Botetourt County Horseman’s Association holds 19th annual horse show

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The Botetourt County Horseman’s Association held its 19th annual horse show at Green Hill Park in Salem, Virginia, last Saturday. With a variety of classes including model, over fences, pleasure, ranch and games, there was something for everyone to enjoy. And if you really prefer a trail ride, it had that as well by using the whole park and offering a hunter pace from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Many of the classes were also sanctioned for points by Blue Ridge Horse Force and Franklin County Equestrian Club.

Although Saturday’s weather was warm for October, it felt like fall as the show held a taste of early Halloween with the costume class. Three entries made it very difficult on the judge to choose a winner. With two unicorns and a football, the football came out on top after the judge called a pow-wow of the BCHA board to come to a decision.

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The hunter classes appeared to be especially popular with several classes having entries in the double digits. However, entries for the Western classes and games were light. Even the showmanship classes were empty. Ranch pleasure was one of the stronger Western classes, with 5 entries.

This show has a special class just for Arabians — the Susan Bradley Memorial Trophy Arabian Pleasure. While in 2017, there were just two entered in this class, this year saw eight entries. Chloe Thomas riding DLA DreamsAmastar took home the perpetual trophy for the year.

The Jackpot pleasure included $100-added, and the winner took home $70 of the pot. Meanwhile, even an entry picked at random after the class was judged won $25, paying for their price to enter the class. Lillian Cunningham, riding Faircourt First Blush, won the jackpot with Audrey Ann Mosby, on Pastel Moonbeamz, took reserve.

The association also holds a class just for its members. This year the giant perpetual trophy added Clair Humphrey’s name to the list of winners. She rode her palomino gelding, Red Badge of Trouble, for the win.

The participants seemed to greatly enjoy the day. One review posted on Facebook showed the appreciation that was had by those that attended. Katie Gardner of Otteridge Farm, LLC, said of the show: “This sweet little fun show needs more attention. All of us at Otteridge Farm sincerely appreciate the effort that was made to provide a nice day!”

Today we attended the 19th Annual BCHA Horse Show & Hunter Pace put on by the Botetourt County Horseman’s Association and held at Green Hill Park in Salem. They had the clever idea to fully utilize the grounds by having a hunter pace in conjunction with their show. I had absolutely NO idea what to expect, having had no previous experience with this group, but Lynda McGarry was judging, and I like and respect her and know her to be fair, sporting and professional and with a real desire for kids to be successful, and I know the facility and what jumps they have to work with, so I figured we’d go.
It was terribly inexpensive ($9/class, $25 for juniors to hunter pace, no other fees) and just under an hour from home, so it needed to be put to good use by at least some of my group. I wound up with Casey and Hana hunter pacing Bandit and Lacey, and Lillian and Cuppie showing Ingrid and Split. I will say the hunter ring could use a couple of adjustments in terms of translating the show from what is printed in the prize list to what is happening in reality (and I’m not griping, I’ll be happy to help if asked), but we all wound up on the same page eventually and had a very good day. (This has nothing to do with the management of this show, but as an aside, Green Hill Park really needs to step it up and repair their jumps or get some new ones. I’ve course designed out there multiple times this year and it’s a challenge to provide a good hunter course.)
I appreciate the level of classes offered and think the class offerings are exactly what they should be for this show, without having too many classes, which was SMART. What I really want to address is the effort that was made by this Association to produce a really, really fun day for these kids. The ribbons and prizes were just absolutely outstanding, and the grunt work done by management to secure the sponsorships necessary to give NICE prizes at a horse show this inexpensive absolutely should be applauded. Every first place ribbon got a prize bag — we brought home all manner of useful stuff that kids love to win. Champions got trophies. There was a money class — my Lillian won it and brought home $70, which more than covered her total show bill! We were greeted at check-in with baggies of horse treats. They had a photographer, who was personable and handed out business cards. The office process was seamless. My older girls tell me the hunter pace course was really enjoyable, well thought out, had jumps of enough size to be fun, and proved to be an outstanding outing for our seasoned field hunter to educate our green horse. They needed a hand down the steep drop to the first water crossing and I was tied up ringside with my little one, whereupon the announcer handed off her microphone, left the booth and saw to it that they had the leading assist they needed, then was so kind to them in our conversation later when they found out they had won.
Also, I saw many/most horses and ponies prepared with obvious care for the show, clean and happy-looking with riders dressed in their best. The two Saddleseat Arabs I saw in particular were just lovely in their presentation — there was a special Arabian trophy so the contingent vying for that had taken extra pains to look nice and it was very clear and most refreshing. And y’all know I’m not an Arab person — but I sure did see a group of well-behaved and well-presented ones today.
In short, this sweet little fun show needs more attention. All of us at Otteridge Farm sincerely appreciate the effort that was made to provide a nice day!!
— Katie Gardner, Otteridge Farm LLC via Facebook

What makes this show stand out among the shows often held at Green Hill Park are the prizes. First place winners got a package of loot along with their ribbon. A $100-added pleasure class is nothing to sneeze at. And the hunter pace winners got their own gift packages donated by Saddles n’ Stuff. Everyone got something. All participants got a welcome goody bag filled with horse treats and other items just for registering.

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Eileen Beckman of Otteridge Farm in Bedford inducted into Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame

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Eileen Beckman was inducted into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame on Sept. 15, 2018 at Virginia Tech. Photo courtesy of the Lynda McGarry

Eileen Brent Beckman, of Otteridge Farm in Bedford, Virginia, was inducted into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame last week at Virginia Tech.

Beckman, well-known for breeding and raising champion hunter ponies, was nominated for the honor by the Virginia Horse Council.

Born in 1918, Beckman was not raised in a horse-riding family. But the love of horses still prevailed. In the 1940s she bought and rode a thoroughbred hunter, Ramos, to great success. After serving in the Red Cross — where she met her husband, Carl — and living in Chicago for a bit, she would move to Virginia and establish the famed Otteridge Farm. There at the base of the Peaks of Otter, she taught riding lessons and bred champion hunter ponies.

Beckman is a founding member and past president of the Virginia Pony Breeder’s Association and also is in the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.

Eileen Beckman on Ramos
Eileen Beckman on Ramos.  — Photo courtesy of Off Track Thoroughbreds

Beckman was a firm believer that breeding success lied in researching pedigrees. She told The Chronicle of the Horse in 2007, “In the beginning, I really had no idea what I was doing. I would look and see what everyone else was doing and just give it a try. But I think that I’ve been blessed with a pretty good eye. My husband used to say, ‘Eileen you come home with the worst looking things and they turn out just fine.’ ”

Among the farm’s many success stories were Otteridge Dreaming Of Blue, Otteridge Dress Blues, Otteridge Black Hawk, Otteridge Pow Wow, Otteridge Foxtrot, Otteridge Up In Lights and Otteridge French Twist.

Otteridge Farm has always placed a great emphasis on breeding ponies with great temperaments and that can be handled by children. Poor temperaments are not tolerated in their breeding program and there are no stallions standing at the farm.

Eileen Beckman died in May 2010 at the age of 91. Otteridge Farm’s tradition as a top-notch breeding program continues, with Beckman’s family, including daughter Randee Beckman and grand-daughter Katie Gardner, at the helm.

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Sherri West moves from coaching Virginia Tech to Hollins equestrian teams

Via HollinsSports.com

Hollins University has named Sherri West as director of the school’s equestrian program and head riding coach. She will oversee all aspects of the program, including teaching classes, conducting practices, and preparing the equestrian team and individual riders for competition in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

“We are thrilled to have Sherri leading our riding program into the future.  She has a full appreciation for the successful history of the Hollins program, and is the right person to lead us forward,” said Myra Sims, Hollins University Director of Athletics.  “I am confident that Sherri will be a positive mentor for our students and staff.  She is an accomplished coach and an effective communicator with a direct and encouraging style of teaching.  She will continue, and build upon, the tradition and success of the Hollins riding program.”

West previously was the coach at Virginia Tech since 2007.  During her time there, she coached a number of regional and national champions in intercollegiate competition. This spring, she led Virginia Tech to its highest finish ever at the IHSA National Championships, and she has also successfully coached riders to major victories at Southwest Virginia Hunter Jumper Association, United States Equestrian Federation, and United States Hunter Jumper Association shows. In addition to her success as a coach, West has served in leadership positions for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, American National Riding Commission and Southwest Virginia Hunter Jumper Association.

“The equestrian program at Hollins has always been the gold standard for intercollegiate riding with an unparalleled coaching staff, quality horses, and top-notch care,” West said. “The level of excellence evident in every aspect of the program is what drew me to this position. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the amazing staff and students at Hollins University and look forward to leading the program forward.”

Hollins riders have captured 19 individual IHSA national championships, four Fitch Trophy/Cacchione Cup Individual National High Point Rider championships, and numerous ODAC Rider of the Year awards. As a team, Hollins has won two national championships, qualified for IHSA Nationals 12 times, and won the ODAC championship 21 times.

Tack, supply and apparel store coming to Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke

A new retailer at Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke will carry horse tack and supplies and related accessories including clothing and boots.

Everyday Outfitters will operate as a second location of Western Ways in Forest, Va. Western Ways has been in business near Lynchburg since 1972.

The new Towers store will be located between McAlister’s Deli and Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts. It is expected to open by the end of the year.

Related stories:

The Roanoke Times: 2 new businesses sign leases at Towers Shopping Center

Mid-Atlantic Reining Classic takes a slide through Virginia Horse Center

img_4045The world of horses seemed to be spinning a bit faster than usual this past weekend at the Virginia Horse Center as the Mid-Atlantic Reining Classic rolled into Lexington. The event boasted $100,000 in added money.

With the likes of Shawn Flarida and Rocky Dare in the saddle, there were lots of great runs to take in. The show also included classes for rookie and novice and green riders as well.

Saturday was capped by the NRHA Open Futurity, which saw Robin Schoeller ride Untrashyable to the win with a score of 223. Reserve went to Rocky Dare on Steady Mercedes. Third was Peter J De Freitas on ConquistadorWizzler. Click here for a full list of results.

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The Open Futurity had 41 riders, in various levels, to show and took several hours to complete. The crowd was enthusiastic for the runs and whooping and hollering seemed to be a talent to be perfected all its own. Unlike many shows where the crowd sits as silently as possible, yelling, clapping and showing your appreciation for the rider in the arena is encouraged. None of the horses in the open futurity seemed even slightly phased by the noise. Kids in the stands loved that they didn’t have to be silent and “Go, Daddy Go” or “Giddy-up!” could be heard from children ringside.

Click here to see a video from Saturday night’s futurity.

Different from many other reining competitions that I have seen, riders seemed to be allowed to show using two hands on the reins. Most of the riders in Saturday night’s futurity rode two-handed but a handful rode with the more tradition single hand on the reins.

 

 

Cross View Horse Show Series gets a beach day for the Luau July show

BlogCV-0003Attending a show at Green Hill Equestrian Center in Salem in the middle of July will make you appreciate trees and complain that no one ever thought of planting a few near the in-gate of the arenas. The sun was unrelenting at the Cross View Horse Show Series’ Luau show. A beach umbrella and a swimming pool would have been a very smart addition to every trailer.

BlogCV-0005The to-be-expected July heat didn’t cool off the attendance on Saturday, July 14, 2018.  In particular, the jumper classes were well attended with some classes in excess of 10 entries and the jumper division stretching until about 3 p.m.

As the over fences classes wrapped up in the afternoon, participation did seem to drop for the flat classes. Beginner walk and walk/trot classes — usually very popular — only had one entry. Meanwhile, the adult hunter pleasure classes, which are usually some of the smaller classes of the day, showed six riders competing.

The Hunter Day of the Luau show was judged by Margaret Cornwell. Cornwell, a 2002 graduate of Ferrum College where she rode for the equestrian team in the open division, joined the Ferrum staff as the equestrian team coach in the fall of 2013.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM SATURDAY’S SHOW.

Riders were also left fighting a common summer horse show curse: dusty arenas. While watering was planned by show management, their efforts were blocked by a broken water tank at the park show grounds.

The second half of the show kicked off with a fun class for parents/spouses to get into the action: a leadline class all their own to help raise money for the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Queen. Spouses and parents will get another chance to show off some equestrian skills at tomorrow’s open class day in the Showmanship class just for them.

The Cross View Horse Show appears to still be building momentum with each year in number of riders and quality of horses shown. The Luau show continues tomorrow with its open show featuring classes for English, Western and Hunt Seat riders. Leah Metz Hylton will judge.

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Randolph College to close riding center

On July 2, 2018, Randolph College President Bradley Bateman announced that the board of trustees voted to close the Randolph College Riding Center in Lynchburg. A fundraising effort to save the center failed to raise the $7.1 million needed.

The riding center, which sits on 100 donated acres and houses 40 horses, 26 of which are school horses, on average required $350,000 a year to operate.

Bateman said that declining interest in the riding program was also a factor in the decision. This year’s team had 25 riders, including four who rode at the IHSA National Finals this year.

The riding program will officially close in July 2019. The school will continue to offer the equine studies minor. New homes will be found for the 26 school horses next summer, Bateman said.

Warner introduces legislation to prevent horse soring to produce exaggerated gaits

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Thick pads can be seen on a Tennessee Walker horse being shown at a Roanoke area competition in 2015. Legislation introduced by Virginia Sen. Mark Warner would prohibit the use of pads and soring to produce the walking horse “big lick” gait.
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This horse also was competing at a Roanoke area show in 2015 while wearing thick pads and chains, both legal horse show equipment.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is taking again aim at “soring,” a practice used by some trainers to create the exaggerated high-stepping “big lick” gait seen in Tennessee Walker show horses.

On May 24,  U.S. Sens.  Warner and Mike Crapo of Idaho introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect horses from the abusive practice.

Soring is the practice of intentionally applying substances or devices to a horse’s leg to make each step painful. While soring already is prohibited under federal law, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General (IG) report has found that some horse trainers often go to great lengths to continue the practice.

“For more than 400 years, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture. But despite a federal ban, horse soring — an act that deliberately inflicts pain on these animals— continues in some segments of the walking horse industry,” Sen. Warner said. “This bipartisan bill will finally put an end to this cruel and abusive practice.”

 

The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act would:

  • Eliminate self-policing by requiring the USDA to assign a licensed inspector if the show’s management indicates its intent to hire one. Licensed or accredited veterinarians, if available, would be given preference for these positions.
  • Prohibit the use of action devices and pads on specific horse breeds that have historically been the primary victims of soring. Action devices, such as chains that rub up and down an already-sore leg, intensify the horse’s pain when it moves, so that the horse quickly jolts up its leg.
  • Increase the penalties on an individual caught soring a horse from a misdemeanor to a felony which is subject to up to three years’ incarceration, increase fines from $3,000 to $5,000 per violation, and permanently disqualify three-time violators from participating in horse shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions.

In 2017, the USDA Office of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) incorporated some of the major tenets of the PAST Act in a rule meant to strengthen certain aspects of the Horse Protection Act. However, the rule was not finalized before the end of the Obama Administration and the Trump Administration halted that process. The PAST Act would codify these changes into law.

Numerous groups have endorsed the bill, including the Humane Society of the United States, the American Horse Council, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The PAST Act was introduced in previous years by Sen. Warner and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

One method of soring involves using chemical agents such as mustard oil, kerosene, and other caustic substances on the pasterns, bulbs of the heel, or coronary bands of the horses, causing burning or blistering of the horses’ legs to accentuate their gaits. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is sometimes added to increase the effect. The treated area is then often wrapped in plastic while the chemicals are absorbed.

Other methods of soring can include pressure shoes, where the hoof is trimmed  so that the sole is in direct contact with the pad or shoe.  The horse may then be  ridden on hard surfaces on the over-trimmed hooves, until they are very sore.

 

Roanoke Valley Horse Show name going by the wayside

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First its location changed. Then the class list dropped a large portion of the classes and became a show for Saddlebreds. And now the name is disappearing, too.

The Roanoke Valley Horse Show left the Salem Civic Center for a rebirth at the Virginia Horse Center in 2016. But that rebirth became more of a high-speed evolution. The hunter classes were gone by 2017 and the name had been tweaked to Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show. A Grand Prix would no longer cap off the weeklong schedule. And the support of Roanoke area businesses also was lost as the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association passed off the event to new hosts.

This year, the show will run just four days — June 20-23 — at the Virginia Horse Center. And Roanoke appears to be disappearing from its name. The artwork for the show lists it as the Shenandoah Classic Horse Show.

Lots has changed but there will still be plenty of high-stepping action if not high jumping action. And it is inevitable that even some of our most treasured horse show events will change over time, particularly as horse shows face the challenge of dropping participation.

Meanwhile, the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association is scheduled to hold a one-day community horse show at Green Hill Park Equestrian Center in Salem this summer. Watch for more details on that event.

Sweet Briar College’s Makayla Benjamin wins Cacchione Cup at IHSA Nationals

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Makayla Benjamin, a senior at Sweet Briar College, won the 2018 USEF/Cachionne Cup.

Sweet Briar College is back on top.

In 2015, college officials shocked alumni and students alike when they announced the school, including its esteemed equestrian program, would close. Alumnae saved their beloved school, and the college’s tradition of riding excellence was saved with it.

On Saturday, May 5, 2018, Makayla Benjamin, a senior, became the riding program’s first winner of the Cacchione Cup at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The USEF/Cacchione Cup is awarded to the National Individual Hunter Seat High Point Rider.

Benjamin, of Leesburg, Virginia, is one of 24 riders from across the nation who qualified to compete for the Cacchione Cup, with three riders coming from each of the eight regions across the nation.

The last Vixen to compete at nationals in the USEF/Cacchione Cup was Olivia Smith in 2014. Smith placed ninth overall. Benjamin joins Smith and Jodie Weber as Sweet Briar riders to have competed for the USEF/Cacchione Cup since 2006. Weber finished fourth in 2006, while Smith finished 33rd in 2013 and ninth in 2014.

Past Cacchione Cup winners are:

2017: Katherine Steiner – Centenary University
2016: Chase Boggio, Tufts University
2015: Elizabeth Hay, College of Charleston-South Carolina
2014: Alexandra Carleton, University of Vermont
2013: Cori Reich, Centenary College
2012: Kels Bonham, Savannah College of Art and Design
2011: Marissa Cohen, Centenary College
2010: Lindsay Sceats, Mount Holyoke College
2009: Lindsay Clark, Centenary College
2008: James Fairclough II, Drew University
2007: Whitney Roper, University of Virginia
2005: Ashley Woodhouse, Skidmore College
2004: Tara Brothers, University of South Carolina
2003: John Pigott, University of Vermont
2002: Laena Romond, Mount Holyoke College
2001: Amanda Forte, Brown University
2000: Hally Philips, Tufts University
1999: Lindsay Phibbs, Skidmore College
1998: Jennie Chesis, Cazenovia College
1997: Kelly Anne Taylor, Centenary College
1996: Kara Treiber, University of Findlay
1995: Kim Peters, Lake Erie College
1994: Daniel Geitner Sainy, Andrews Presbyterian College
1993: Parris Cozart, Hollins College
1992: Christine Kilpatrick, University of Virginia
1991: Kelly Mullen, SUNY Stony Brook
1990: Claudia Barth, Mount Holyoke College
1989: Charlotte Sprague, Hollins College
1988: Kelly Mullen, SUNY Stony Brook
1987: Heidi Bossow, Hollins College
1986: Peter Wylde, Tufts University
1985: Heidi Bossow, Hollins College
1984: Beezie Patton, Southern Seminary College
1983: CeCe Williamson, University of Virginia
1982: CeCe Williamson, University of Virginia
1981: CeCe Williamson, University of Virginia
1980: Ann Sipperly, SUNY Stony Brook
1979: Mary Buckley, Colby Sawyer College
1978: Luanne Richards, Penn State University
1977: Pam Carson, Adelphi University
1976: Suzie Horrigan, Colby Sawyer College
1975: Jean Oberg, SUNY Stony Brook
1974: Mary Webster, Bennett College
1973: Mark Weissbecker, University of Massachusetts
1972: Duncan Peters, University of Connecticut

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Makayla Benjamin Receives An Unforgettable Gift
Sweet Briar College equestrian competing in Germany at World Finals
Sweet Briar College rider topped league in show jumping at world finals