Equine Affaire Press Room

11 22

Equine Affaire in Massachusetts Celebrates Another Year of Elevating the Equestrian Experience

For horse lovers, nothing kicks off the holiday season like celebrating a successful Equine Affaire in Massachusetts. On November 7-10, 2019, the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield played host to the 22nd annual Equine Affaire in Massachusetts.

As North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering, Equine Affaire is a bucket-list destination for thousands of horse lovers, equestrian experts and equine businesses from across the United States and beyond. From the buzz of the trade show floor to the hustle and bustle of clinics and the happy hum of the barns, the event offered something special for equine enthusiasts of all ages.

“Equine Affaire is very professional and organized, and their volunteers are exceptional,” said Chris Cox of Chris Cox Horsemanship, who presented multiple clinics and sessions on general horsemanship at this year’s event. “They create a little bit of something for everyone here. Coming to an event like this for the price, you can see a lot of great horsemen and horsewomen in different disciplines. You just can’t beat it.”

This year’s event hosted more than 150 sessions with the industry’s leading horsemen and horsewomen, including Chris Cox, Julie Goodnight, Dan James, Steve Lantvit and Jason Irwin. Equestrian experts from around the world presented on topics such as dressage, eventing, show jumping, barrel racing, driving, hunters, western dressage, hunter under saddle, gaited horses, saddle seat, sidesaddle, and more.

Many of the clinics featured riders and horses who had been selected for Equine Affaire’s Ride with a Pro program, which invites individuals to apply to ride with experts at clinics during the event. Equine Affaire attendee Jade Warren participated in one of Julie Goodnight’s clinics, and said she came away with helpful exercises that she plans to continue using at home with her horse.

“What I appreciated most about Julie’s teaching style was her gentleness,” Jade said. “It really helped me out a lot that she was so calm and willing and able to help with whatever I needed. If you’re on the fence about applying for a future Ride With A Pro opportunity, my advice is to do it! You only live once.”

Between clinics, attendees browsed acres of equine-themed shopping at the east coast’s largest horse-related trade show. From gleaming horse trailers to fun equine-themed board games, there were goods of almost every kind available for purchase, including tack, apparel, jewelry, horse feed samples and plenty more. Many clinicians and presenters also hosted their own booths in the trade show, where visitors could ask questions, buy products, request autographs and more.

“I’m here all day in my booth answering questions and looking at pictures of people’s horses and hearing their stories,” Julie Goodnight said. “At Equine Affaire, you get to interact face-to-face with people you might never otherwise have a chance to see. The same is true of the vendors. We have a lot of pharmaceuticals, a lot of veterinary products and nutritional products. You can get very educated in these trade shows. If I have a question about building a stall or figuring out what I want in a horse trailer, I can come to a trade show like this and compare all the different kinds of horse trailers. There’s a lot of value to events like Equine Affaire.”

In addition to the clinics and the trade show, special events took place each day during Equine Affaire. Whispery Pines Percherons offered a brand-new activity called Drive A Draft, where visitors learned firsthand how to drive a massive Percheron horse. Attendees also had the chance to ride one of the nation’s most versatile horse breeds at the Ride A Morgan event. Another new event this year was created especially for veterans and first responders. Equine Affaire partnered with BINA Farm to offer A Horse for Heroes, which gave veterans and other heroes the opportunity to interact with a horse for the first time and experience the magical bond between horse and human.

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition took place on Friday in the Coliseum, featuring 25 horse-and-rider pairs who vied with each other for the top prize of $2,500 and the honor of being named the 2019 Versatile Horse and Rider Champion. Judged by Chris Cox and announced by Steve Lantvit, the competition featured a daunting obstacle course specially designed to test the communication between horse and rider. Riders asked their horses to leap a series of small jumps, carry a barrel from one end of the arena to another, drag a parachute, execute a tight turn atop a small platform, and many other challenging maneuvers.

Danelle Osinchuk of Springfield, Vermont, and her horse, a 19-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding named Slip Me A Dual Pep, took home top honors with a score of 58 points and a time of 5 minutes and 9 seconds.

“The VHRC is a competition that encompasses asking you to know a little bit from all of the different disciplines,” Danelle reflected. “You might have to jump, you might have to spin, who knows. I like trying to prepare my horse for something where you don’t necessarily really know what to expect.”

Danelle and “Magic” have competed multiple times in the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, but this year marks their first win.

“I really, really love this event and I look forward to it,” Danelle said. “I would encourage anyone to try it out. I don’t make a living training horses, I don’t keep my horse with a trainer, and I have three young kids. If I can work my way to the top, I am sure many others can, too. I’ve enjoyed the journey and the camaraderie that has come with it.”

Finally, no day at Equine Affaire is quite complete unless you’ve experienced the beauty and wonder of the Fantasia. Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse featured a variety of horse-themed acts, each one filled with the special kind of magic that only horses can bring. Ambra Andrine rallied her Arabian horses to create a fabulous equestrian ballet, complete with aerial acrobatics and dance. World-renowned horseman Dan James performed his award-winning freestyle routine atop the stallion, Don Magnum. Lisa Dufresne performed in two acts: first, she appeared in a series of stunning costumes with her beautiful Friesian, Flip; and second, she performed with a lovable team of six miniature stallions, each costumed like a lion cub. Hope Cooper executed a stunning dressage freestyle with her horse, Hot Chocolate W, and Tribe Ermes had the audience perched on the edge of their seats with their fabulous vaulting routine. The dueling draft horse hitches of Morrisville College and Whispery Pines Percherons, a Wild West show with Austin Anderson, Chelsea Fisher and Trevor Draher, and the Crimson Acres Glory Riders Drill Team rounded out an already fabulous evening. For the big finale, a team of Icelandic horses and riders literally set the arena on fire in a stunning display of horsemanship, speed and song during their Tribute to Throstur.

Equine Affaire is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors, including Absorbine, sponsor of Fantasia; US Equestrian, sponsor of the Coliseum Arena; Cosequin, sponsor of the Equine Fundamentals Forum; Farnam, sponsor of the Courtesy Shopping Bag; Horizon Structures, the official barn of Equine Affaire; Horze Equestrian, the official apparel of Equine Affaire; GGT, sponsor of the Mallary & Young Arenas; Wahl, official clipper of Equine Affaire; and Nutrena, sponsor of the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition.

For more information about Equine Affaire, visit equineaffaire.com or call the Equine Affaire office at (740) 845-0085, any time between 9am and 5pm EST, Monday through Friday. Thanks for joining us, and we hope to see you again next year!

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11 14

Danelle Osinchuk Wins the 2019 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition in Massachusetts!

Left to Right: Champions Slip Me A Dual Pep & Danelle Osinchuk, Equine Affaire President Coagi Long, VHRC Judge Chris Cox

Congratulations to the 2019 MA Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion, Danelle Osinchuk riding Slip Me A Dual Pep! Reserve Champion went to Melissa Ellis and Steep Way Cosmo Girl. Third place was Jason Charles and Ms. Whiz It, with fourth place to Brenda Hanson and Ace. Rounding out the top five was Jackie Rappel and Becketts Hickory Doc. See below for full results. Congratulations to all of our competitors, and a big thank you to our sponsor – Nutrena!

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11 04

Get to Know the 2019 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 4)

Our final installment of rider profiles for the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena, is below. Who will you be rooting for?

Stephanie Speers

Horse: Leap of Faith (aka “Faith”), 22-year-old Haflinger mare

When Stephanie acquired Faith 9 years ago she was barely saddle broke. Since then, they have had many adventures – training cross country, competing in Road Hack in the Hunter ring, beach and trail riding, and even visiting local nursing homes, birthday parties, and fairs. Stephanie has been riding and training horses for over 25 years and looks forward to testing her and Faith’s skills at this year’s VHRC.

Carly Wade

Horse: Docs Hot to Handle (aka “Lizz”, 10-year-old Quarter Horse mare

Carly is a recent graduate with a degree in Ag Production Systems with a specialty in Equine Management from Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, where she and her horse Lizz competed on the NCTA Ranch Team and earned the 2017 CSU Silver Jubilee All Around Champion Collegiate Novice buckle. She also completed a 12-week farrier program in Oklahoma, worked for a cow-horse trainer in Wyoming, and currently works trimming, training, and transporting horses. They are truly a “been-there-done-that” pair, and we look forward to their debut in the VHRC!

Loretta Rose Weber (2 horses)

Horses: Colonel Smoken Badger (aka “Smoke”), 9-year-old APHA Paint/PtHA Pinto stallion & Shining Gold Badger (aka “Badger”), 9-year-old APHA Paint/Pinto gelding

Loretta will be hard to miss on her flashy Paint/Pinto horses at this year’s competition. They are no strangers to the VHRC with both horses having competed in previous years and Smoke with multiple top 3 finishes. Loretta and her horses are truly all-around competitors and compete in western and English disciplines, including halter, horsemanship, ranch and trail classes, hunter hack, gymkhana, and western dressage.



Loretta Rose Weber & Shining Gold Badger
Loretta Rose Weber & Colonel Smoken Badger

Carolyn Weeks

Horse: Mr. Spoc, 7-year-old Mustang gelding

Carolyn and Mr. Spoc have been working together and showing at local shows and versatility challenges for the last 5 years. At their VHRC debut last year, they were just 2 points outside of the top 10. They have been working very hard this summer to improve their skills are aiming to break into the top 5 at this year’s competition.

Carolyn Weeks & Mr. Spoc

Rob West

Horse: Lori Darlin, 4-year-old Mustang mare

Just 6 short months ago, Lori Darlin was a wild mustang. Rob has been training her and working to overcome fears and tackle obstacles, and the two have grown to be trusting partners. She can now be ridden in shows and alongside traffic, and has even been brought into Rob’s home and climbed a flight of stairs upon request. Rob claims there isn’t much Lori Darlin won’t do if asked, and we can’t wait to see how they perform together in this year’s VHRC!

Rob West’s Lori Darlin


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11 03

Equine Affaire Podcast #5

In this edition of Equine Affaire, we talk to Christie Schulte Kappert of The Right Horse Initiative. Christie is the program manager for the WaterShed Animal Fund’s equine initiative, the Right Horse Initiative.

If you’re interested in adoption, click here to learn about our Adoption Affaire at the upcoming Massachusetts Equine Affaire. General admission tickets to Equine Affaire (available online here) include admission to the Adoption Affaire and all other specialty pavilions along with the hundreds of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations scheduled for November 7-10 at the Eastern States Exposition!

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11 02

Get to Know the 2019 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 3)

Read about our next set of riders for the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena, below!

Matt Lovejoy

Horse: Twilight Smarty 313 (aka “Jewel”), 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare

Matt was raised on an Arabian horse farm in West Virginia and began his professional horsemanship career at the age of 24. He has worked and trained under 14 world champion trainers in various disciplines including reining, reined cow horse, cutting, pleasure, roping, endurance racing, and ranch work. Matt has won 7 buckles and earned himself the nickname “Cowboy Matt.” Matt specializes in “problem” horses and acquired Jewel after she had bucked off her previous owner one too many times. In just 5 months, Jewel has proven herself to be a confident and capable mount, and Matt looks forward to showing off her versatility in the VHRC.

Matt Lovejoy & Twilight Smarty 313

Symphonie Nadeau

Horse: Invited by Krymsun (aka “Onyx”), 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Symphonie has a solid equestrian background with 31 years of experience competing and training horses in different countries and working with Olympic and international clinicians. She has won several titles, including the provincial finals of the Quebec Extreme Cowboy Association in the Open Pro division.

Danelle Osinchuk

Horse: Slip Me A Dual Pep (aka “Magic”), 19-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Danelle and Magic have been a team for 10 years, and together have competed in cutting events, stock horse shows, and versatility events. Magic was bred and trained for cutting and reining. They have won amateur and open year-end championships in The New England Stock Horse Series and placed in the top 5 multiple times in the VHRC.

Danelle Osinchuk & Slip Me A Dual Pep

Jackie Rappel

Horse: Becketts Hickory Doc (“Roanie”), 19-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Jackie and Roanie have been competing together in reined cow horse and the VHRC for four years. They’ve placed as high as 4th and had multiple top 10 finishes. Although Jackie sold Roanie to friends about a year ago and he is now semi-retired, Jackie still rides him once a month and plans to continue competing with him at the VHRC every year as long as he’s still up for the challenge.

Jackie Rappel & Becketts Hickory Doc

Laura Ryan

Horse: Doctor’s Peppy’s Lena (aka “Jewel”), 17-year-old Quarter Horse mare

East meets west with this pair! Laura is from New York, and her mount Jewel was born in Texas before being acquired in a stableman’s lien. For the last 11 years, they have participated in western versatility, trail, and ranch horse competitions. This will be their VHRC debut.

Martin Schwartz

Horse: Show Me Sterling (aka “Sterling”), 10-year-old Appaloosa gelding

Martin and Sterling have proven their abilities time and again in the VHRC, winning back-to-back champion titles in 2017 and 2018. Because of Sterling’s owner’s back troubles, he cannot ride – so Martin has taken the reins for the past six years and Sterling has truly blossomed under him. We can’t wait to see how these two perform at this year’s competition!

Martin Schwartz & Show Me Sterling
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