Equine Affaire Press Room

11 06

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 4)

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

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

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

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.

Andreah Lytle & An Expensive Decision Yes

Brittany Mayer

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

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

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.

Jackie Rappel riding Quarter Horse gelding Becketts History Doc

Rob West

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.

Don’t fret if you missed parts 1-3! Click below to check them out:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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11 06

Top 8 Things to Do at Equine Affaire

What is special about Equine Affaire?

It’s the one place where horse people from all walks of equestrian life get together to share their knowledge and passion for horses in a non-competitive environment!  The horse world is as diverse and complex as any other, and horse people associated with different breeds and disciplines rarely have the opportunity to interact with one another.  Horse owners and competitors attend shows and events associated with their breeds and sports and have no venue other than Equine Affaire in which to learn about each other and share their expertise, experiences, and common passion for horses.

What is also unique about Equine Affaire is that it provides top horse men from different disciplines and different countries with the opportunity to meet each other—and to share their knowledge and training philosophies with young and aspiring horse people. At Equine Affaire backyard pleasure horse people can rub shoulders with the stars of the equestrian world—people to whom they would not otherwise have access.

Equine Affaire was created in 1993 to bridge the gaps—to bring horse people from all facets of the horse world together in an event focused on education.  The 2017 event in W. Springfield will be our 56th event. It is certainly a feather in the cap of the Springfield area as avid horse enthusiasts from throughout the Northeast and well beyond travel to the show to take advantage of the unparalleled educational, shopping, and equine entertainment opportunities. Within the horse world…there is nowhere else like Equine Affaire.

The Top Eight things to do at Equine Affaire:

  1. Check out the awesome horses.  There will be horses of dozens of breeds from around the world on exhibit in the Breed Pavilion in the Stroh Building and  the Horse & Farm Exhibits in C Barn. Breed associations will host demos throughout the weekend in the coliseum and Mallary arenas…showcasing the conformation, qualities, and talents of horses of each breed. Horses will also be available for up close and personal interaction in breed spotlights featured in the Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Mallary South. Affaire goers can see everything from miniatures to drafts and from stock horses to sport horses and gaited horses. Clinics throughout the weekend will also showcase a great variety of equestrian sports and horses and their riders honing their skills in those sports.

    Meeting an American Mustang in the Breed Pavilion
  2. Learn about horses and horsemanship from some of the foremost competitors, trainers, and equine professionals in the business. There will be more than 120 clinics, seminars, and demos featured throughout the weekend at arenas and stages scattered throughout the Eastern States Exposition. Sessions will be conducted by some of the foremost horse men and women in the equine world including Olympians, World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games participants, national and world champion competitors, Hall of Fame inductees, top trainers and judges, and well-known TV personalities.

    Julie Goodnight teaching a Ride With a Pro clinic
  3. Catch the action. Equine Affaire will feature their signature Versatile Horse & Rider Competition on Friday afternoon in the coliseum. Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider teams will race through obstacle courses designed to put their horses and horsemanship skills to the test while competing for $5500 in cash.  It’s great fun to watch—and educational all the same.  Get there early to get a good seat for this popular event within an event.

    Don’t miss the action on Friday afternoon!
  1. Be dazzled. Equine Affaire’s Fantasia on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights is the perfect ending to a perfect day at Equine Affaire.  This legendary musical celebration of the horse will feature top equine and equestrian performers from throughout the United States performing to a wide range of musical styles.  The Fantasia showcases the beauty, intelligence, and talent of horses of many breeds—and reminds us of why we find our four-legged friends so enchanting.

    You’ll be jumping for joy you didn’t miss this year’s Fantasia!
  2. Shop for all things horse and rider related. Equine Affaire’s trade show is the largest horse-related shopping opportunity in the East. Nearly 400 exhibitors will feature everything from tack, riding apparel, and the full range of horse necessities to fine equestrian art and jewelry, books, equine studies programs, and horseback riding vacations.  Shoppers can take a break from online browsing to actually see, touch, and try on items and speak to knowledgeable product representatives before investing.

    Shop ’til you drop!
  3. Buy a Horse. Visit C Barn and peruse the many horses that will be on display and for sale at the event. Look for the “For Sale” signs on stalls to identify what might be the perfect horse for you!
  4. Hone your skills. Those new to the horse world will find a wealth of basic information about horses in the Equine Fundamentals Forum—an area in the Mallary South dedicated to demos, displays, and video presentations to educate new riders and horse owners of all ages.

    Learn the basics at the Equine Fundamentals Forum
  5. Share your passion. Gather with family and friends to share your passion for horses and mingle with other folks who “speak horse.” You’ll have four full days to indulge yourself in all things horse-related.
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11 03

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 3)

London, OH, October 27, 2017–Do you have a favorite contestant yet for the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition? If not, don’t worry! Below are more introductions to the competitors that will compete on Friday, November 10 in the ultimate test of horsemanship!

Denise Anthony

Denise Anthony, of West Greenwich, RI, has owned her Draft/Warmblood cross for more than eight years. Denise and the 13-year-old mare regularly compete in hunter paces, schooling shows, and versatility challenges. They are also avid trail riders and have logged more than 880 miles for the West Greenwich Horsemen’s Association Mileage Program this year. This will be Denise and Angelina’s third time in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.

Denise Anthony atop Angelina

Erin Carey

Erin Cary, of Grantham, NH, has owned her Quarter Horse gelding, Time to Shine, or “Sonny”, for the past three years. Though he’s 26 years old, Sonny and Erin participate in parades and trail challenges regularly, and were named Reserve Champion at the New Hampshire Quarter Horse Association’s Trail Challenge in August 2017. Erin has long wanted to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, and is excited to ride Sonny is what may be his last big event before retirement.

Paige Garcia

Paige Garcia, of West Paris, ME, has been partnered with her 17-year-old Quarter Horse mare, Red Fury, for fifteen years. Paige started the mare when she bought her as a green 2-year-old, and they now compete in everything from dressage to roping to versatility challenges. They placed 3rd at last year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, and are hoping to have another successful trip at this year’s event.

Paige Garcia and long-time partner Red Fury

Peter Iannucci

Peter Iannucci, of Pleasant Valley, NY, has been riding his 13-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Cupid for seven years. Cupid came to Peter as a horse with a bad reputation for rearing and flipping over backwards. After years of training, Peter now has a trusted partner in Cupid, and even lets his grandson ride him. The pair also competes in western classes and trail/obstacle events.

Wayne Ormsbee

Wayne Ormsbee, of Plympton, MA, will be riding in this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition with Cricket, an 11-year old Quarter Horse mare. Wayne has been riding Cricket for more than five years, and the pair competes in team penning, ranch sorting, and versatility classes. They recently bested 74 other entries in a versatility competition to take home first place.

Lindsey Partridge

Though this will be her first time in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, Lindsey Partridge, a professional trainer from Ontario, Canada, is no stranger to versatility challenges. She and her OTTB, Trivia Time, a 7-year-old gelding, made waves last year with their unprecedented winning of two championship titles at the 2016 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover. Though their winning Freestyle round went viral, the pair also won that year’s Trail division. Since then, the pair has competed in various freestyle, extreme cowboy, and mountain trail events.

Lindsey Partridge with OTTB Trivia Time

Loretta Weber

Loretta Weber, of Burlington, NJ, is hard to miss in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition ring on her 7-year-old registered paint cremello stallion, Colonel Smoken Badger. A truly versatile pair, they compete in everything from hunter under saddle to reining classes. After a nail biting finish at last year’s Competition, they are excited to have another shot at the VHRC course this year.

We’ll have more competitors to introduce soon in our final installment of Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors!

If you missed parts 1 and 2, check them out by clicking on the links below:
Part 1
Part 2

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10 30

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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10 16

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 1)

London, OH, October 16, 2017–Welcome to the first of several segments highlighting this fall’s 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition competitors. The following highlights some of the individuals and their horses who will convene on Friday, November 10 at Equine Affaire for the ultimate test of horsemanship.

Erin Gendreau riding Dunitgoodtobeapepto

First up, meet Erin Gendreau, of Guilford, VT, who has been partnered with her 7-year-old QH mare Dunitgoodtobeapepto for the past year. In that time, they have competed in barrel racing, pole bending, and cow sorting events. In barrel racing, they have qualified for the Open 1D and 2D World Championships. They won the AQHA Region 6 Level 1 barrel racing and pole bending classes, and have qualified for AQHA Worlds in all levels of barrel racing and pole bending.

Ariana Gunderson with Shadow

Next we have Ariana Gunderson, of Meredith, NH, who has been partnered with her 17-year-old Mustang gelding, Shadow, for six years. The pair has competed in cowboy mounted shooting and western dressage. Recently, they won Adult Overall Champion at the 2017 Kaitlyne Wadman Mustang Makeover.

Katie Bogaert riding Mowgli

Katie Bogaert, of Meriden, MA has been riding her 4-year-old QH gelding Mowgli for almost year. Katie found him at auction and bought him with the intention of reselling him. However, Mowgli soon fell seriously ill and over the course of three months of recovery, Katie and Mowgli grew a very strong bond. Now that Mowgli is back to full health, the pair have been dabbling in dressage and western training.

Kristin Sweeney riding Fergie

Last in this installment is Kristin Sweeney, of Berlin, MA, who bought her 14-year-old Norwegian Fjord mare, Fergie, six years ago as a birthday present to herself. Since then, they have competed in numerous events at the beginner novice and advanced elementary level. The pair has also recently gotten into obstacle and versatility training.

Stay tuned to meet more of our competitors soon!

And in the meantime, purchase tickets to Equine Affaire to be sure you don’t miss the action: https://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/mass-attend/mass-tickets/


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