London, OH, November 6, 2017–The 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition – sponsored by Nutrena – is just quickly approaching, and today we’re introducing the final group of competitors! Watch the competition and cheer on your favorite contestants this Friday, November 10 at 1:00pm at Equine Affaire!
Alice Barlow, of Middletown, VA, and her 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Ares have competed in everything from endurance to cow work and everything in between in the 13 years they have been together. This year, they have competed in nearly every trail challenge at horse expositions of nearby states. Their trail class accomplishment include being named Champions at the Maryland Expo, Reserve Champions at the PA Expo, and placing third at the VA Expo.
Melissa Ellis, of W. Dover, VT, and her 7-year-old Morgan mare Steepway Cosmo Girl, or “Cosmo”, are no strangers to Equine Affaire. Their first foray in the event came when Cosmo was selected by Guy McLean in 2013 to participate in his popular colt starting clinics. Melissa knew then that she wanted to come back to Equine Affaire and compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. She and Cosmo accomplished this goal last year, and placed fourth in their very first VHRC event. They are excited to be back this year and show off some new skills!
Andreah Lytle, of Skaneateles, NY, has been working with her 10-year-old Haflinger mare, An Expensive Decision Yes, for six years. The pair competes in everything from hunter/jumper and gymkhana classes to driving and western events. This will be the first time the pair will test their skills in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.
After a memorable round in last year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, Brittany Mayer, of Cumberland, RI, and her 14-year-old Quarter Horse mare My Sharona are back for another go. Last year, one of Brittany’s reins broke soon after starting the VHRC course. In a true display of horsemanship, Brittany and My Sharona not only continued, but also placed in the top ten. The pair also competes in eventing, hunters, western pleasure, and other versatility competitions.
Danelle Osinchuk, of Springfield, VT, and her horse Slip Me A Dual Pep, or Magic, a 17-year-old Quarter Horse gelding are regular competitors in cutting and versatility classes. Partnered for six years, Danelle and Magic enjoy the challenge of versatility events and the way it strengthens their partnership. They have competed in two prior Versatile Horse and Rider Competitions at Equine Affaire, placing in the top five each time.
Jackie Rappel, of Huntington, NY, and her 16-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Becketts History Doc are another returning pair to Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. This will be their fourth go at the VHRC course, and Jackie hopes they will finally crack the top three in the placings. Jackie and Becketts History Doc have been partnered for more than two years, and also compete in sorting, penning, and cow horse events.
Rob West, of Middle Island, NY, adopted his 7-year-old Mustang mare Moonshine Lady 1.5 years ago when she had just been removed from the range. His early training on her earned them a fifth-place finish at the Virginia Mustang Makeover. The pair now competes in western and trail events, and this will be their first time competing in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.