APHA Eastern National Championship entries give hope for growth of series

One of the great things about having the Virginia Horse Center in our backyard is the region gets to play host to some of the best equestrian competitions in the nation. Last weekend promised to be another one of those times with the APHA Eastern National Championship pulling into the facility for four days.

Competition was top-notch with quality horses being shown as one would expect of such a show. But the entries perhaps were a bit lighter than one would have thought of a national championship show.

APHA reports that the show drew 126 horses in 13 divisions. Most classes had fewer than 10 entries. So while it the show was run beautifully and had truly spectacular prizes, it didn’t, in the end, feel like a big show.

The show was aimed at bringing top-notch competition to new areas of the country.

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“By taking the excitement of a top-level event and bringing it closer to our Eastern Paint Horse exhibitors, we hoped to invite new faces to dream big and compete for these prestigious titles and awards,” Senior Director of APHA Events Holly Slaughter said. “We were thrilled to welcome several exhibitors competing with APHA for the first time, along with strong numbers in many divisions.”

The turnout and enthusiasm at the Eastern event indicate the growth potential for the National Championship series, APHA Executive Director Billy Smith says.

The Western National Championship is set for October 16–19 in Las Vegas.

“The interest shown for both our 2019 National Championships indicates a gap existing within our horse show landscape,” Billy said. “These national shows fulfill a need for regional exhibitors seeking the thrill of a prestigious championship-level event located a little closer to home. We’re optimistic about this series and look forward to growing them further in the future.”

Find class results, results by judge, scribe sheets and complete high-point and all-around placings here.

Solid Paint-bred entries stand out at APHA Eastern National Championship

Tabitha Thompson of Fincastle and her mare Too Tuf To Be Fancy.

Written by APHA News

Solid Paint-bred exhibitors are shining bright at the Eastern National Championships, held March 22–24 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. The inaugural National Championship boasted more than 100 per-judge entries across Open, Youth, Amateur and Amateur Walk-Trot Solid Paint-Bred divisions by Saturday afternoon. Preliminary entry reports for the show are more than 800 per judge.

With bountiful opportunities to compete, solid Paint-bred exhibitors like Tabitha Thompson, of Fincastle, Virginia, enjoyed demonstrating their horse’s versatility. Tabitha raised Too Tuf To Be Fancy, a 2012 bay solid mare by The Ultimate Fancy and out of Hosan Forties (QH) since she was a weanling. The duo demonstrated their versatility at the Eastern National Championship Show, competing in Amateur Solid Paint-Bred halter, showmanship, ranch, equitation and showmanship events.

“We’re here to do a little bit of everything,” Tabitha laughed. “I only live 30 minutes away, so coming here was a no-brainer. The show has been great; we’ve gotten a couple of trophies and a few placings. I’m pleased with how we’ve done!”

High interest and a strong regional community of active solid Paint-bred exhibitors led to expanded class offerings, Senior Director of APHA Events Holly Slaughter says.

“We had great enthusiasm and interest from solid Paint-bred owners in the area. After reviewing the large number of class requests and examining participation in the area, we were excited to offer a full slate of solid Paint-bred classes—including Solid Paint-Bred Amateur Walk-Trot,” Holly said. “We’re excited for the turnout, and we hope to continue to grow our solid Paint-bred classes at future National Championships.”

Youth exhibitor Maryann Johnson of Drewryville, Virginia, took to social media to encourage entries; a member of Rock Solid World Tour, a Facebook group dedicated to organizing and encouraging solid Paint-bred exhibitors across the country, Maryann and fellow exhibitors created a spreadsheet of their planned entries to share with others.

“Networking is huge,” she said. “The spreadsheet let others know who was coming and in what events, so that they could better decide if they should make the trip. We communicate heavily on Facebook to see who is coming, and it really works!”

Maryanne brought Zippos Sweet Te, a 2010 dun solid mare by Zippos Goldn Mover and out of Blues Cup Of Te (QH), to the Eastern National Championship Show. Though they’ve seen great success at regional APHA, 4-H and Open shows, Maryann says the cost and distance makes attending the APHA World Championship Shows difficult. The National Championship brought the prestige and excitement of a top-level show to her area, she says.

“This might be as close to a high-level show as we can get—and it’s right in our backyard!” she said. “The turnout has been great, too—it’s fun to compete against other Youth [in the Youth Solid Paint-Bred division]. We like to win, but we also like to have a lot of fun.”

Inaugural APHA Eastern National Championship draws big dreamers to Virginia

Written by , Paint Horse Journal 

Excitement buzzed in the crisp air as the inaugural Eastern National Championship kicked off March 22, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. Designed to bring more top-level opportunities to Paint lovers in different areas of the country, the 2019 Eastern National Championship is already seeing strong turnout and entries; Paint lovers from all walks of life are in attendance, dreaming of good rides and the coveted championship trophies.

Cheyenne Davis of Bedford, Virginia, is one such dreamer, and she spent 10 days prior to the National Championship counting down to the big event on Facebook, reflecting on her progress and memories with Stripes Little Swan, a 2003 bay overo gelding by Jedi Stripe and out of One Black Filly (QH).

“I have a tendency to think about backing out of things, so I thought that a countdown would make me really excited—and not nervous—about being here,” she explained. “Because I am excited to be here! It feels like such a blessing to have this kind of opportunity for ‘Levi.’ ”

Cheyenne’s aunt, Brenda Spencer, purchased Levi at an auction for $900 as a yearling. First intended as a pony horse on the racetrack, Levi instead became a stellar trail-riding mount before spending several years out to pasture; he didn’t begin his transformation into a show horse with Cheyenne until his 9-year-old year.

With hard work, determination and a strong support group cheering on their progress, Cheyenne and Levi soon stepped up to APHA competition, where currently compete in Amateur Walk-Trot all-around events.

“We showed our first Paint show in 2016, and we even won a couple of our classes—I was so excited! I’m just this girl from ‘Nowhere, Virginia,’ with a $900 horse,” Cheyenne laughed. “We won a whopping three APHA points at that first show, and I was so proud; I’m still proud of those points.”

When the Eastern National Championship Show was announced, Cheyenne knew it was a can’t-miss opportunity to show off how far they’ve come.

“I wasn’t planning on coming at first but the more I let it stew, the more something was telling me that I just had to come to this national show,” she said. “My plans are to take him to the APHA World Championship Show someday, but I’m not sure if that will happen; the National Show is my chance to give Levi the opportunity he deserves to do something big. I’m really excited; I’m just so happy to be here.”

The 2019 Eastern National Championship continue throughout the weekend; stay up-to-date on show entries and results by downloading the Cinch Horse Show Tracker app, available for Apple and Android smartphones. Find candid photos, updates and more via APHA’s Facebook and event page.

Extra Dirty Martini and Randy Wilson win 2019 Virginia Maiden

Horse and rider receiving winners check.
Extra Dirty Martini and Randy Wilson won the 2019 Virginia Maiden at the Virginia Horse Center.

With a big pot of gold up for grabs just in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, about a dozen horses took to the Coliseum at the Virginia Horse Center on Saturday, March 16, for the 2019 Virginia Maiden — a Western Pleasure class for horses 3 and over who have never been shown.

In a format that is familiar to many who attend the largest of stakes classes such as the World Show, the horses were introduced one by one as they jogged down the center of the arena in front of the judges before the class began.

Vying for a total purse of $33,810, the class was formerly known as the Hylton Maiden Western Pleasure Class and is designed to encourage owners and trainers from pushing their young horses too hard.  The class has been the highest paying Western Pleasure futurities in the nation for the past several years.

The class is run like a slot class, with a $700 pre-entry fee due Feb. 15. After that, the entry fee increased to $1,000.

This year, it would be Extra Dirty Martini, a son of The Best Martini, that would take the win. Bred by University of Florida and out of Certain Mouseketeer, Extra Dirty Martini was ridden by Randy Wilson and is owned by Jennifer Moreau.

Complete results:

 

  1. Extra Dirty Martini, owned by Jennifer Moreau and shown by Randy Wilson; $9,000
  2. Shez Slippin Around, owned by William Hodges and shown by Bret Parrish; $6,000
  3. Tennessi Whiskey, owned by Rusty and Katie Green and shown by Dawn Baker; $4,200
  4. Moonlite Imagination, owned by Dawn Baker and shown by Brian Baker; $2,400
  5. (5/6 tie): Only Na Lexus, owned by William Dean Oliver and shown by Jay Starnes; $2,100
  6. (5/6 tie): ShezaEzRockinGoodbar, owned by Mac McGinnis and shown by Dustin Milsap; $1,680 and $1,500 for being the highest placing Intermediate Rider
  7. PSU Certain Hope, owned by Penny Osburn and shown by Christina Bantner; $1,560 and $1,500 for being the highest placing Limited Rider
  8. Invitation Bronzed, owned by Nicole Stickney and shown by Jeff Long; $1,350
  9. No Doubt Ima GoodOne, owned by Lori Partridge and shown by Brian Rastall; $1,320
  10. (10/11 tie) Jessica Rabbit, owned by Alexandra Chavez and shown by Andrew Sharp; $1,200
  11. (10/11 tie) Drunk On Ur Love, owned by Stephanie Windecker and shown by Jessi Irion

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APHA Eastern National Championship coming to Virginia Horse Center in March

A new national championship is coming to the Virginia Horse Center.

Two American Paint Horse Association National Championship shows will debut this year, featuring an Eastern and Western championship event. The Eastern championship will take place in Lexington, Virginia, on March 21-24, 2019.

Sponsored by the American Paint Horse Association, the APHA National Championships will each be four-judge shows offering APHA points and national championship titles. Qualifying is not required. The Western event will be held in Las Vegas in October. Exhibitors may compete at both championships.

The Eastern championship will be managed by Kathy Avolt and An Equine Production. An Equine Production is one of the country’s leading horse show management groups, managing approximately 125,000 entries annually.

Classes available at the Eastern National Championship include halter, all-around events, 2-year-old longe line, ranch, reining and speed events.

“We are excited to present this new slate of shows for APHA members and provide more top-level competition opportunities for Paint lovers in different areas of the country,” Senior Director of APHA Events Holly Slaughter said. “Just like our APHA World Shows, our National Championships are designed to be exhibitor-friendly, fun and full of prizes; these shows are sure to be can’t-miss events of the year.”

The two national championships show are in addition to the APHA World Show, which will be held Sept. 16-29, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas

View the tentative show schedule

 

Save the date! Dream Weaver Farms to host Dan James clinic in 2019

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Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship Photo courtesy Double Dan Horsemanship

From freestyle reining at All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, to the World Equestrian Games to “Australia’s Got Talent” on television down under, Double Dan Horsemanship has become a household name in horsemanship. Dan James, half of Australian duo, will hold a clinic Sept. 28-29 at Dream Weaver Farm in Crockett, Virginia.

The clinic is $550 for two full days and a $50 deposit holds a spot. Please contact Dream Weaver Farm‘s owner/operator Lynn Decker if you’d like to participate.

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Dan James and Don Magnum during Freestyle Reining at 2018 All American Quarter Horse Congress Photo courtesy All American Quarter Horse Congress

Pistols blazing, Dan James took home the Congress trophy in freestyle reining in 2018 on his golden palomino Don Magnum. With his long mane flowing in the wind, Don Magnum showed he didn’t even need a rider to perform spectacular spins nor a bridle to slide into Congress glory. He was also the Congress freestyle champion in 2014. He has also won Road to the Horse

Born in Australia, James has traveled the world training horses, including working in Texas with cutting horse trainer Punk Carter. Dan has been working out of Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky, since 2012.

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Dream Weaver Farms in Crockett, Virginia, hosts a variety of nationally-known clinicians throughout the year.

Dream Weaver Farm, which is just minutes from the Interstates 77 and 81 interchange, hosts a variety of popular national clinicians throughout the year. This year’s lineup will also include:

  • Richard Schouten Remount Horsemanship, May 11-12
  • Julie Goodnight Horsemanship, June 1-2
  • Dan James w/Double Dan Horsemanship, Sept. 28-29

Meanwhile, Joe Wolter Horsemanship will return in 2020.

 

Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia holds 30th annual horse show

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The Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV) recently held its annual horse show at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia.

While the first shows were held at the fairgrounds in Richmond, Virginia, 30 years ago the TRAV show moved  to Lexington and has grown to a two-day event. This show is one of three shows that has been held at horse center consecutively for 30 years. The show draws participants from therapeutic riding centers throughout Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The TRAV show includes equitation, dressage, trails and pole bending classes. There is a high-point award for each division and a prestigious show “therapy horse” award picked by the judges. This year an instructor’s division was added with one class for younger instructors and one for older instructors. Jenny Spain of Simple Changes won the younger division and Susan Hubbard of Riverwood won the older division.

As the show grows so do our exhibitors’ skills and additional classes challenging advanced riders are slated to be added in 2019.

TRAV was formed in 1986 as a non-profit organization “to foster equine-assisted activities by offering education and networking opportunities for operating centers and to raise public awareness of the benefits of these activities to individuals with disabilities.” TRAV maintains this mission by offering:

  • Two educational workshops yearly that meet the continuing education requirement for the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International
  • Competition scholarships
  • Instructor procurement scholarships
  • A “fast-track” scholarship for attaining a PATH registered instructor designation in one year
  • Annual horse show

Mark your calendars for October 19 – 20, 2019, for the 31st TRAV Horse Show.

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.

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.