

Katie and “Traveller” are from Navarre, OH. By profession, Katie is a Doctor of Pharmacy – but her passion is, and always has been, horses. She bought the then-three-year-old “Traveller” as a young horse in order to challenge herself, and in the process, found her once-in-a-lifetime partner. Together, Traveller and Katie show extreme cowboy racing, mountain trail, and ranch horse. They have won reserve state championships in extreme cowboy, been overall year-end high point champions in extreme cowboy, and overall grand champions in ranch horse and mountain trail.  

“Traveller even faithfully led me to an OQHA Reserve Championship in in-hand mountain trail five days before my daughter was born,” Katie says. “Traveller and I had the privilege of competing in the VHRC in 2022. We have grown so much since then, and would love the chance to go for round two.”  

If you’re excited for this year’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, make your plans today to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 12, and watch the competition unfold. 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! This year’s event will be judged by Steve Lantvit and the master of ceremonies will be the official voice of Equine Affaire, Noah Rattner. If you missed our first press release introducing our first five riders, click here to find out more!

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