Attending 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.
The 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.
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.
The Cross View Horse Show Series closed it’s 2017 series, crowning its high point winners for the day and the season at its fall show this past weekend. While the calendar said it was fall, the weather felt more like mid-summer with temperatures well into the mid-80s and the sun shining hot and bright all day.
By the time I arrived on Sunday afternoon, their was a decent, if not spectacular, turnout for the show. I was a bit surprised that more didn’t take advantage of the incredible September weather to come out with their horses. As with each Cross View show, the midway between the two main rings included vendors and games.
Most of the Western classes appeared to have between two and five entries. Five vied for the Jackpot GAYP Pleasure class. Laura Owen took home the largest slice of the jackpot on her sorrel gelding, Zipposhandsomedevil, who she rode without a bridle in the class.
The ranch horse classes were also well attended. Riders in the ranch rail classes were asked to walk, job and lope, but also to extend the jog.
Attire for Western part of the show was very casual for some — I saw ball caps and blue jeans on some — to gemstones and standard pleasure glitz on others. So don’t let your lack of show attire keep you from coming out to complete next year!
The Cross View series is a great show for all levels of riders looking for a well-run show with a low-pressure, community atmosphere. Along with the competition, vendors also camped out in the grassy section between the two arenas.
Green Hill Equestrian Center offers three arenas with dirt footing. There is a large field across from the arenas for easy trailer parking, even for the largest of rigs. There also limited stalls available. The Green Hill venue does get hot in the summer with limited shade, so bring your pop up canopies or consider arriving early to secure a spot near the woods.
The show moves along fairly quickly. On Sunday, the gaited horses and model/showmanship started the show in separate arenas. The gaited portion was completed by 11 a.m and featured Rocky Mountain Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, Saddlebreds and Peruvian Pasos among the horses shown.
Turnout was good considering the heat in July. Youth classes were particularly well attended with 10-15 in the youth pleasure classes. However the adult classes on Sunday weren’t as well attended and the English pleasure division had just one adult showing this time. Classes run $9/class.
Cross View would hold the last show in its 2017 series on Sept. 23-24 at Green Hill Equestrian Center, where it will crown the high point winners for the entire series.
The Cross View Horse Show series kicked off on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Green Hill Park Equestrian Center in Salem, Virginia, with hunter/jumper classes before shifting into their open show on Sunday. Saturday saw a good turnout with classes varying in size from just a few riders to numbers reaching into the teens. While the youth divisions are strong, the show still lacks good numbers in the adult divisions.
A variety of classes both over fences and on the flat were held. The day was hot for May and felt more like midsummer than spring, complete with late afternoon thunderstorms rolling in and causing the show to break until they rolled past. Meanwhile, Sunday’s show would be much cooler, with the rain holding off until near the end of the show.
Cross View’s shows feature great prizes, with embroidered chairs going to the high point champions. The atmosphere is professional, yet relaxed. The jumper and hunter rings are separate and the show runs along at a decent clip with two divisions running at the same time. This also leaves the largest arena open for schooling, as well as plenty of space behind the trailers for riding. The show is a great place to take green horses for schooling or young riders for experience. And the great prizes and fun atmosphere makes is an enjoyable show for more experienced teams as well.
While Green Hill Park has been trying to raise funds to upgrade the arenas, the hunter ring (Arena 2) still appeared to be a bit hard with course crushed stone for footing. That arena was regraded last fall and now sports temporary fencing that some may recognize from the Roanoke Valley Horse Show in Salem.
The Cross View Horse Show Series continues on July 15-16. Katie Skelly will judge the hunter/jumper classes on Saturday and Tricia Mozingo will judge the open classes on Sunday. Ken Davis will judge Gaited/Trail/Games on Sunday as well. The series will close Sept. 23-24.
School is back in session and Labor Day is on the horizon, but most would agree that our best riding days are just around the corner. Cooler fall days, surrounded by the beautiful colors of autumn make for gorgeous riding. Here are some upcoming equestrian events to help you plan your fall.
There is nothing like a trail ride in the fall. The smell of fallen leaves as they crunch under your horse’s hooves is as much a part of the season as pumpkin spice flavors for equestrians. Here area few trail ride events happening within a few hours of Roanoke this fall:
The Fleetwood Community Center Trail Ride is Oct. 14-16 at 1357 Crabtree Falls Highway, Roseland, Virginia. The ride is a fundraiser for Nelson County’s Fleetwood Community Center. The building was once an elementary school. Today its grounds provide a beautiful location to host events such as the trail ride and for youth sports. The trail ride takes place twice a year, once in the spring in April, and once in the fall in October. It includes several rides throughout the weekend. On Friday, there is a short trail ride of 6-8 miles. Saturday there are two rides to choose from: One long ride of about 25 miles, and one short ride,of about 15 miles. On Sunday a nice easy 10-12 mile ride is available. All three rides cover a variety of terrain: water crossings, dirt trails, rocky trails, mountain ridges and the climbs to get there (some are pretty steep but we offer alternates if you want to avoid them). Fees are $80 per adult rider and $40 per rider under 18 and all non-riders. The fee includes three days and two nights of camping on a level field alongside the Tye River. Five meals, including lunch on the trail, are included. Registration is due by Oct. 1. Questions? For registration and general questions, contact Audrey Diane Evans @ either 434-277-5814 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Nancy Brockman @ 434 2775630 for questions
about the trails.
The Liberty Trail Ride will be held Sept. 17 in Orange, Virginia. The ride is organized by Orange County Parks & Recreation and Oakland Heights Farm, hosted by James Madison’s Montpelier, and supported by the Virginia Horse Industry Board and Virginia Horse Council. The ride begins promptly at 10am, so it is highly recommended that participants arrive before 9am, though participants are welcome to arrive as early as 8:15 am. The length of the ride is between 7 and 10 miles round-trip (route may change based on weather and trail conditions), and the terrain is pasture land, wooded trails, and gravel roads, so please make sure horses are shod accordingly. (Shoes are highly recommended, without shoes some horses have experienced fatigue on the gravel roads.) This is a group trail ride with a trail master who leads the ride. This first portion of the ride is optional since it will expose horses to crowds of observers. Lunch will be provided at the end of the ride.
Amelia Springs Trail Ride is Sept. 16-18 in Amelia Springs, Va. Trails are self guided on private Hunt Club property and will be marked for short or long rides. Gates open at 10 a.m.. Friday for camping. Early arrivals welcome on Thursday after 3 p.m. It is a primitive site in an open field. There are no electric hook-ups. There is water, showers and horse wash at the barn. This is a pre-registration ride. The Cost is $65 for adults and $35 for youth (11 – 17) for the entire weekend, which includes camping. Registrations not post-marked by Sept. 6 the cost is $70 for Adults.
OPEN HORSE SHOWS
Beat the heat of the summer horse shows by catching one of these competitions this fall. Ribbons make the best colors of fall, afterall.
The Virginia Horse Center will host the Hear the Beat Open Horse Show on Sept. 4 in the center’s East Complex. Classes will begin at 8 a.m. and Lesley Morris will judge.
The Southwest Virginia Horseman’s Association is holding a Fall Fun Horse Show on Sept. 10 at the New River Fairgrounds in Dublin, Virginia. The show will start at 10 a.m. with game classes, then the fun show will continue at 1 p.m. with classes for English, Western and Gaited horses. Lesley Morris will be the judge. A $5 admission will be collected from spectators.
On Sept. 17, the Franklin County Equestrian Club will hold the 3rd Annual Franklin County Fair Open Horse Show at Ginther Farm in Rocky Mount, Virginia. The show includes a wide variety of classes, including over fences, trail, pleasure, gaited, and ranch. Speed/game classes will follow, not to begin before 1 p.m. The show is Blue Ridge Horse Force sanctioned and will be judged by Marty Wood.
The New London Horse Show Series finale is set Oct. 22 in Coyote Crossing Cattle Company in Bedford, Va. Wendy Snyder will judge the show, which includes classes for a variety of disciplines including Hunt Seat, Western, Ranch, Mini, Gaited and Speed.
Green Hill Equestrian Center Halloween Fun Show will be held Oct. 30 at the equestrian center in Salem, Va. Find a variety of pleasure and game classes to round out the show season. The show is Blue Ridge Horse Force sanctioned. Costumes are encouraged in all classes, so get ready to put your creativity to the test!
The Cross View Horse Show series will close its season on Nov. 5-6 at Green Hill Equestrian Center in Salem. The two-day show begins Saturday with hunters. Sunday features an open horse show with a variety of classes on the flat. The show is Blue Ridge Horse Force and Franklin County Equestrian Club sanctioned. Ann Martin will judge on Saturday and Tricia Monzingo will judge Sunday.
Did you find a few weak spots in your riding or your mount’s training? There are some opportunities to get help this fall.
Healing Strides will host Steuart Pittman for a cross-country and showjumping clinic, on Sept. 3-4 in Boones Mill, Virginia. Steuart is a nationally-recognized clinician whose prior clinics at Healing Strides have been very popular. He is well regarded for his teaching and training abilities and his positive, fun-loving attitude, which make his clinics both educational and fun. Register by Aug. 26 to ride.
Basic Horsemanship/Problem Solving Clinic with Knight Horsemanship (of Jumping Branch, West Virginia) will be held Oct. 29 at Shadow Ridge Stable in Wirtz. The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break. $150/ride $20/audit All riders welcome !Come out and also enjoy a mounted shooting Demo with Bobby Knight. Call to reserve your spot (540) 632-3002
Shadow Ridge Stables in Wirtz, Virginia is hosting a Gabrielle Hooten Dressage Clinic on Sept. 3. Spots to ride in this clinic are already full, but auditors are welcome for $10. Because this clinic filled so quickly, Shadow Ridge will offer a second clinic on Oct. 1. Be sure to reserve your spot early by calling 540-632-3002.
The Botetourt County Horseman’s Association will host a Lunch & Learn at Green Hill Equestrian Center in Salem on Oct. 1. Come out and ride at Green Hill for the day. A local clinician will also hold sessions. The details of this event are still being worked out, so watch for updates!
GREAT HORSE WATCHING
Trailer in the shop, horse not up to leaving the farm , don’t have a horse at all or just plain prefer to watch others ride? There are plenty of options for hanging out along the rail this fall. Many riders are closing out their season at championship horse shows and appreciate a crowd cheering them on.
It’s not quite in fall, the the Extreme Mustang Makeover on Aug. 26-28 is not to be missed for any horse training fans. This wild horse training competition will offer two divisions: Youth, ages 8-17, will compete with a mustang they adopt in-hand and adults, ages 18 and over, will ride their assigned mustang in preliminary classes to compete for a spot in the top 10 freestyle finals. This event will award $25,000 in cash and prizes. All adult mustangs will be available for adoption after the event by competitive bid. Bureau of Land Management representatives will be on site to approve interested adopters. All events are free except for Saturday evening. Tickets may be purchased in advance or on-site. Kids 5 and under are Free.
The VPHC Color Classic will be held over Labor Day weekend at the Virginia Horse Center. The APHA show showcases top horses in the Paint horse industry in a variety of classes.
The Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show will be held Sept. 15-18 at the Virginia Horse Center, featuring 4-H youth from across the state. Plan to stay into the evening on Saturday and attend the championship classes for Horsemanship and Western Pleasure. The Hunter championships are on Sunday.
The Virginia Horse Shows Association Championship will be held Nov. 10-13 at the Virginia Horse Center. This show caps a year of hard work by the exhibitors and is a great way to close the season.