04 02


LONDON, OH, April 2, 2024 – Next week, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will return! Twenty-five horse and rider pairs will enter the US Equestrian Arena, one by one, to tackle a challenging obstacle course and see who will come out on top! Ten riders will place, four will earn cash prizes, but only one will emerge victorious. We’re talking, of course, about the 2024 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, which will take place on Friday, April 12, starting at 1:30 pm. It’s going to be an incredible competition, sponsored by Espana Silk. In this post, meet five more of the talented competitors who will join this race at Equine Affaire. 

Miranda Roesel and Shamrock, 10 year old American Quarter Horse gelding 

Miranda and Shamrock have been a team for seven years. They compete in the ranch events at open shows, with ranch pleasure as a special favorite. This special pair are veterans of the versatility competition and are returning for their fourth round of competition. 

“Shamrock is a blast to show and seems to show off in his favorite gait, the extended trot,” Miranda says. “Outside of showing, Shamrock plays lesson horse and we also enjoy going on trail rides whenever we have time. He absolutely loves playing in water and would stay in a creek or river all day if he could. At home, I love practicing for the VHRC as it brings creativity to our rides and helps to find holes in our training.”

Myron Martin and Newt, 10 year old American Quarter Horse gelding 

Myron has been riding Newt for about six months. 

“Newt has been showing me the strings for ranch riding and reining,” Myron says. “This will be our first time in a show pen together. We are very much looking forward to it.”

Natalie Vizard and Rosie, 26 year old American Paint Horse mare 

Natalie and Rosie have been partners for thirteen years, and Natalie says it’s been the privilege of a lifetime. 

“She came into our lives 14 years ago from an ad on craigslist and was $500,” Natalie remembers. “Little did we know that she was one of the most remarkable horses our family has ever owned.” 

A fearless trail horse, Rosie excels at leading other horses on the trail across bridges and through water. Speed patterns are her specialty – in fact, she’s been the top gymkhana horse in their county for five years – but she’s also gentle enough to pack a child along the trail at a walk.  

“She is the horse we put beginners on; pull out of the pasture at a moment’s notice to give children their first ride; and to ride in a parade so the public thinks all horses walk flat-footed in the midst of chaos,” Natalie says. “She will do anything asked of her and will take care of beginners, yet has enough grit to teach them along the way.” 

Rosie also performed admirably at the last state horse show, competing against circuit horses and finishing in the top five in every class. 

“In short, I think we would be great ambassadors for the public to see that amazing animals come in simple packages, without fancy papers or prices, yet have the heart of a lion,” Natalie says. 

Olivia Giuffrida and Tiny, 14 year old Clydesdale cross mare 

Olivia and Tiny are VHRC veterans. They placed in the top ten in the 2023 Massachusetts competition and now they’re back for their fourth ride against the Equine Affaire obstacle course. They’ve been together for about four and a half years, and during that time, they’ve discovered a mutual passion for obstacle work. 

“When we first started together, we were basically starting from scratch and had no clear direction as to where we wanted to go in the horse world,” Olivia says. “But it was very clear we both like to try new things and always learn!  We have been exploring more shows in the horse world and we always like to try new things. We would love to be able to further our experience and have a fun time at the Equine Affaire!” 

Randy McStoots and Docs Gay Gold Digger, 10 year old American Quarter Horse stallion 

“Digger” was purchased at a month old as a package deal with his sire and dam, but it became clear early on that he was a keeper, Randy says. They’ve now been together for about six years, competing in ranch, reining, barrels, trail, and cattle events. 

“He has such a fun and willing personality that makes him adaptable to any environment,” Randy says. “Being a trainer’s horse, he has always been pushed to the back burner. Until recently he hasn’t been worked consistently. This year is his year to show us just what he’s got and be the main focus for once. As a team, we have dabbled in many disciplines, primarily focusing on ranch events. My goal is to showcase a true versatile stallion that encompasses a solid body, mind, and disposition.” 

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. 

Read More