Equine Affaire Press Room

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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10 30

Equine Affaire Podcast #4

In the fourth episode of the Equine Affaire podcast, we talk to renowned horse trainer, clinician, and author Julie Goodnight. She has been helping horses, one human at a time, since 1985, when she began her training business. Julie travels both domestically and internationally to teach horsemanship. She is also a spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association, holding their highest level of certification, Master Clinic Instructor.

Listen below to hear why Julie thinks the clinics at Equine Affaire are so valuable, and about some of her favorite Equine Affaire moments.

To view this year’s event schedule, which includes presentations from Julie and many other talented horsemen and women, click here. With seven venues and hundreds of sessions over four days, a little advance planning will be required! Don’t have your ticket yet? Click here to purchase! General admission tickets include admission to all clinics, seminars, and demonstrations.

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10 25

Get to Know the 2019 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 2)

Do you have a favorite contestant yet for the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena? Keep reading about the competitors below!

Liz Foster

Horse: Peppy Has A Freckle (aka “Frog”), 19-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Liz and Frog have been a team for a few years, and together they participate in a variety of activities including trail riding, working cows, obstacle courses, team penning and sorting, and more. Liz earned a Hi Point Rider title aboard Frog at an Atlantic Reined Cow Horse Association event. They look forward to competing in their first VHRC!

Geoffrey Goodson

Horse: LWF Two Eyed Lynx (aka “Trevor”), 9-year-old Quarter Horse gelding

Geoff has diverse experience with equines – from researching wild Brumbies in Australia to competing at the EXTREME Mustang Makeover and training and showing all breeds and disciplines. He has been partnered with Trevor for only three months but has been working hard to develop Trevor’s skills under saddle with a focus on obstacles, versatility, and an introduction to cattle.

Brenda Hanson

Horses: Ace, 8-year-old AQHA gelding & Sansa, 4-year-old grade Quarter Horse mare

Brenda is a returning VHRC Champion and has also taken the Reserve title and several top 5 placings. She is competing on two horses – Ace, who she’s been training since he was 3 years old, and Sensa, a new partner for Brenda. Sensa was rescued as a yearling by Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, and almost was not able to be saved due to deformities in her legs and extreme emaciation. Sensa pulled through and Brenda took on her training once she was ready. In just 100 days, Brenda took Sansa from being only halter broke to winning all three portions of the Appalachian Trainer Faceoff!

LEFT: Sansa; RIGHT: Brenda Hanson & Sansa

Erin Harris

Horse: Belyea Gabriel (aka “Gabe”), 13-year-old Lippitt Morgan gelding

Erin and Gabe have been a team since 2010, when Erin had the opportunity to help start Gabe under saddle as a 4-year-old. Since then they have been on countless adventures together, and have successfully shown in breed shows, gymkhanas, local fairs, jumping and eventing. They’ve also worked cattle for a ranch in Colorado. Erin teaches riding lessons, horsemanship, and trains horses, and Gabe works alongside her as a lesson horse.

Erin Harris & Belyea Gabriel

Hannah Harvey

Horse: Meadow Lark, 19-year-old Mustang cross mare

Hannah and Meadow Lark enjoy many disciplines and are willing to try anything. They have participated in western, English, hunter/jumper, driving, trail riding, herding cattle, teaching children, and more. In 2014, Meadow Lark carried her rider 840 miles from North Carolina to Louisiana. Together the pair looks forward to their next challenge in the VHRC.

Jessica Knapp

Horse: River of Dreams (aka “River”), 8-year-old Palomino gelding

Jessica and River have been a team for 4 years in the hunter/jumper discipline. This is their second season showing and are currently showing in the 2’3” hunter division of local rated shows, but also compete in obstacle and trail classes. River is brave and curious, and Jessica looks forward to competing in the VHRC.

Jessica Knapp & River of Dreams


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10 10

Equine Affaire Podcast #3

In this episode of the Equine Affaire podcast, we talk to Jason Irwin about the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Jason is a lifelong equestrian from Southampton, Ontario, whom breeds, trains and sells Quarter Horses. He has served as a judge for the VHRC and explains what judges are looking for from the horse and rider during these competitions.

Don’t miss this year’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition at the Eastern States Exposition on Friday, November 8! Admission to the VHRC is included in your general admission ticket to Equine Affaire. Don’t have your ticket yet? Click here to purchase!

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10 09

Get to Know the 2019 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 1)

Equine Affaire’s infamous Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena, will be here before you know it! Read about some of the daring competitors in our first installment of VHRC rider profiles below!

Denise Anthony

Horse: Angelina, 15-year-old Draft/Warmblood cross mare

Denise Anthony has owned her Draft/Warmblood cross for eleven years. Denise and the 15-year-old mare regularly compete in versatility challenges, hunter paces, and schooling shows. They are also avid trail riders and have logged many miles together. This will be Denise and Angelina’s fifth year competing in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.  Denise is riding on behalf of the Rhode Island SPCA, and as a volunteer she has raised more than $120,000 for the organization over the past 16 years!

Denise Anthony & Angelina

April Baronas

Horse: Que Sera Sera (aka “Moon”), 19-year-old Chincoteague Island Pony mare

April and Moon have been a team for 4 years, and this will be their third year competing in the VHRC. They enjoy versatility competitions, eventing, and hunt seat equitation. Moon also teaches lessons and has carried both her junior and adult NEHC Hunt Seat Pleasure Equitation riders to championships. Last year they earned a 10th place finish at the VHRC!

April Baronas & Que Sera Sera

Jason Charles

Horse: Ms. Whiz It, 10-year-old AQHA buckskin mare

Jason is a professional horse trainer from Dillsburg, PA. He currently competes in AQHA and NRHA and has won several VHRC championships in both Massachusetts and Ohio. Jason started his mount, Ms. Whiz It, as a 2-year-old and she has earned her Register of Merit in AQHA open and amateur, won many trail challenges, and is an NRHA money earner.

Jason Charles & Ms. Whiz It


Ashley Charron

Horse: Smokem Mate (aka “Track”), 12-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding

Ashley and Track have been busy this year competing at AQHA and Ranch Sorting Team Penning Association shows. They’ve placed in the top five in all ranch riding classes, first in four showmanship classes, and top 5 in team penning four times. Track got his name because of how well he tracks a cow. The pair has competed in the VHRC twice, and Ashley says they’ve been busy improving and can’t wait to show off their hard work at this year’s competition!

Ashley Charron & Smokem Mate


Lisa Doyle

Horse: Harry, 10-year-old Ster Friesian gelding

Lisa and Harry have been a team for one year. Harry was a 2017 Keuring Champion and Reserve Champion and will be participating in the Breed Pavilion at Equine Affaire. Lisa describes him as a “quirky, fun-loving boy” and says his favorite treat is Cool Ranch Doritos. Lisa works as a trainer and riding instructor and, together with Harry, has participated in the National Mounted Police training course, cow sorting, versatility competitions, trail and beach rides, and open pleasure shows.

Lisa Doyle & Harry


Melissa Ellis

Horse: Steep Way Cosmo Girl (aka “Cosmo”), 8-year-old Morgan mare

Melissa has competed in the VHRC several times. Her horse Cosmo was started by Guy McLean at Equine Affaire in a colt-starting demo in 2013. At that time, Melissa told Guy her plan for Cosmo was to compete in the VHRC! This team participates in many disciplines, but lately they’ve been working at liberty and riding bridleless.

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