Roanoke Valley Horse Show continues to evolve at Virginia Horse Center

rvhs cecil wheeler
Ceil Wheeler and Callaway’s Brioni. Photo courtesy of Shiflet Photography
The Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show returned to the Virginia Horse Center on June 21-25. And while high-steppin’ horses took to the Coliseum to compete for top honors, there were no high jumps in a chase for a title.

While technically this is a continuation of the show once run by the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association at the Salem Civic Center and hosted by the Virginia Horse Center in 2016, the show is now under new management, R.H. Bennett, of Shelbyville, Kentucky. 

The 2017 show was a very different affair than what fans will remember from 1972-2014. The hunter/jumper classes that were at the heart of the multi-breed Salem show are no more. Nor are the barrels or Western classes that were traditionally held on Monday. And fans would not find a Grand Prix of Roanoke to cap the event on Saturday night. This year’s show showcased only American Saddlebreds.

The show, begun in 1972, has been granted United States Equestrian Federation designation as a USEF Heritage Competition. The designation is only given to those competitions that have made substantial contributions toward the development of the sport, promote and practice equestrian ideals of sportsmanship, and have been established for a long period of time.

For 2017, there were 103 classes. Horses come from far and wide with  23 states represented. Spectators were admitted at no charge. The Salem show sold tickets to its evening classes.

During this year’s competition, Ceil Wheeler and her own Callaway’s Brioni took home the championship in the ASB Ladies Five Gaited Championship. The reserve champion was presented to Phyllis Brookshire aboard Man on the Move.

Suzanne Wright and Fort Chiswell’s Wild Kiss earned the ASB Five Gaited Show Pleasure Adult championship, with the reserve championship going to Jennie Garlington riding Kalarama’s New Moon.

In the Hackney Pony Pleasure Adult Championship, it was Toni Nastali aboard Sandra Surber’s Heartland Resplendent that received the tricolor. The reserve champion in the Hackney division went Patty Hylton riding her own, Crystal Creek’s Legacy.

The win in the ASB Fine Harness Jackpot went to Larry Hodge aboard Trust My Imagination, owned by Hillcroft Farm. Hodge also took home the win in the ASB Five Gaited Jackpot, this time aboard Two Sweet to Kiss.

The ASB Five Gaited Jackpot was dedicated to Matt Shiflet’s grandfather, Claude Shiflet, a trainer whose family has been coming to the Roanoke Valley Horse Show from the beginning. The Shiflet family was honored before the class.

Related:

Former Roanoke Valley Horse Show has new name, format

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Bonnie Blue National Horse Show tightly restricts photography

If you’re going to the Bonnie Blue National Horse Show on May 11-14 at the Virginia Horse Center, leave your camera at home. The prize book for the USEF-rated show¬† states that commercial photographers are limited to press photographers only. How do you know if you are a commercial photographer? The prize list states that “cameras with detachable lenses or lenses of more than two inches are prohibited. Any lenses greater than two inches is considered professional equipment and is not permitted in the arena buildings or into the competition arenas to include seating areas.”

Press passes will be issued by the horse show office after press photographers sign an agreement stating that they won’t sell the photographs under any circumstances.

Professional photographers may not record the event with any kind of camera, or video
equipment. (I’m not certain how they decide that you are a professional photographer using your iPhone illegally.) This policy will be strictly enforced. Violation of the policy may result in removal from the show grounds. Commercial photographers found violating this policy will be accessed a $1,000 fee and escorted off the grounds.

The show is celebrating its 30th year. The policy is not unique is just this show but to all AHA national shows.

Here is the policy as it was written and published in the show’s Prize List:

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO
Photographs will be taken by Doug Shiflet during the sessions and will be available directly through him. Video will be provided by Richfield Video. Arrangements may be made before the session or by calling 1-800-345-2429.
Commercial Photographers at all national shows are limited to PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY. Press photographers (anyone taking pictures for newspapers or periodic publications ) will be required to sign an agreement stating that they will abide by official Bonnie Blue Nationals Horse Show rules and any photographs they take are to be used for editorial purposes only and are NOT TO BE SOLD under any circumstances. Only one press pass will be issued per publication. Once an agreement has been signed, an official BBN Press Pass will be issued. Press passes can only be obtained from the horse show office. Cameras with detachable lenses or lenses of more than two inches are prohibited. Any lenses greater than two inches is considered professional equipment and is not permitted in the arena buildings or into the competition arenas to include seating areas. The official show photographers are exempt from this policy. Professional photographers may not record the event with any kind of camera, or video equipment. This policy will be strictly enforced. Violation of the policy may result in removal from the show grounds. Commercial photographers found violating this policy will be accessed a $1000 fee and escorted off the grounds.

Looking for Bonnie Blue National photos? Visit Doug Shiflet’s page by clicking here.

Related links:

Horse show photography: When spectators decide to break out a camera