Equine Affaire Press Room

07 19


W. SPRINGFIELD, MA, July 19, 2023 – Life’s too short to sit on the sidelines – especially if you’re an equestrian! If you’ve been waiting for a sign that it’s finally time to bring your horse with you to Equine Affaire, this is it. Pack your saddle bags and join us at the 25th Equine Affaire in Massachusetts this fall, happening November 9-12, 2023, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Whether you want to ride in a clinic, compete for cash, or both, there’s a chance for you to ride at Equine Affaire this year!

Make strides toward your goals in the saddle, on the ground, or behind the cart through Ride With a Pro! Sponsored by Fair Hill Saddlery, the Ride With a Pro program connects equestrians like you with professional coaches, trainers, instructors, and industry experts who can help guide you and your horse in the pursuit of excellence. Mark your calendars and apply by September 8 for the opportunity to participate in a clinic at North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering.

Whether you’re struggling to master a particular skill, hoping to explore a new discipline, or looking for ways to boost your confidence in the saddle, there’s a RWAP clinic for you. This fall’s class of clinicians includes a wide range of equestrian professionals with a multitude of different teaching styles and perspectives, representing more than a dozen different disciplines. If you’ve always dreamed of riding like a pro, you’ve got to Ride With a Pro! Here’s who you can apply to ride with at Equine Affaire this fall:

Jason Irwin…Colt Starting

Steffen Peters…Dressage

Jean McDonald…Dressage

Stacey Giere…Driving

Carl Bledsoe…Easy Gaited Horses

Jim Masterson…Equine Bodywork

Marty Whittle…Equi Yoga

Phillip Dutton…Eventing

Mike Major…General Training & Horsemanship

Julie Goodnight… General Training & Horsemanship

Brandi Lyons… General Training & Horsemanship

Jason Irwin… General Training & Horsemanship

Chelsea Canedy… General Training & Horsemanship

Andrew Welles…Hunter/Jumper

Mark Bolender…Mountain Trail

Bronwyn Irwin…Pole Bending

Greg Robinson…Ranch Horse Versatility

Lynn Newton…Western Dressage

Anyone 12 years and older is welcome to apply. Since all clinics will be happening at Equine Affaire, applicants should feel comfortable and confident enough in their abilities to ride (or drive) in front of a crowd. For more details on clinic topics, review the 2023 RWAP Clinic Summary Packet, available here: https://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/mass-participate/mass-ride-in-clinics/mass-ride-with-a-pro/. Each clinic summary includes the time and date of the clinic, the topic, and details on whether the clinician is looking for horses and riders with specific skills or issues. All applicants should be prepared to submit an application video, an application form, bio, and photo. Each clinic costs $105, which includes participation in the clinic, admission to Equine Affaire on the day of the clinic, twenty-four hours of stabling, and a free T-shirt. To apply, visit equineaffaire.com (click “Participate,” then “Ride With a Pro”) or you can contact Lori Helsel at LHelsel@equineaffaire.com. All applications are due by September 8, and all applicants will be notified of their selection status by October 13.

Calling all veterans, active duty, and first responders! We have a special opportunity for you this fall at Equine Affaire. We’re partnering with Operation Horses and Heroes, Inc., to bring you “A Horse for Heroes,” which is a chance for you (and your families) to experience the effects of equine-assisted activities and therapies on two different days at Equine Affaire: Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11. In the past, we’ve asked participants to sign up for this activity on site at the event; this year, we’re inviting you to apply with our RWAP applicants. There is no clinic fee for this interactive activity, but you will need to submit an application and a bio form to LHelsel@equineaffaire.com. Be sure to visit the RWAP page on our website, as outlined in the paragraph above, to apply.

Are you looking for an extra special kind of thrill this fall? If you and your horse love a challenge, apply to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition! Open to riders from any discipline and horses of all breeds, the “VHRC” is a timed and judged race through an obstacle course that will test your horsemanship skills as well as your ability to communicate with your horse. This year, the VHRC will take place on Friday, November 10, in the Coliseum at the Eastern States Expo. Many will apply, but only 25 horse-and-rider pairs will be accepted. The first-place winner will receive $2,500 in cash, a champion rosette, and the coveted title of Equine Affaire Versatile Horse & Rider Champion! Second through fourth places will also receive cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000, and $500, respectively, and rosettes, while fifth through tenth places will receive rosettes. Start prepping your application materials today! Visit equineaffaire.com (click “Participate,” then “Versatile Horse & Rider”) to fill out your application form, sign a copy of the VHRC rules, and learn about how to submit an application video. The entry fee is $360 with applications due by September 8. For questions, contact Coagi Long at CLong@equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire is proud to celebrate its 25th event in Massachusetts, happening November 9-12, 2023, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Tickets for Equine Affaire and for Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse, are on sale now at equineaffaire.com. Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges its sponsors: Absorbine, US Equestrian, GGT Footing, Horizon Structures, Fair Hill Saddlery, Tribute Equine Nutrition, and Triple Crown Nutrition. To learn more about our event, visit our website (www.equineaffaire.com), follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We’ll see you at Equine Affaire!

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07 07


W. SPRINGFIELD, MA, July 7, 2023 – Join us at the Eastern States Exposition this November as Equine Affaire in Massachusetts celebrates its sterling anniversary in the Bay State! In 1994, Equine Affaire debuted its flagship event in Ohio. Four years later, buoyed by the excitement and loyalty of our fans, the expo expanded to New England, launching the first ever Equine Affaire in Massachusetts at the Eastern States Expo in November of 1998. Now, 25 years later, North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering is primed to celebrate a very special jubilee – and you’re all invited!

Journey to Massachusetts with us on November 9-12, 2023, for Equine Affaire’s silver anniversary event. Filled with all the features you’ve come to know and love, plus tons of new surprises, there’s something special waiting for every horse lover at Equine Affaire. Elevate your equestrian experience with clinics, sessions, and demonstrations; interactive exhibits; world-class shopping; hands-on activities; themed pavilions; exciting competitions for horses and people; watch parties; stellar evening entertainment, and so much more! If you love horses, Equine Affaire is the expo for you.

Tickets for this unmissable equestrian extravaganza and for Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse, go on sale on July 12 via equineaffaire.com. Adult tickets to the expo are $18 per day or $55 for a four-day pass (that’s a savings of $17!); children’s tickets are $10 per day for ages 7-10; and children six and under get in for free. Hours for the expo are from 9 am to 7 pm, Thursday through Saturday, and from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday. General admission includes entry to the largest equine-related trade show in the east; numerous theme pavilions, exhibits, and special activities; competitions; and all horse clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. Separate tickets are required for Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s companion nighttime show, and range in price from $16-$27. Sponsored by Absorbine®, Fantasia will run for three performances only on November 9, 10, and 11. Doors open for seating at 6:45 pm. The show begins at 7:30 pm and will last for approximately two hours with one 15-minute intermission. On July 12, get your tickets at https://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/mass-attend/mass-tickets/.

For almost three decades, Equine Affaire has built its reputation around providing education and entertainment for every equestrian. No matter your discipline, level of experience, or area of interest, there’s something horse-related for you to learn, enjoy, or celebrate at this event. Are you ready for a sneak preview of the 25th Equine Affaire in Massachusetts?

Equine Affaire is proud to announce an exceptional coterie of the horse industry’s best and brightest stars, including general horsemanship and training clinicians Mike Major, Julie Goodnight, Jason Irwin, Brandi Lyons, and Chelsea Canedy! Eager for help with a specific discipline? Look for Phillip Dutton (eventing); Steffen Peters and Jeanne McDonald (dressage); Andrew Welles (hunter/jumper); Greg Robinson (ranch horse versatility); Mark Bolender (mountain trail); Stacy Giere (driving); Bronwyn Irwin (pole bending); Lynn Newton (Western dressage); Carl Bledsoe (easy gaited); Jim Masterson (equine bodywork); Marty Whittle (rider biomechanics); Copper Hill Vaulting Team (vaulting); and many more to be announced. Hundreds of educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations will take place around the clock across multiple arenas throughout the event. We recommend coming for the whole weekend so you can catch sessions with all your favorite horsey celebrities! Details on the expo’s celebrated Ride with a Pro program, sponsored by Fair Hill Saddlery, will be announced soon. Applications and information on how you can ride with the pro of your choice at the event will be posted at https://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/mass-participate/mass-ride-in-clinics/mass-ride-with-a-pro/.

No horse expo is complete without horses, of course. Come meet and greet with horses of all different shapes, sizes, breeds, colors, and disciplines in the Breed Pavilion and the Horse & Farm Exhibits during Equine Affaire. Whether you live for the elegance and grace of the Friesian, enjoy thrilling to the curls of a Bashkir Curly, or want to lose your heart to an Icelandic Horse, plan to wander the stalls and exhibits from end to end to meet them all. And if you’re looking for your next best friend or riding partner, check out the Adoption Affaire, presented in partnership with the ASPCA Right Horse, as well as the Horses for Sale.

Interested in competing? Applications for the fan-favorite Versatile Horse and Rider Competition will be posted online soon! With $5,500 in cash and other prizes at stake, the VHRC is going to be one exciting race – and there are just 25 spots available to ride. Brush up on your horsemanship skills, practice with your favorite obstacles (and a few new ones!), and start planning ahead for your chance to race the clock in the Coliseum. Or if you aren’t planning to bring your own horse, there’s a brand-new opportunity to win prizes and bragging rights at Equine Affaire – no horse required. Compete in the first annual Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge, a fun way for barn yard Olympians to test their mettle and show off their strength and skills in front of all their friends. Look for more details on this hilarious new offering on our website, coming soon!

We know our most diehard fans love to shop, so of course, we have a tremendous trade show planned for our 25th anniversary. Featuring some of the biggest names in the industry, our trade show is the perfect place to meet and greet with representatives from Absorbine, US Equestrian, GGT Footing, Horizon Structures, Fair Hill Saddlery, Saddle Up Clothing Company, Poulin Grain, Smartpak, Spalding Fly Predators, The Impeccable Equerry, The Certified Horsemanship Association, Straight Arrow Products, Boehringer Ingelheim, Mainline Fence, The English Saddler, The Equestrian Collection, and hundreds more. Shop and show your support to all our incredible vendors, then pay a visit to the Marketplace Consignment Shop, where equestrians just like you can consign their gently used horsey goods.

Oh, and did we mention Fantasia? Equine Affaire’s musical nighttime show, sponsored by Absorbine, will feature an incredible line-up of equine and equestrian performers. Spend the day at the expo, then settle in for an evening of entertainment with such stars as the Pegasus Trick Riders, Bobby Kerr, the Friesian Heritage Drill Team, Melissa Barnett, and many more!

There are plenty of additional reasons to attend Equine Affaire, including interactive activities with horses, networking with equine professionals, learning opportunities for new riders and new horse owners, and lots more anniversary surprises to come! Stay tuned to our social media channels (FB/IG/Twitter: @equineaffaire) and to our website at equineaffaire.com for announcements in the months to come.

Ready to plan your pilgrimage to Massachusetts? Visit equineaffaire.com to stay apprised of all the latest news (remember to select the “Massachusetts” event) and to find a list of our host hotels.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges its sponsors: Absorbine, US Equestrian, GGT Footing, Horizon Structures, Fair Hill Saddlery, Tribute Equine Nutrition, and Triple Crown Nutrition. To learn more about our event, visit our website (www.equineaffaire.com), follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We’ll see you at Equine Affaire!

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05 02


LONDON, OH, May 2, 2023 — On April 13-16, the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus overflowed with horses and horse-lovers as tens of thousands gathered to honor and participate in the 28th annual Equine Affaire! Long celebrated as North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering, Equine Affaire provides the perfect platform for equine enthusiasts to gather and celebrate all things horse through learning, riding, networking, interactive activities, entertainment opportunities, shopping, and more.

“As we move steadily closer towards our 30th anniversary in Ohio, we’re honored to continue to serve the horse industry as a premier event,” said Coagi Long, president and owner of Equine Affaire. “Equine Affaire was founded in 1993 by Eugenia Snyder and held its first event in Dayton in 1994. It’s incredible to look back and see our rich history unfold as we’ve grown, developed, survived a worldwide pandemic, and then come back just as strong. We’re thankful for all the people, organizations, associations, and horses who continue to help make our events grand year after year.”

Every year, Equine Affaire fills four days at the Ohio Expo Center to their fullest with hundreds of educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations; world-class equine shopping avenues; championship competitions; exhibits; interactive activities; and countless opportunities for visitors to meet and greet with horses and to connect with a host of elite industry professionals. The first three nights of the event also feature the Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s beloved musical celebration of the horse. Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia is a nighttime show filled with incredible performances by some of the nation’s most exciting equine and equestrian performers. Read on for a recap of highlights from this year’s event, and find out how you can join us next time.


This year’s event was filled – naturally! – with horses. From colossal Percherons to adorable mini-Gypsy Cobs, horses of practically every size, shape, breed, and color filled the buildings, barns, and arenas as they participated in clinics and breed demos, represented their breed associations in the Breed Pavilion and Horse and Farm Exhibits, met potential new owners through the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Affaire, or introduced people to the magic of horses through hands-on activities and meet-and-greets.

One of Equine Affaire’s primary goals is to produce events that help improve the horse management, training, and riding skills of current horsemen. To that end, more than forty of the industry’s elite equestrian educators were on site to present clinics, sessions, and demonstrations designed to educate and enlighten. Headliners included Guy McLean, Jonathan Field, Julie Goodnight, and Jason Irwin, along with a selection of discipline-specific clinicians such as Brad Barkemeyer (reined cow horse & roping), Nona Garson (hunter/jumper), JJ Tate (dressage), Bryan Penquite (reining), Rita Timpanaro (hunter/jumper), Bronwyn Irwin (pole bending), Sterling Graburn (driving), and many more.

Many of these clinics also included participants who applied for the Equine Affaire “Ride with a Pro” program earlier in the year, which enables riders to receive instruction and coaching right there at the event. Horse owners could also apply for their horses to receive training in clinics that focused on working with green horses, such as Guy McLean’s clinics.

Equine Affaire was proud to offer not just one, but two, interactive activities this year for visitors who wanted to get up close and personal with horses. First, Equine Affaire partnered with Sam and Kellie Rettinger of Whispery Pines Percherons Carriage Rides and Logging to offer the Drive A Draft activity. Interested attendees could sign up in advance to learn how to drive either a single or a pair of giant Percheron horses from the ground. Offered on three different days, the activity was incredibly popular, outgrowing its time slots and drawing rave reviews from visitors.

The other interactive activity was A Horse For Heroes, which is a special feature just for veterans, active duty, and first responders, as well as their families. Equine Affaire proudly collaborated with Operation Horses & Heroes to bring this activity to Ohio audiences. Participants signed up at the event and enjoyed interacting with horses and experiencing the effects of equine-assisted activities and therapies, all while working hand in hand with the experienced and compassionate staff of Operation Horses and Heroes. OH+H is a registered 501©3 founded by Gerald Paulsen, who is a former U.S. Army NCO and proud veteran himself, as well as an avid horse lover.

In the barns, the ASPCA led an Adoption Affaire event for nearly 40 horses from 9 ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Partner organizations as well as from the ASPCA Equine Transition and Adoption Center in Oklahoma. Each group brought along several adoptable horses, and the ASPCA was present to support them and answer the public’s questions about equine adoption. The Adoption Affaire event resulted in 21 horses being adopted on-site, with at least three adoptions pending. The ASPCA encourages horse lovers to explore adoption digitally by visiting myrighthorse.org to meet hundreds of adoptable horses in one place.


The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition has been a popular feature of Equine Affaire for years, and every spring, riders apply for their opportunity to tackle the Equine Affaire versatility course and vie for $5,500 in cash and other prizes. The 2023 Ohio Versatile Horse & Rider Competition took place on Friday, April 14, in the US Equestrian Coliseum, and showcased twenty-five spectacular rides. This year’s 2023 Ohio Versatile Horse and Rider Champions were Franny Galvin-Hynes and her 7 year old Fjord-Quarter Horse mare, Super Nova, who were also our champions in the 2022 Massachusetts VHRC! Franny and “Nova” came in first with a score of 53.5 and won $2,500 in cash. The reserve champions were Kristin Fouty and Dun Got It Goin On, an 18 year old American Paint Horse gelding, who scored 51. Fouty and “Boo” won $1,750.00 in cash. For the full results, check out equineaffaire.com/press!

Founded by Dan and Elizabeth James, the International Liberty Horse Association is the world’s only association dedicated exclusively to promoting the discipline of liberty and celebrating liberty horses, trainers, competitors, and fans everywhere. Equine Affaire was proud to partner with the ILHA to offer the ILHA Invitational Freestyle Competition again in Ohio. Sponsored by Espana Silk Grooming Products, the ILHA Freestyle Competition was a team competition this year and took place on Friday and Saturday of the event. The Champion Team was Sally Durbin and Reese Wolheter, while the reserve champions were Kelly Jackson and Cara Shroeder. Third place went to Kelsey Duff and Grace Thomas. Bella Sweigard and Amanda Lewis came in fourth, but also won the honor of being the “fan favorites.” Congratulations to all!

Finally, the Ohio 4-H State Horse Bowl & Hippology Contests took place on Saturday, April 15, in the Voinovich Center. A record number of teams competed as youth from all over the state came together to demonstrate their knowledge of horses in a friendly, competitive setting. In the Horse Bowl contest, Union county teams reigned supreme in both the junior and senior divisions.  The senior high individual overall was Ayla Powers and the junior high individual overall was Eli Ball.  In the Hippology contest, the team from Jefferson county won the junior division with Maddie Granatir being the high individual overall. Twenty teams competed in the senior division, with the team from Lorain county coming out on top and also having the high individual overall in Jordyn Simpson. Complete results are available at horse.osu.edu. Congratulations to all the participants!


Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia is the must-see equestrian show of the year – and once again, high ticket sales and a sold-out Saturday night performance proved that much of the horse industry agrees with that statement. This year’s show featured a wide variety of performances, including beloved fan favorites like the Knights of Iceland and the Diamond D Cowgirls, and newcomers like the Pegasus Riders. The Pegasus Riders is a duo of 11 year old girls, Maddy Gatrel and Liberty Cunningham, who are also accomplished dancers, contortionists, barrel racers, and champion trick riders. This was the girls’ first performance at Equine Affaire and they knocked it out of the park!

Outfitted with dazzling and patriotic sparkle, the Diamond D Cowgirls lit up the arena with their award-winning mounted drill team performance. Guy McLean brought his signature Australian charm to the show with a hilarious comedic routine that paid homage to “The Man From Snowy River.” The Rettingers’ fantastic six-Percheron hitch and Crowl’s Haflingers hitch, Bryan Penquite’s reining freestyle, and a touching drill performance from the beautiful Friesian Heritage Drill Team rounded out the evening, with renowned trick rider Dusti Dickerson’s fiery Roman Riding performance serving as the grand finale.


Fans of Equine Affaire continue to put shopping opportunities at the top of their list of reasons for why they love the event, and this year’s trade show floors did not disappoint. Super stores such as Rod’s Western Palace, State Line Tack, Cashman’s Horse Equipment, and Circle L Saddle Company lined the trade show buildings with impressive and attractive displays of product, featuring everything from tack and grooming supplies to décor, clothing, toys, books, and more. The Bricker building overflowed with a full range of vendors and exhibitors, including companies such as Cascada, who chose to debut their brand new app-enabled watering system at Equine Affaire. Equine Affaire’s beloved consignment shop, The Marketplace, was also a popular shopping spot for visitors throughout the weekend.

For a full list of all the vendors who populated our trade show floors, visit https://www.equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/ohio-trade-show/ohio-exhibitors/.

You can also view the digital version of the official Equine Affaire program here for even more information about our sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors, and vendors: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/84beeeeb#/84beeeeb/1.


If you had the misfortune of missing out on joining us this year, we’ve got great news for you! Equine Affaire partnered with the Horse Radio Network and EQUUS Television in order to provide select coverage on our event for listeners and viewers at home through podcasts and videos. Here’s how to catch the coverage:

  • Watch EQUUS Television Network by visiting equustelevision.com/search?keywords=equine+affaire or by downloading their mobile app today to see exclusive interviews with our presenters, street scenes from the event, quick tip videos, and lots more, including a photo essay! It’ll (almost) feel like you were there. Watch interviews with Julie Goodnight, Sam & Kellie Rettinger of Whispery Pines Percherons, Sheryl Mankel, Cynthia Keating, and lots of others.
  • Listen to the Horse Radio Network by visiting https://www.horsesinthemorning.com/ or by looking for Horses In The Morning on your favorite podcast player. Glenn Hebert, America’s Horse Husband, and Allison Rehnborg, Equine Affaire’s marketing coordinator, recorded and produced three episodes live from the event, featuring interviews with vendors and exhibitors like The Funky Unicorn, Braveheart Beasts, United Horse Coalition, and Espana Silk Grooming Products; presenters like Wendy Murdoch of the Sure Foot Equine Stability Program, Jason and Bronwyn Irwin, Carl Bledsoe, Ifa Simmonds, and Sky Epperson; and Adoption Affaire partners like the West Virginia Horse Network and Horses Haven in Michigan. If you like what you hear, make sure to keep listening for more of the Equine Affaire podcast, which airs on the third Thursday of every month as part of Horses In The Morning, America’s leading daily morning podcast for the horse world.
  • The official photographer of Equine Affaire is Winslow Photography, LLC. All images taken by Winslow at the event are now online and available for review and purchase here: https://winslowphoto.photostockplus.com/album/3489619/.
  • Finally, follow our social media pages (@equineaffaire on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to review play-by-play coverage of the event and to see videos and photo albums, as well as to catch all the latest news about our next events.


The staff of Equine Affaire are already hard at work producing our next event, which will take place on November 9-12, 2023, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. Save the date and revisit our website and social media channels for updates. Tickets for Equine Affaire in Massachusetts and for Fantasia will go on sale July 12.

Mark your calendars for the 2024 Equine Affaire in Ohio, which will take place April 11-14 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors who helped make this year’s event possible: Absorbine, Rod’s, US Equestrian, Espana Silk, GGT Footing, and Best Sand Equestrian Sand. Equine Affaire would also like to thank the companies who donated prizes for this year’s online raffle: Bronco Western Supply, Back On Track USA, and US Equestrian. Raffle winners have been chosen and notifications have been sent via email. If you entered the 2023 Ohio Equine Affaire raffle, make sure to check your email!

As North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering, Equine Affaire elevates the equestrian experience for horse lovers of all ages. Visit equineaffaire.com for schedules, tickets, and additional details about upcoming events. Our office staff can be reached by phone at (740) 845-0085, Mon-Fri, 9 am to 5 pm ET.

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05 01

Congratulations to Our ILHA Competitors!

COLUMBUS, OH, May 1, 2023 — Sponsored by Espana Silk Grooming Products, the International Liberty Horse Association Invitational Freestyle Competition took place in two parts on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15 at Equine Affaire in Ohio. Participants competed in a special teams format, tackling the compulsories on Friday and the freestyle on Saturday.

The official results are as follows:

Champions: Sally Durbin (Senior) and Reese Wolheter (Youth)

Reserve Champions: Kelly Jackson and Cara Schroeder

3rd Place: Kelsey Duff and Grace Thomas

4th Place: Bella Sweigard and Amanda Lewis

The Fan Favorites award went to Bella Sweigard and Amanda Lewis.

Congratulations to all of the competitors and the ILHA team for putting on another incredible event!

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04 15

Congratulations to Our VHRC Competitors!

COLUMBUS, OH, April 15, 2023 — The 2023 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition took place yesterday in the US Equestrian Coliseum and what a show it was! We had twenty-five spectacular rides and saw a lot of excellent horsemanship and fine riding. Master of Ceremonies Jason Irwin performed his duties admirably, and judge Brad Barkemeyer did a fabulous job scoring our rides. Special thanks to our announcer, Noah Rattner, for musical contributions, and to our ring crew for set up and tear down!

First, we’d like to acknowledge that yesterday, at the end of the competition, there was a scoring malfunction and the placings that were announced and acknowledged at the event were incorrect. Equine Affaire would like to extend a formal apology to all of the riders who were affected by the scoring spreadsheet malfunction. We strive for excellence and accuracy in everything that we do, especially when it affects riders who give their all, and we deeply regret this mistake. Thank you for extending grace and patience to us in this situation, and our staff have worked hard to make things right with all involved.

And now, with no further ado, here are your official results for the 2023 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition in Ohio.

Congratulations to Franny Galvin-Hynes and Super Nova, her 7 year old Fjord-Quarter Horse mare, for a spectacular trip around the VHRC course. Franny has added another jewel to her crown with this run, because she and Super Nova were also the winners of the 2022 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! Here’s a little bit more about your winning duo:

In 2017, Franny Galvin-Hynes made her first trip from her Canadian home to Equine Affaire in Ohio and, although she was only 15 at the time, she immediately determined she just had to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition one day. An 18 year old Franny was first accepted to compete in 2020, but like many others, she had to wait out the pandemic. She eventually got to compete for the first time in Ohio in 2022, where she and Super Nova were thrilled to finish in 6th place. Franny was very excited to be welcomed back to Equine Affaire last fall in MA, to meet up with her VHRC friends again, and then cap it off with her dream-come-true of taking home the VHRC 1st place ribbon with Super Nova.

Super Nova was a somewhat scruffy looking yearling when Franny first saw her, but she felt a connection, saw her potential, brought her home – and they’ve been a dynamic duo ever since. They’ve spent endless hours training together and competing as a team in extreme cowboy racing, team penning, ranch roping and western games, as well as enjoying long trail rides or local parades with their barn buddies. Sometimes they throw on their English tack for some hunter/jumper classes and fun on the local eventing courses, or leave the tack in the locker and practise their liberty work together.

Franny says, “Nova is a one in a million horse for me, I’ve never had a horse like her before. She’s always willing to try anything I ask, no matter what it is; we trust each other completely.”

A heartfelt congratulations to KRISTIN FOUTY and DUN GOT IT GOIN ON! This pair also put in the work and had a spectacular ride. “Boo” is an 18 year old American Paint Horse gelding. Here’s a little bit more about Kristin and her Boo:

Kristin and “Boo” have been together since 2007. Boo is a “been there and done that horse.” From open and 4-H shows to the ranch circuit, Kristin and Boo have tackled many disciplines, including pleasure, jumping, rodeo, and ranch. They’ve also earned a variety of champion and reserve champion titles from open and professional circuits, such as the American Ranch Horse Association and the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan. They placed in the top ten in the 2019 and 2022 VHRC.

Here are the rest of the placings with their official scores:

1. Franny Galvin Hynes and Super Nova. Score: 53.5
2. Kristin Fouty and Dun Got It Goin On. Score: 51
3. Wendy Montgomery and SF Distinguished Gentleman. Score: 50.5
4. Raymie Shoop and Miss N Bleach. Score: 50
5. Brenda Hanson and Ace. Score: 49
6. Dawn Chambers and Charge on Gunsmoke. Score: 48
7. Tammy Burgard and WR Classic Whiskey. Score: 47
8. Sidney Hawk and Zippo’s Blue Sky. Score: 44 (Tiebreaker: 9)
9. Dawn Chambers and MT Rowdy Coal. Score: 44 (Tiebreaker: 7.5)
10. Melinda Arnitsis and Bella Beretta. Score: 42.5
11. April Baronas and I Can’t Eeven. Score: 42
12. Tammy Burgard and Nada Snow. Score: 40.5
13. Franny Galvin-Hynes and Aspen’s Wild Grove. Score: 40
14. Miranda Roesel and Shamrock. Score: 39 (Tiebreaker: 9.5)
15. Raymie Shoop and Sweet Hollywood Star. Score: 39 (Tiebreaker: 7.5)
16. Amanda Malone and Turbo. Score: 37
17. Dessie Shepherd and Paris. Score: 35
18. Alexis O’Neal and Pepper. Score: 31.5
19. Robin Ball and Bentley. Score: 24
20. Brittany Buchanan and Creme De Motion. Score: 23
21. Anya Emmons and High Stylin Bobcat. Timed Out.
22. Mike Cassedy and Wakiyan. Timed Out.
23. Marissa Wooton and Flo Dunnit Again. Timed Out.
24. Matt Keefe and Blue Moon Jr Cash. Timed Out.
25. Olivia Giufrrida and Tiny. Timed Out.

Congratulations to ALL of our riders! We look forward to this fall, when the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will return to Springfield, Massachusetts, for the 2023 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts. If you’re interested in applying to ride there, materials will be posted on our website later in the year. Stay tuned!

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