Equine Affaire Press Room

04 26

Equine Affaire in Ohio: Uniting, Elevating and Celebrating the Horse Industry

LONDON, OH, April 26, 2019 – As North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering, Equine Affaire celebrated another successful year at the Ohio Expo Center on April 11-14, 2019. Over the course of four days, tens of thousands of horse lovers enjoyed countless opportunities to shop for equine products, learn about the horse industry and engage with representatives from dozens of breed associations, barns and other equine organizations. Most of all, Equine Affaire offered attendees the opportunity to celebrate horses and the people who love and work with them. According to Sean Black of Absorbine, Equine Affaire engenders a sense of community that unites horse lovers of all ages.

“At Equine Affaire, you’re inside your own culture, whether you’re a casual horse lover or a serious competitor,” Sean said. “This is where all your people are, because you’re getting to be around other horse owners and the people you ride with on the weekends.”

From the Equine Fundamentals Forum with its hands-on exhibits to its robust clinic program, Equine Affaire promotes education for equestrians of all skill levels and disciplines. There were more than two hundred educational sessions, clinics and seminars on the schedule, including presentations from some of the world’s best horsemen and horsewomen. The clinicians included Guy McLean, Julie Goodnight, Steve Lantvit, Jason Irwin and Neil Davies, along with dozens of discipline-specific clinicians, from reining to driving to liberty. Showjumping clinician Candice King loves the educational mission of Equine Affaire because it’s all about supporting the horse.

“The most gratifying part of teaching at this event is when people come up to me and tell me they learned something, because I know they’ll take it back to their horses and help those horses become nice, safe horses to ride,” Candice said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the horses.”

As part of its mission to celebrate the horse industry, Equine Affaire partnered with multiple equine organizations to bring special programs to its event in Ohio, including the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride program and the Right Horse Initiative. The Time to Ride program provides new riders with their first riding experiences on seasoned lesson horses with the help of experienced instructors. Thanks to Time to Ride, attendees had the opportunity to experience their very first horseback rides at Equine Affaire in Ohio. Equine Affaire also hosted the Right Horse Adoption Fair in conjunction with the Right Horse Initiative, which featured dozens of adoptable horses of various breeds, ages and disciplines from several different rescue organizations.

“We loved the opportunity to host these special horses at Equine Affaire,” said Coagi Long, president of Equine Affaire. “It meant a lot to us to be able to provide these horses with the chance to find a new home, especially because we have so many horse lovers from so many walks of life at our event.”

Equine Affaire also hosted its annual Versatility Horse & Rider Competition on Friday, April 12, judged by Jason Irwin and announced by Steve Lantvit. During the competition, twenty-three horse-and-rider pairs competed for more than $5,500 in prize money. Competitors raced the clock while tackling such challenging activities as batting a large ball out of a child’s pool with a broom, retrieving a flag, crossing a narrow wooden bridge, and leading their blindfolded horses through a short course. Seasoned VHRC competitor Brenda Hanson clinched the championship with her 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, PVF Frosted Ace. The pair scored 65 points and finished the course in 4 minutes and 55 seconds. The 2018 champions, Jason Charles and Ms Whiz It, took second place with a score of 64. Jason also earned third place with Colonel Smoken Badger, owned by Loretta Weber, with a score of 62.5 points.

“The thing I like the most about Equine Affaire is the Versatility Competition,” said Ginger Trautwein, an attendee from Orchard Park, NY. “It’s such a challenge for the horses and the riders, and it’s always different. I think the toughest obstacle involved sweeping the big ball out of the pool, but the one that surprised me the most was the blindfolding of the horses. That was something I’d never seen before.”

On Saturday and Sunday, youth competitors (ages 12-19) representing teams from 15 states competed in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s Western Semi-Finals competition. The young riders competed in reining and horsemanship classes, and riders who qualified at the competition earned the opportunity to compete at the National Finals in Oklahoma City, OK, in June 2019.

In between competitions and clinics, attendees had the opportunity to tour the barns and the Breed Pavilion to learn about different and unusual breeds of horses. Michele Sumner, a breed exhibitor from Brunswick, Ohio, hosted a booth in the Breed Pavilion with her 3-year-old Gypsy Vanner mare, Sugar Hill Ailish West.

“Equine Affaire is horse heaven,” Michele said. “I love the camaraderie and I love seeing all the breeds that are here in the Breed Pavilion. A lot of people don’t know what a Gypsy Vanner is, for example, so this is a chance for them to interact with the horses, learn about them, and create a love for a new breed that they might want to buy later on. It’s the highlight of my year to come to Equine Affaire.”

Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s beloved musical celebration of the horse, returned for three exceptional performances, Thursday through Saturday. Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia featured a variety of acts designed to showcase the beauty, grace, and power of the horse, from Ambra Andrine’s incredible aerial and equine liberty performance to Shawn Drentwett’s magical costumed ride to Kellie Rettinger of Whispery Pines Percherons’ Wonder Woman act. Each evening ended with a comedic liberty routine by renowned Australian stockman Guy McLean and his famous herd of beloved horses.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors, including Absorbine, US Equestrian, Cosequin, Farnam, Rod’s, Cashman’s, and Wahl, as well as many others. For more of the magic that is Equine Affaire, plan to attend Equine Affaire in Massachusetts on November 7-10, 2019, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. For additional details, schedules, exciting announcements, and more, bookmark equineaffaire.com. We’ll see you in Massachusetts!

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04 12

Brenda Hanson Wins Versatile Horse & Rider Competition

Seasoned VHRC competitor Brenda Hanson clinched this year’s “Champion” title at the Ohio Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! Brenda and her 7-year-old quarter horse gelding PVF Frosted Ace scored 65 points and finished the course in 4 minutes and 55 seconds. This pair has earned Reserve Champion at this competition in years past, but this is their first Champion ribbon at the VHRC!

Brenda and Ace in the winners’ circle with (left to right) emcee Steve Lantvit, judge Jason Irwin, and Equine Affaire President Coagi Long

Second place was awarded to Jason Charles and Ms Whiz It, trailing by just one point with a score of 64. Jason also earned third place, on Loretta Weber’s Colonel Smoken Badger with 62.5. Scoring 59.5 points to finish fourth was Martin Schwartz on Guy Gene Cutshaw’s Show Me Sterling. Rounding out the top five in fifth place was Tammy Burgard aboard WR Classic Whiskey with 57.5 points.

And for those of you that might be wondering about competitor Britiny Spangler, who took an unplanned dismount during the competition, we have heard that she has been cleared by the EMTs and is doing fine.

Full placings for the competition are listed below:


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04 08

Meet the VHRC Competitors: Part 4

Martin Schwartz

Horse: Show Me Sterling (aka “Sterling”), 9-year-old Appaloosa gelding

Two-time champions Martin and Sterling will return to defend their title at the 2019 VHRC! Sterling’s owner, Guy Cutshaw, is unable to ride so he takes great joy in watching Sterling’s success with Martin. Guy has raised and cared for Sterling since he was an 8-month-old colt and looks forward to watching this stellar pair compete once again in the VHRC.

Martin Schwartz and Show Me Sterling

Britiny Spangler

Horse: Peaches, 12-year-old AQHA mare

Britiny and Peaches have been a team for 5 years. Peaches was not broke to ride until Britiny started working with her at the age of 7. During their time together, they have been training with fellow VHRC competitor Brenda Hanson of Hanson Horse Training.

Britiny Spangler and Peaches

Alex Tyson

Horse: Chex My Loaded Gun, 9-year-old AQHA mare

This team has been together for 3 years. Together they compete in working equitation. In 2018, they were the WE United Region 5 Level 3 Champions and third place in Level 2 for their season overall.

Alex Tyson and Chex My Loaded Gun

Loretta Weber

Horse: Shining Gold Badger (“Badger”), 9-year-old APHA gelding

Loretta and Badger have been a team for 6 years. In that time they have trained and competed in all-around English and western, ranch riding, trail, and basic dressage. With many accomplishments in the past six years, such as champion of the day at open shows and 1st place in the open division at the Patriotic Trail Challenge, they’re ready to tackle the VHRC!

Kat Wiegand

Horse: Spence Farms Shadow Dancer (aka “Gracie”), 9-year-old Drum horse mare

Kat started out showing in 4H as a teen, and a few years ago quit her job as a Cost Estimator in the automotive industry to focus on her true passion – breeding, showing, and selling horses with her husband. Kat started Gracie under saddle at the age of 8 years old, just over a year ago! Gracie is a quick learner with an eager personality and has excelled in halter and rail classes but seems to love tackling obstacles the most.

Kat Wiegand and Spence Farms Shadow Dancer
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04 01

Meet the VHRC Competitors: Part 3

Eddie Landry

Horse: Tejons Shadow Bar (aka “Cielo”), 7-year-old AQHA mare

Coming off a very successful show season earning two buckles in different ranch show series, this team will be partaking in their 5th Equine Affaire event. In the past, they’ve competed in VHRC and also participated in Equine Affaire clinics. Eddie has studied and brought Cielo up through the vaquero tradition and looks to learn and improve every year.

Wendy Montgomery

Horse: SF Distinguished Gentleman (aka “Rocky”), 13-year-old Rocky Mountain gelding

Rocky and Wendy have been together for 10 years and have competed in obstacle challenges for 6 years. They are returning competitors and placed 8th at last year’s VHRC. With many championships under their belts, including Smoky Mountain Trail Amateur Champion, IMTCA Adult Level 2 & 3 Region Champions, and 2nd place RMHA Versatile Horse of the Year, Wendy is aiming for a win at this year’s VHRC!


Wendy Montgomery and SF Distinguished Gentleman

Angela Morse

Horse: Bliss, 15-year-old Quarter Horse mare

Angela and Bliss have been together for 3 years. Together they compete in ranch riding, reining, and jumping at the open level. They have also won high point awards with the Southern Ohio Quarter Pony Association. This will be their first year competing at the VHRC.

Miranda Roesel

Horse: Shamrock, 5-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Miranda and Shamrock have been a team for just a year and a half, and Shamrock will be the youngest horse in this year’s VHRC! Together they have been participating in ranch riding at open shows with placings in ranch pleasure, trail, and ranch riding.

Sheryl Sheffler

Horse: Real Peppy Hank (aka “Hank”), 24-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Sheryl describes Hank as her “once in a lifetime super horse.” They’ve been partners for more than 14 years, and have competed in Working Cow Horse events, Team Penning/Sorting, Contesting, Trail Challenges, and more. Hank also gives therapeutic rides to special needs riders. Hank is the oldest horse competing in this year’s VHRC, and this will be his last year of competition before living out the rest of his retirement days in a spacious pasture with his four “girlfriends.”

Sheryl Sheffler and Real Peppy Hank
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03 27

Meet the VHRC Competitors: Part 2

Jason Charles

Horses: Colonel Smoken Badger (aka “Smoke”), 9-year-old APHA stallion & Ms Whiz It, 10-year-old Quarter Horse mare

Multiple-time VHRC champion Jason Charles will be competing on two horses at this year’s event. “Smoke,” owned by fellow competitor Loretta Weber, has taken home blue ribbons in several judged trail rides, has APHA points in multiple disciplines, and placed 2nd in last year’s VHRC in Ohio. Ms Whiz It, who Jason has had since she was 2 years old, competes in reining and other western disciplines, works as a lesson horse, and won last fall’s VHRC in Massachusetts.

Jason Charles and Ms Whiz It during their winning run at the 2018 VHRC in Massachusetts

Kristin Fouty

Horse: Dun Got It Goin On (aka “Boo”), 13-year-old Paint gelding

This pair has been together for 11 years. They compete in multiple disciplines, including roping, hunt seat, dressage, and rodeo as well as participating in parades. Boo is the first horse Kristin broke herself, and has since also taken multiple youth to the winner’s circle in 4H and open shows. Kristin is a carded judge for Michigan 4H and Open shows and will be competing this year for her third time in the VHRC.

Kristin Fouty and Dun Got It Goin

Marc Gellart

Horse: Red River Banjo (aka “Red”), 10-year-old AQHA gelding

Marc has been riding Red River Banjo for 3 years, competing in reining and ranch riding. Red’s lifetime NRHA earnings have totaled over $25,000! Last year they qualified for the AQHA World Show in Senior Ranch Riding, Amateur Ranch Riding, and Amateur Reining. This will be the pair’s second year in a row competing in the VHRC.

Marc Gellart and Red River Banjo

Brenda Hanson

Horse: PVF Frosted Ace, 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Brenda and Ace have been a team for 4 years and compete ranch horse/obstacle competitions. They are two-time VHRC reserve champions and have also placed 3rd and 4th in past VHRC competitions. They’ve won many year-end awards and close to $10,000 in obstacle competitions!

Brenda Hanson and PVF Frosted Ace

Anna Kowal

Horse: JD Sambo’s Flame (aka “Flame”), 10-year-old Rocky Mountain mare

When Anna got Flame four years ago, she had only been ridden three times. Since then, this pair has competed in gaited, English, western, and trail obstacle classes in 4H, open, and breed shows. They also competed in last year’s VHRC. Anna is currently a student at Asbury University in Kentucky and studies Equine Science. She and Flame have been training there with Jesse Westfall since last August.

Anna Kowal and JD Sambo’s Flame
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