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Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 2)

London, OH, October 30, 2017–We’re back to introduce more of the competitors for this year’s 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Equine Affaire in W. Springfield, MA! Come to the Eastern States Exposition on Friday, November 10 to cheer them on as they compete for $5,500 in cash and prizes.

Danielle Ambrecht

Though Danielle Ambrecht, of Holtsville, NY, has only been partnered with her 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare since mid-2016, this will be the pair’s third time competing in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. Danielle grew up showing hunter/jumpers before discovering cowboy mounted shooting in her 20s. Since then, Danielle has pursued a variety of western disciplines, and competes in cow work, ranch versatility, and trail challenge classes with Felina.

April Baronas

April Baronas, of N. Attleboro, MA, has been partnered with Que Sera Sera, a 16-year-old Chincoteague Pony for the past year and a half. Though April previously focused on western events, she now competes in eventing and versatility classes. After being inspired by a friend’s ride in the last year’s Competition, April knew she wanted to compete this year and began training in January.

Jason Charles

Jason Charles, of Dillsburg, PA, is a professional trainer and five-time winner of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. His two most recent wins, taking place at the 2016 Equine Affaire events in Ohio and Massachusetts, were with his current partner, an 8-year-old Quarter Horse mare named Ms Whiz It. You can also see Jason and Ms Whiz It in action as part of this fall’s Fantasia show.

Returning champion Jason Charles riding Ms Whiz It

Brenda Hanson

Brenda Hanson, of Andover, OH, is a professional horse trainer who is no stranger to the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. This will be the fourth year in a row Brenda and her partner PVF Frosted Ace, a 6-year old Quarter Horse gelding, tackle the course. Brenda has done all of the training on Ace, and they have garnered three top five and one reserve champion placing in previous VHRC’s.  Brenda and Ace can also be seen in action as part of this fall’s Fantasia show.

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller, of Sandusky, OH, and her 12-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Big Joe Harlan, are another returning pair to this fall’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. Partnered for five years, they regularly compete in ranch horse classes and extreme cowboy races. Kelly and Big Joe Harlan also like to travel to the western United States for horseback riding and hunting trips in the mountains.

Kayla O’Leary*

Though Kayla O’Leary, of Center Moriches, NY, has only been riding for five years, she has found a life-long partner in her 7-year-old Mustang mare, Wildfire. Kayla first met Wildfire when she was being trained as part of the 2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Springfield, MA. From the first time Kayla sat on Wildfire when she had only a month of under saddle experience, she knew she was going to buy her. Kayla and Wildfire soon started competing in gymkhana events, but now focus on trail classes.

Kayla O’Leary atop Wildfire

Shaynah Seames

Shaynah Seames, of Huntington, ME, has been riding her horse, Rio Wolf Creek, for fourteen years. Shaynah and the 20-year-old Quarter Horse gelding enjoy riding in a variety of events, including gymkhana, ranch riding, and barrel racing. The pair has won numerous year-end awards through their local gymkhana club and were youth world qualifiers in NBHA.

Check back soon to meet more of our competitors!

And if you missed part 1, click here to read.

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