GET YOUR HORSE FIX: Calendar of equestrian events in the Roanoke area September 19-20

This weekend’s highlight is the the Baroque Equestrian Games & Classical Horse Competition on Sept. 18-20 in the East Complex of the Virginia Horse Center. You know the show is going to be something unique when there’s a rule just on the subject of swords. (“Riders in the Equilibre, Rassembler & Haute Ecole Phases of the Mounted Maneuvers shall provide their own practice swords. Swords may be constructed of plastic, wood or metal, but must be blunted without sharp edges.”) You don’t see that in your average prize book.

So what are the Baroque Equestrian Games? The Games are comprised of four sections: Ground Work, Classical Schooling, Mounted Maneuvers, and Musical Presentation. Within each riding section are four progressive phases of training: Initiate, Equilibre, Rassembler, and Haute Ecole. Participants may use any tack – English, Western, Heritage, Traditional, etc.  In every section and at every phase the emphasis is on grace, artistry, softness, relaxation, and mutual enjoyment of horse and rider. Jos Sevriens of the Stables at Blalock Lakes in Georgia will judge the competition. Sevriens, originally from Holland, is a certified instructor in Holland, France and the U.S. and has won numerous national competitions in both Holland and the U.S. for certified instructors. Sevriens is also a certified USDF and USEF breed judge.

The Friday Night Festival will begin the revelry with the Showcase of Classical Breeds, the Stallion & Sales Spotlight, The Baroque Tack & Attire Fashion Parade, and a sumptuous Wine and Cheese Reception (wine and cheese tickets are $5) with a Masquerade Party!  

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, The Grand Gala, an equestrian theatrical production entitled “Once Upon a Time,” will feature magnificent horses, extravagant costumes, beautiful music, and professional riders recreating everyone’s favorite fairy tale characters. Reserved seat tickets are $20, general admission is $10.  The production is a fundraiser for Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center.

Various demonstrations and lectures will be held in the arena throughout the day on Friday and Saturday during breaks in the class schedule and are free to attend.  They include:

  • Mark Russell Natural Dressage >> Author, clinician and former student of Nuno Oliveira, Mark Russell demonstrates how to incorporate relaxation and eradicate all negative tension throughout the education of the horse.
  • Patricia Norcia: The Use of Seat Aids in Classical Riding >> In this 30-minute unmounted demonstration, you can learn to ride powerfully and invisibly while sitting in your chair.
  • Alfonso Doce: The Beauty and Benefits of the Spanish Walk  >> International classical trainer & teacher with years of experience rich in the classical teachings, has ridden and trained at both the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts and with riders at the School of Portugal.
  • Carol Fletcher: Groundwork and In-hand Work as a Foundation for Trick and High School Training >> Founder of the “Trickonometry” program for trick training, her world-renowned books and DVDs help horse owners from amateurs to professionals of all breeds and disciplines use humane techniques.
  • Sharon Madere: The Science of Learning>> With over 25 years immersion in the field, she will discuss the latest scientific understanding about how horses learn, and how we can use that knowledge to improve our training methods on the ground and under saddle.  

There also will be a raffle for a black 3-year-old Andalusian filly DEM Estrella. Raffle tickets are $10 each. There are a limited number of tickets being printed (only 2,500). The drawing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19. See a video of the filly here.



  • Pine Spur Hunt Club Hunter Series will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Pine Spur Hunt Club grounds in Vinton, Va.  The show is Blue Ridge Horse Force and sanctioned and will be judged by Jenn Fessler. The show features model, flat and over-fences classes up to 2’9″.
  • The Harmony Equestrian Center in Fincastle, Va. will host a Schooling Jumper Show on Sept. 19. The show starts at 9:30 a.m. and will open with poles and work its way up. Pre-register for a discount to by Thursday, Sept. 17.
  • Roanoke Valley Pony Club Fall Frolic will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, at Green Hill Park Equestrian Center in Salem.


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