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Test Your Horsemanship at Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse & Rider Competition this April

London, OH, December 6, 2016–Applications are now being accepted for Equine Affaire’s popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition that will take place in the afternoon on Friday, April 7th, in the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.  A select group of horse and rider teams will tackle a challenging obstacle/trail course in this timed and judged race in pursuit of $5500 in cash and the coveted title of Champion at the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition.

Win $5500 in cash and more!  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top four contestants with the first place team receiving $2,500 and the title of Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion and the second, third, and fourth place teams receiving $1,750, $1,000, and $250 respectively. Ribbons will be presented to the top 10 teams, and additional awards will be announced prior to the event. All awards will be presented at the conclusion of the race on Friday afternoon.

Who can compete.  The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition—aka “VHRC”—is open to all riders age 18 years and older and horses of all breeds and disciplines. All horse and rider teams will compete against each other; there will be no “divisions” based on gender or age. A maximum of only 25 horse/rider teams will be pre-selected based on application materials submitted.

The competition course.  The VHRC course will feature a combination of traditional and very unique riding obstacles and patterns set in the 90’ x 212’ arena of the Ohio Expo Center coliseum.  The obstacles may include jumping over or through structures, backing through a pattern, pole bending and/or roll backs, gait changes, various gymkhana games, ground tying, working gates, and riding over or through difficult or spooky objects.

How the competition will be judged.  The horsemanship performance of each contestant will be judged on each obstacle. Performance points will be awarded on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the rider’s horsemanship, the horse’s attitude, and the team’s overall performance. Horses and riders will be required to complete the course within a given time.  Any contestant who fails to meet this time limit will be disqualified. Ride times will be translated into points, and the team with the highest overall point score will be the winner.

“The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is a challenging test of horsemanship for those who choose to put their skills to the test,“ explained Eugenia Snyder, the President of Equine Affaire.  “The competition has been around for many years, and it attracts some pretty amazing contestants.  Before the horses and riders can demonstrate their horsemanship, our production team has the increasingly difficult job of creating new obstacles and developing a course that is both difficult and doable—as well as suitable for different breeds and sizes of horses and riders of all disciplines,” Snyder explained.

Over the years the VHRC has become really popular for attendees because it’s fast-paced and unpredictable.  You can’t be sure how any horse and rider team will perform until they’re on the course—and a lot of unexpected things happen.  Riders in the audience empathize with the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others. They also learn a lot by watching the different approaches that outstanding horses and riders take in tackling the same obstacles. Admission to the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is included in general admission to Equine Affaire—providing just one more reason to travel to the 2017 Equine Affaire in Columbus, OH.

Are you and your horse ready to compete?  To obtain all of the details on the VHRC and an entry form, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event and “Participate” link to access the VHRC page.  You may also contact Alison Scott at ascott@equineaffaire.com or by calling (740) 845-0085 ext. 105.  The entry fee for each horse/rider team is $350 and includes stabling on Thursday to Saturday and three single-day tickets to Equine Affaire. Applications and support materials will be accepted by Equine Affaire through February 15th.  They will be reviewed by the management of Equine Affaire, which will select the final contestants for the competition and notify contestants by March 3rd.

Be sure to visit equineaffaire.com for everything you need to know to attend the 2017 Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering–on April 6-9 including the clinic, seminar, and demo schedule; ticket information; and details on discounted rates at our host hotels.

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