Equine Affaire Press Room

04 07

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART FIVE

LONDON, OH, April 7, 2023 — The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is in exactly 1 week! We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by introducing you to the final five riders in this spring’s competition. On April 14, the VHRC will begin at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Arena in the Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider pairs will race the clock to tackle a series of challenging obstacles in their pursuit of $5,500 in cash and other prizes. In this post, meet the final five members of the spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (If you missed the rest of the posts in the series, click here!)

Tammy Burgard

Horse: Nada Snow, 5 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Tammy and “Maverick” have been together for about a year. In that short amount of time, he has excelled in ranch horse versatility competitions, winning multiple championships which culminated in earning the year end reserve high point championship for Oklahoma. He also won the overall high point championship for the 3-5 year division at the Nebraska State Fair, competing with over 700 entries. Tammy says, “He is good minded, big hearted and always does his best. It has been my pleasure to be his partner this year.”

Dawn Chambers

Horse: MT Rowdy Coal, black American Quarter Horse gelding.

Dawn says, “We started Coal in our program as an unstarted colt and are so proud of the horse he has become with our guidance! Coal loves a job!” Dawn and Coal work as a team all around the ranch. from gathering and sorting cattle to riding out on the trails. Coal is a fun horse with lots of personality who works hard and always tries his best. They’re excited to try their hand at the VHRC!

Franny Galvin-Hynes

Horse: Super Nova, 7 year old Fjord-Quarter Horse mare

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.”


Raymie Shoop

Horse: Sweet Hollywood Star, 7 year old American Paint Horse mare

Raymie and “Spencer” have been together approximately three years. They enjoy competing in ranch horse classes in local circuit and open shows, and have earned many local and state ranch horse wins.

Robin Ball

Horse: Bentley, 9 year old Appaloosa gelding

Robin and Bentley are from Buckhannon, West Virginia, and have been together for seven years. Although Robin’s mother bought Bentley when he was just a weanling, Robin says Bentley was made for her! He is often the focal point of her artwork. When she’s not drawing and painting Bentley, she loves trail riding, camping, and riding in parades with him. “We love to challenge ourselves and push the limits to see what we can accomplish,” Robin says. “We love working as a team and besting my brothers and their horses!” Robin last attended Equine Affaire several years ago with her Poppi, and their favorite entertainment was watching the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Although her Poppi has since passed away, she hopes to honor him by competing in this year’s competition.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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04 04

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART FOUR

LONDON, OH, April 4, 2023 — If you’re here, chances are you’re eager to learn about the next five competitors in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition in Ohio! In this post, we’ll be introducing the penultimate five riders and their horses who will be competing on Friday, April 14, in the VHRC. The VHRC will begin at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Arena in the Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider pairs will race the clock to tackle a series of challenging obstacles in their pursuit of $5,500 in cash and other prizes. In this post, meet five more of the members of the spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (If you missed the first four posts in the series, click here!)


Alexis O’Neal

Horse: Pepper, 6 year old Appaloosa gelding

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Alexis is a trainer and instructor who focuses on horsemanship, body control in horse and rider, and confidence-building. This is her first time competing – ever – and she’s excited for the opportunity to ride in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. Her mount, Pepper, belongs to one of her clients. Pepper came to Alexis about nine months ago as a spooky horse without much of a handle, and his owner confided in Alexis that she felt she’d lost her confidence not just in Pepper, but in herself as a rider. During his time with Alexis, Pepper has transformed into a confident horse who can handle just about any situation. Alexis says, “My intention with this competition is to show Pepper’s owner that her horse can do just about anything we set his mind to. I’d like to give my client back her confidence in her horse, and in turn hopefully inspire other folks that their horse (and they as riders) can do the exact same thing.”


Miranda Roesel

Horse: Shamrock, 9 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Miranda and Shamrock are returning for their third round in the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! This couple has been together for six years, ever since Shamrock was three. They enjoy competing in ranch events at open shows and love trail riding. On the trails, Shamrock loves playing in creeks.


Dessie Shepherd

Horse: Paris, 22 year old American Quarter Horse mare

Together for two years, Dessie and Paris enjoy riding in ranch classes. In 2021, Dessie won senior high point as well as reserve champion in Ranch Pleasure at the Greene County Fair. Then in 2022, she attended her first International Buckskin Horse Association show, where she won 3 of the 4 classes she competed in. This will be Dessie and Paris’s first time competing in the VHRC.


Raymie Shoop

Horse: Miss N Bleach, 26 year old American Quarter Horse mare

“Lena” was Raymie’s first horse. They’ve been together for fifteen years and have been through it all. Raymie says, “When I started riding her, I took her in every event that I could every chance I had. We would have an English saddle on one minute and be cutting cattle the next!” Their top achievements include a reserve world championship in ranch and a world-level high point in gymkhana. Lena is now partially retired from competing, but she’s always on standby for a trail ride or horse show – like the VHRC!

Anya Emmons

Horse: High Stylin Bobcat, 3 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Anya and “Peep” first met in October of 2021 and it was love at first sight. Anya had been searching for a young horse to begin her training career and when she met Peep, she knew he would be perfect. Anya began riding when she was 6 years old and was immediately hooked. She began riding English but switched to Western after a few years. She settled on reined cow horse and has progressed in that discipline. Anya plans on pursuing a career as a performance horse trainer and is starting with Peep. With less than a year together, they have developed a strong bond and trust in each other. They placed 5th in the November Equine Affaire Versatility Competition and hope to improve on that in April.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 30

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART THREE

LONDON, OH, March 30, 2023 — Join us in Ohio for the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, happening Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center! Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider pairs will race the clock to tackle a series of challenging obstacles in their pursuit of $5,500 in cash and other prizes. In this post, meet five more of the members of the spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (If you missed the first two posts in the series, click here!)


Sidney Hawk

Horse: Zippo’s Blu Sky, 14 year old American Paint Horse mare

Sidney and “Sky” hail from Massillon, Ohio. As a student at the University of Findlay, Sidney is pursuing a double major in Equine Western Training and Equine Business Management with a minor in Marketing. She has been riding for more than twelve years and competing for nine as she works toward a career in training horses. Sidney says, “I’ve been attending Equine Affaire for longer than I can even remember and I have wanted to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition since I started mountain trail at age 12.” Partnered together for nine years, Sidney and Sky are eager to make Sidney’s dreams come true of competing in the VHRC.


Matt Keefe

Horse: Blue Moon Jr Cash, 16 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Matt and Cash have been partners in and out of the show arena for six years. Together, they have shown in numerous competitions and everything in between from pony rides to lessons. Cash was bred and trained to be a reiner. Due to his kind temperament and quiet disposition, his skills continue to grow. Matt and Cash hope to compete in the VHRC to honor their accomplishments over the years together.


Amanda Malone

Horse: Turbo, 18 year old Norwegian Fjord gelding

Amanda and Turbo have been partners for four years. Turbo loves to compete in eventing, especially in cross-country, but he’s also a fan of trail and versatility competitions. Together, they’ve participated in parades, eventing, western sports, trail competitions, expos, demonstrations, and much more. Amanda and Turbo have competed in the VHRC three times, and each time, they come away with new things to practice as well as having made new friends. Last fall, they placed in the top ten at the 2022 Massachusetts VHRC.


Myron Martin

Horse: Runnin for Cocktails, 3 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Myron and “Forest” have been together for only a few months, but enjoy riding Western together. Myron has been around horses all his life, but didn’t start riding show horses until 2022. He’s excited to see how he and Forest perform this spring in the VHRC!

Wendy Montgomery

Horse: SF Distinguished Gentleman, 18 year old Rocky Mountain gelding

Wendy and “Rocky” are obstacle aficionados! They’ve been together for fifteen years, and competed in their first obstacle challenge in 2013. After that, they were hooked. For the last decade, they’ve traveled to compete in obstacle challenges in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. That includes four times in the VHRC, with two top ten finishes, and a long list of championship wins in the American Competitive Trail Horse Association, the Extreme Cowboy Association, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, the International Mountain Trail Challenge Association, and at the Southern Equine Expo. Wendy says, “Rocky truly is my heart horse. The partnership he and I have formed will never be matched. It’s a privilege for me to have such an incredible animal by my side.”

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 28

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART TWO

LONDON, OH, March 28, 2023 — If you’re joining us in Ohio on April 13-16, 2023, for Equine Affaire, make sure you plan to attend the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! This exciting tournament will feature 25 pre-selected horse-and-rider pairs as they tackle a challenging obstacle course and race the clock, all for $5,500 in cash and other prizes. The VHRC will take place in the US Equestrian Coliseum on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm, with awards to follow. In this post, meet five more of the riders in this year’s spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (And if you missed the first post in this series, click here!)

Dawn Chambers

Horse: Charge on Gunsmoke, 6 year old APHA gelding

Dawn Chambers of Chambers Horsemanship will be riding twice in this year’s competition! First, meet “Bandit.”  Dawn and Bandit, a black American Paint Horse gelding, enjoy working cattle, checking fences, working obstacles, and going on leisurely trail rides with family. Dawn says, “Bandit is truly an amazing horse, as he is so willing to please.”


Kristy Fouty

Horse: Dun Got It Goin On, 18 year old American Paint Horse gelding

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. After placing in the top ten in the 2019 and 2022 VHRC, the pair are eager to return and tackle the Equine Affaire obstacle course again.

Franny Galvin-Hynes

Horse: Aspen’s Wild Grove, 5 year old American Mustang gelding

Franny Galvin-Hynes has been riding and working with horses since she was old enough to walk and, since then, she’s competed throughout North America in extreme cowboy, mustang challenges, and thoroughbred makeovers – but Equine Affaire is hands-down her favorite event to attend!

Aspen’s Wild Grove is a wild-born American Mustang who was gathered as an 8-10 month old by the BLM from Warm Springs, Oregon. Franny purchased Aspen for a Mustang TIP Challenge and has been working with him ever since. Naturally friendly and calm from the start, Aspen enjoys taking it back to his roots on long trail rides in all sorts of terrain and weather. He loves participating in parades, nothing fazes him, and he makes friends everywhere he goes – both horse and human.

In Aspen’s debut last year as a 4-year-old at Equine Affaire in MA, he and Franny proudly brought home the 10th place VHRC ribbon. Aspen and Franny are also the 2022 Ontario Extreme Cowboy High-Points Futurity Champions and Provincial Reserve Champions. When they’re not cowboy racing, Franny and Aspen enjoy cattle sorting, ranch roping, competitive trail, and occasionally hitting the local Hunter circuit.

Olivia Giuffrida

Horse: Tiny, 9 year old Clydesdale cross mare

Olivia has owned Tiny for four years. When the pair first came together, they were starting from scratch. Olivia says she didn’t have a clear direction for their journey together, but it was clear that they both liked trying new things and learning together. Three years later, they’re excited to be competing in the VHRC because versatility is one of the disciplines they enjoy most.

Brenda Hanson

Horse: PVF Frosted Ace, 8 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Brenda Hanson and “Ace” are returning to defend their titles as the 2022 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Champions. They also won the 2019 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! Brenda and Ace have been together for nine years and enjoy ranch riding and obstacle courses. They’re seasoned veterans of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, having placed in the top five many times as well as winning a reserve championship in addition to their two championships.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 23

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART ONE

LONDON, OH, March 23, 2023 — In just a few short weeks, Equine Affaire will take the Ohio Expo Center by storm for a fabulous long weekend of all things equine and equestrian on April 13-16, 2023. In the midst of that long weekend, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will return on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Coliseum! With $5,500 cash and other prizes at stake, it’s going to be one exciting race as 25 competitors and their mounts vie for the honor of becoming the 2023 Versatile Horse and Rider Champions! In this post, meet five of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire.

Melinda Arnitsis

Horse: Bella Beretta, 12 year old American Quarter Horse mare

Melinda has been riding “Retta” for six years. In that time, they’ve performed at Breyerfest, competed in a freestyle reining, won third place at the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships in ranch reining, and placed in the top ten multiple times at the VHRC. Melinda says, “Retta has a lot of spice and so much heart.  She is one of those mares that you have to ask her questions and not tell her what to do. I know she has it in her to be the best.”

April Baronas

Horse: I Can’t Eeven, 8 year old Mustang mare

April has been training “Eevee” for five years. This past December, Eevee became April’s first horse – presented on Christmas Eve with a big red bow, many tears, and all. Together, this pair has competed in hunter/jumper, dressage, versatility, trail, mounted archery, and mostly recently, ranch riding. They have earned many top placings in local, regional, and (virtual) national shows, including back to back trail division championships in 2021 and 2022 at the Woodstock Fair and 9th place at the 2022 MA Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. The 2022 competition marked April and Eevee’s 5th VHRC and 5th top 10 run. April says, “Although she would much rather just play, Eevee is always game to participate in whatever I ask of her and tries her hardest doing it. ‘I Can’t Eeven’ begin to think of a better partner than Eevee, and am so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.”

Brittany Buchanan

Horse: Crème de Motion, 14 year old Tennessee Walker gelding

In 2014, Brittany purchased a green 5 year old Walking horse. “I had no business at the time finishing out a spunky young horse,” Brittany says. “But I immediately fell in love with this gelding and gave it my all.” In their time together, Brittany and “Momo” have enjoyed riding in all around classes, trail, dressage, obstacles, fun shows, and more. In 2017, they discovered the joys of endurance riding – but they had to take a break from long distance rides when Brittany became pregnant. Brittany’s daughter was born blind, and coincidentally, Momo later lost an eye of his own – but he doesn’t let that stop him. Brittany and Momo hope to dust off their competition skills and come back strong this year with the 2023 VHRC in Ohio!

Tammy Burgard

Horse: WR Classic Whiskey, 10 year old mare

Tammy has owned “Whiskey” since she was a 4 year old, and has been her only trainer for the six years that they’ve been a team. Tammy and Whiskey have won many championships at the state, regional, and national levels. They compete in Extreme Cowboy Racing (EXCA) and other obstacle competitions. For the past six years, Whiskey has finished in the top 10 at the EXCA World Championships. In 2022, they finished the year with a reserve world championship. “I could not be more proud of this mare,” Tammy says. “She is all heart and always does her best.”

Mike Cassedy

Horse: Wakiyan, 8 year old Mustang mare

Mike, or Pappa Mike as he is known, and Wakiyan come from Burlington, Kentucky. Mike is a Mustang TIP Trainer with a passion for working with mustangs. Mike and Wakiyan have been together for five years and compete in trail challenges, cow sorting, barrels, poles, and versatility. In 2018, 2019, and 2020, they took part in the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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