Equine Affaire Press Room

04 21

ELEVATING THE EQUESTRIAN EXPERIENCE IN OHIO

LONDON, OH, April 21, 2022 – Earlier in April, Equine Affaire made a triumphant return to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, hosting happy crowds of horse lovers and equine enthusiasts for four days of equine-themed education, entertainment, and enjoyment. This year’s event was especially momentous because it was the first time Equine Affaire had taken place in the state of Ohio since 2019. After three long years away, excited fans, presenters, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers and Equine Affaire staff welcomed the return of their favorite equine exposition and equestrian gathering with open arms.

“Our staff members have missed putting on this event the past two years. We conducted a successful in-person event in Massachusetts this past November, but it felt especially wonderful to return to the Ohio Expo Center this year since it’s so close to our London office,” said Coagi Long, president of Equine Affaire. “We also experienced a 7% increase in ticket sales compared to previous years. That was a great welcome back!”

On April 7-10, 2022, tens of thousands of eager visitors streamed through the gates of the Ohio Expo Center to attend North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering. Crowds enjoyed attending more than 150 educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations presented by some of the nation’s most renowned horsemen and horsewomen, including Craig Cameron, Jim Thomas, J.R. Robles, Lynn Palm, and Warwick Schiller. They also experienced the joy of meeting a variety of different breeds of horses in the Breed Pavilion, including Akhal-Tekes, International Drum Horses, and more, as well as networking with dozens of equine professionals in the popular Horse & Farm Exhibits. Equine Affaire’s trade show, which is hailed as the largest horse-themed trade show in the east, filled several buildings with vendors selling everything from horse trailers to tack to horse show apparel to toys, jewelry, clothing, and more. Visitors also flocked to the Marketplace Consignment Shop all weekend long to sell and to purchase quality used goods. Special immersive activities and competitions were also a highlight each day. From shopping to networking to riding and learning, visitors of all ages were able to elevate their equestrian experience through the 2022 Equine Affaire in Ohio.

Several exciting competitions took place throughout the weekend, including the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition; the Mustang Trainers’ Incentive Program Challenge; and the International Liberty Horse Association Freestyle Invitational. The VHRC took place on Friday, April 8, with clinician Kevin Oliver as judge and clinician Lynn Palm as emcee. Twenty-five horse and rider pairs competed for $5,500 in cash and other prizes, including special product prize packages provided by Farnam for the top ten finishers. The first-place winners were Brenda Hanson and PVF Frosted Ace, who won $2,500 in cash, a Champion rosette, a Farnam product prize package, and the coveted title of Equine Affaire Versatile Horse & Rider Champion. The Mustang TIP Challenge took place in three parts on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, and featured both youth and adults who competed for $20,000 in prize money. For these competitors, the Mustang TIP Challenge was the culmination of 100 days spent gentling a feral mustang and preparing each horse to compete in a pattern class, a handling and conditioning class and a trail class.  The overall winner of the finals was Garrett Shanks and his mustang, Dreamin of Amazing Grace. Finally, the ILHA Invitational Freestyle took place on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, featuring horses and handlers who performed liberty routines. The winners of the ILHA Invitational Freestyle were Melissa Barnett and Jamaican Me Marley. For full results, photos, or other details for all three competitions, please email arehnborg@equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse, Fantasia, returned as a major highlight of the event, and enthusiastic crowds filled the coliseum each night for the two-hour musical variety equestrian show. Attendance on Thursday night doubled compared to 2019, while the Friday and Saturday night performances sold out completely! Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia featured equestrian performers of all shapes, sizes and talents, including the Mini Doves, a group of miniature horses expertly handled by a team of youths; the 2nd Cavalry Brigade Band and the 6th Ohio Mounted Buglers; the Young Guns Drill Team; liberty rider Luke Gingerich and his horse, Tinseltowns Whizard; the Drentwett family of performers in multiple acts; Jenny Vidbel O’Donnell with a 16-horse liberty act; and many more.

Equine Affaire wouldn’t be possible without the support of its sponsors, including Absorbine, sponsor of Fantasia; Farnam, sponsor of the Courtesy Shopping Bag and prizes for the 2022 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition; Rod’s Western Palace, sponsor of the Rod’s Arena; US Equestrian, sponsor of the US Equestrian Arena; and Wahl, sponsor of the Wahl demo ring.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2022 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, which will take place November 10-13, 2022, at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, Massachusetts. Save the dates for the 2023 Equine Affaire in Ohio, which will take place April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

To learn more about Equine Affaire and how to participate, attend, sponsor, or exhibit in one of our events, visit www.equineaffaire.com. You can also call our main office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday, for information. Follow Equine Affaire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @equineaffaire, and bookmark equineaffaire.com/home/podcast to catch every episode of the official Equine Affaire podcast, released monthly.

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04 12

MEET THE 2022 VHRC CHAMPIONS

CONGRATULATIONS TO BRENDA HANSON AND ACE!

Brenda and PVF Frosted Ace are the 2022 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Champions! Brenda and “Ace” are veterans of the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, having placed in the top five many times as well as winning a reserve championship. They were also the winners of the 2019 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Competition with a score of 65 points. This year, they won with a score of 68, narrowly beating our second-place finishers, Danelle Osinchuk and Slip Me a Dual Pep! Brenda and Ace have been together for eight years and enjoy ranch riding and obstacle courses. Their trust in each other was evident this year as they navigated the VHRC obstacle course with ease, scoring 5s on multiple obstacles. Brenda won $2,500 in cash, a Champion rosette, a Farnam product prize package, and the coveted title of Equine Affaire Versatile Horse & Rider Champion!

Our second place winners, Danelle Osinchuk and Magic, won $1,750.00 in cash, a Farnam product prize package, and a Reserve champion rosette. Third place went to Tammy Burgard and Whiskey, who won $1,000.00 in cash, a Farnam product prize package, and rosette. Martin Schwartz and Sterling placed fourth, winning $250.00, a Farnam product prize package, and rosette. Fifth place went to Melinda Arnitsis and Bella Beretta. Our fifth through tenth place finishers all took home Farnam product prize packages and rosettes! Congratulations to all our fantastic competitors, and special thanks to our judge, Kevin Oliver, and emcee, Lynn Palm. This year’s VHRC was supported by Farnam, who provided fantastic prize packs for our top ten finishers. Thank you, Farnam, for your support of this competition! And thank you and congratulations to all of our competitors.


Brenda and “Ace” won the 22 OH VHRC with panache and exhibited stellar horsemanship!

FULL RESULTS:

1. Brenda Hanson – Ace – 68 Points
2. Danelle Osinchuk – Slip Me A Dual Pep – 67 Points
3. Tammy Burgard – Whiskey – 61 Points
4. Martin Schwartz – Sterling – 60 Points
5. Melinda Arnitsis – Bella Beretta – 57 Points
6. Franny Galvin-Hynes – Super Nova – 56 Points
7. Lindsey Partridge – Thunderous Affair – 55 Points
8. Tammy Burgard – Badger – 50 Points
9. Kayla Schlabach – Highway Masquerade – 49 Points (tiebreaker: 9)
10. Kristen Fouty – Dun Got It Goin On – 49 Points (tiebreaker: 8)
11. Wendy Montgomery – SF Distinguished Gentleman – 45 Points
12. Raymie Shoop – Sweet Hollywood Star – 44 Points
13. Erin Vensel – King Julian – 43 Points
14. Julia Mazzarella – Nine Lives – 41 Points
15. Miranda Roesel – Shamrock – 40 Points
16. Amanda Malone – Buckshot – 32 Points
17. Rachel Dicken – Rowdy – 32 Points
18. Amanda Malone – Ironwood Turbo – 29 Points
19. Jess Schira – DL’s Guinan – no score
20. Rose Ellsworth – Batman – no score
21. Julia Mackey – Lakota – no score
22. Kiersten Woods – Georgia – no score
23. Katie Finley – Travel Gun – no score
24. Kim Nemcheck – Once in a Fantasy – no score
25. Carole Bower – Zahra – no score

The competition was held in the Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, April 8, 2022, from 1:00-5:00 pm EST. For more information, visit https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-participate/ohio-compete/ohio-versatile-horse-rider-competition/.

 

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03 31

MEET THE 2022 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART FIVE

MEET THE 2022 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART FIVE

On Friday, April 8, 25 horse and rider pairs will enter the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition! This competition tests the partnership of a horse and rider as they navigate an obstacle course and race the clock. Competitors are judged on the horse’s attitude, the rider’s horsemanship, and the team’s overall performance. Times are translated into points, and points from each obstacle are totaled. The horse and rider team with the highest overall point score wins, and they’ll receive the honor of becoming the Versatile Horse and Rider Champions as well as a cash prize! Cash and other prizes will be awarded to the top four riders, while the top ten riders receive ribbons and prize packages. This year, all top ten riders will receive a special Farnam product prize package.

Ready to meet the final five talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire?

Tammy Burgard

Horse: Whiskey, 10 year old mare

Tammy and Whiskey have been partners for ten years. In that time, they’ve advanced to Open level competition. Tammy has been Whiskey’s only trainer and they’ve won many championships at the state, regional, and national levels. Tammy says that Whiskey, who is blind in one eye, has a big heart and always gives 100% to any task.

Tammy and Whiskey

 

Kayla Schlabach

Horse: Highway Masquerade, 4 year old Gypsy Vanner gelding

“Masque” and Kayla have been a team since the summer of 2021. Kayla says Masque has a huge personality and loves interacting with people. They enjoy extreme cowboy racing, mountain trail, and Western dressage. Masque also knows tricks, such as bowing and laying down, and is learning to drive. Masque and Kayla were the EXCA State Finals Green Horse Champions and the Mountain Trail Adult In Hand/Under Saddle Champions.

Kayla and Masque


Erin Vensel

Horse: King Julian, 18 year old Shire/American Quarter Horse gelding

Erin and King Julian are past competitors of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, and they’re excited for the opportunity to return this year in Ohio. Partners for 12 years, Erin and King Julian have progressed from Intro through Fourth Level in Dressage and hope to compete at the FEI level someday. In 2017, they placed 5th in the nation at second level. They were Grand Champions at the D4K Youth Festival that same year. They’ve earned their USDF bronze medal and are on their way to earning their silver medal. In addition to dressage, they love trying new things, such as mini trials, beach riding, and mounted shooting.

Erin and Julian


Raymie Shoop

Horse: Sweet Hollywood Star, 6 year old American Paint Horse gelding

“Spencer” and Raymie are a versatile team who have enjoyed overnight trail rides, ranch horse shows, and pleasure shows. Spencer stays willing and calm in trail and obstacle situations. Spencer also has experience in Western dressage. The pair became a team in 2020 and are excited to participate in the VHRC this year.

Raymie and Spencer

Rose Ellsworth

Horse: Batman, 7 year old gaited gelding

Rose and Batman have been developing their abilities through trail rides. This will be their first judged event.

Batman

Excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 8, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1 pm Eastern Time. 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!

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03 29

MEET THE 2022 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART FOUR

The Faces of the 2022 Versatile Horse and Rider Competition

The Versatile Horse and Rider Competition is a beloved feature of Equine Affaire and has thrilled generations of horsemen and horsewomen. On Friday, April 8, the VHRC will return to the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center for the first time in two years! Twenty-five horse and rider pairs will compete for the top honor of becoming the Versatile Horse and Rider Champions. The VHRC tests the partnership of a horse and rider as they navigate an obstacle course and race the clock. Competitors are judged on the horse’s attitude, the rider’s horsemanship, and the team’s overall performance. Times are translated into points, and points from each obstacle are totaled. The horse and rider team with the highest overall point score wins! Cash and other prizes will be awarded to the top four riders, while the top ten riders receive ribbons and prize packages. This year, all top ten riders will receive a special Farnam product prize package.

Ready to meet five of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire?

Kiersten Woods

Horse: Georgia, 10 year old mare

Kiersten purchased Georgia to run barrels. Kiersten describes Georgia as a sweet mare that just about anyone can ride at a walk or trot. To prepare for this year’s event, they’ve been working on developing their collected canter and practicing with an obstacle course at home.

Kiersten and Georgia

 

Kim Nemcheck

Horse: Once in a Fantasy, 5 year old American Quarter Horse Gelding

Although Kim and “Cruz” have been partners for only a year, they’re excited to compete in the VHRC. Kim says the VHRC was designed for Cruz, who is a talented and versatile animal. The duo enjoy participating in ranch riding, dressage, and English and Western disciplines.

Kim and Cruz

 

Brenda Hanson

Horse: PVF Frosted Ace, 11 year old American Quarter Horse Gelding

Brenda and “Ace” have been together for eight years and enjoy ranch riding and obstacle courses. They’re veterans of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, having placed in the top five many times as well as winning a reserve championship. They also won the championship at the 2019 Versatile Horse and Rider Competition in Ohio with a score of 65 points and a time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds.

Brenda and Ace

 

Katie Finley

Horse: Travel Gun, 4 year old American Quarter Horse Gelding

Katie and Travel Gun compete in the novice divisions of Extreme Cowboy Racing, ranch riding, and trail competitions. They’ve won multiple championships and reserve championships in extreme cowboy racing and trail competitions.

Katie and Traveller

Jess Schira

Horse: DL’s Guinan, 5 year old Hanoverian/Thoroughbred gelding

Jess and “Q” met the moment Q was born on June 18, 2017. From the very beginning, Q was sweet, smart, and bold, with a penchant for cuddling and having a good time. The pair started competing in American Horsemen Challenge Association shows in order to provide Q with a safe environment to start developing his “show legs.” Q enjoys obstacle work. In addition, Jess and Q are preparing for a future in dressage.

Jess and Q

Excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 8, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1 pm Eastern Time. 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!

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03 23

MEET THE 2022 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART THREE

The Faces of the 2022 Versatile Horse and Rider Competition

On Friday, April 8, 25 competitors and their mounts will enter the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Their goal? To become the 2022 Versatile Horse and Rider Champions! The VHRC is a popular competition that tests the partnership of a horse and rider as they navigate an obstacle course and race the clock. Competitors are judged on the horse’s attitude, the rider’s horsemanship, and the team’s overall performance. Times are translated into points, and points from each obstacle are totaled. The horse and rider team with the highest overall point score wins! Cash and other prizes will be awarded to the top four riders, while the top ten riders receive ribbons and prize packages. This year, all top ten riders will receive a special Farnam product prize package.

Ready to meet five of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire?

Melinda Arnitsis

Horse: Bella Beretta, 11 year old American Quarter Horse mare

Melinda has been riding “Retta” for six years. In that time, they’ve performed at Breyerfest, competed in a freestyle reining, won third place at the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships in ranch reining, and placed in the top ten multiple times at the VHRC. Melinda says, “Retta isn’t an easy mare, but usually the best aren’t easy. Retta has so much to give and I believe she can win this competition.”

Melinda and Retta

 

Tammy Burgard

Horse: A Lot Nu Jazz or “Badger,” 10 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Win or lose, “Badger” is Tammy’s forever horse, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ve been together since Badger was a 2 year old, and in that time, they’ve won numerous state, regional, and national championships in obstacle competitions. Tammy says Badger is the smartest horse she has ever owned.

Tammy and Badger

 

Amanda Malone

Horse: Buckshot, 16 year old Arabian/Tennessee Walking Horse gelding

Amanda and Buckshot have competed in a variety of events, including speed events, driving, trail riding, hunter paces, and more. They also enjoy riding bareback and bridleless. Amanda says Buckshot takes great care of beginner riders and children and serves as a steady influence around green horses. In addition to his steadfast nature and handy ways, he’s always up for a challenge – and that’s why Amanda is excited to ride him in the 2022 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Amanda is also competing aboard Ironwood Turbo.

Amanda and Buckshot


Wendy Montgomery

Horse: SF Distinguished Gentleman or “Rocky,” 17 year old Rocky Mountain gelding

Before Rocky came into her life, Wendy didn’t even know what a Rocky Mountain Horse was. All she knew was she loved his calm, levelheaded, and willing disposition. Fast-forward 13 years, and Wendy and Rocky are dedicated partners with a history of success in obstacle challenges in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. The pair also competed in the VHRC in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and were accepted to compete in 2020 before the event was postponed. They’re excited to compete this year in what Wendy says is her favorite competition.

Wendy and Rocky


Danelle Osinchuk

Horse: Slip Me a Dual Pep or “Magic,” 22 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

VHRC veteran competitors Danelle and “Magic” are a competent, confident pair with a lengthy partnership. They enjoy competing in O.H.I.O EXCA events and versatility competitions. Together, they’ve earned multiple year-end championships in stock horse events and led the buckle series in O.H.I.O EXCA for the intermediate and non-pro divisions in 2021. The pair also won the 2019 and 2021 Massachusetts Versatile Horse and Rider Competitions. When he’s not competing, Magic spends his days teaching Danelle’s kids how to ride.

Danelle and Magic

Excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 8, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1 pm Eastern Time. 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!

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ELEVATING THE EQUESTRIAN EXPERIENCE SINCE 1994 TM