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
One of the things I love the most about living in the Roanoke region of Virginia is having the Virginia Horse Center just a short jaunt up Interstate 81. The first class horse facility brings top competition and horsemen to our region each year, and 2018 will be no exception.
If you are a fan of natural horsemanship, one of the very top clinicians will be visiting the East Complex on Oct. 5-7, 2018. Buck Brannaman was the inspiration for the movie and novel character Tom Booker from “The Horse Whisperer.” He was also the equine consultant on the film. A documentary about Brannaman called “Buck,” directed by Cindy Meehl, won the U.S. Documentary Competition Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Brannaman will hold Foundation Horsemanship and Horsemanship classes at the October clinic. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Brannaman’s website lists clinic costs at $700 for three days of class participation as a rider and an auditing fee of $30 a day.
The classes offered are described as follows:
This new class is for the green rider or a green horse who may feel the need for additional groundwork prior to riding. During each of the three-day sessions half of the class is dedicated to working the horse from the ground in preparation for riding, with the second half of the class horseback.
For the green horse and rider already comfortable in the snaffle bit along with aged horses needing continued work. This is the first stage of progressing into the bridle with all basic movements introduced. All levels of riders – no matter what discipline – will benefit. The class features strictly dry work – no cattle. All maneuvers stress the vaquero style of riding and are appropriate for horses from first level snaffle to experienced bridle horses. Hackamore horses welcome.
Brannaman, of Sheridan, Wyo., spends much of his year on the road holding clinics around the globe. For instance, his 2018 schedule includes stops in Australia, Italy and throughout the U.S., although most stops are in the Western U.S.
“I often tell people in the clinics, the human possesses the one thing that means more to the horse than anything in the world, and that is peace and comfort,” Brannaman told ABC News in 2012. “That’s all they want.”
The trainer grew up a child of abuse, terrified of their widowed father who forced him and his brothers to perform trick roping.
“The horses at that time in my life, they saved my life,” Brannaman told Weir. “The horses did way for me than I did for them. So they were my friends, and they were sort of my refuge. So it’s interesting that I’ve been given the opportunity to spend the rest of my life making things better for the horses.”
Brannaman is known for his quiet approach to gaining respect from horses. He emphasizes that respect and fear are not the same thing. He was for many years a disciple of Ray Hunt, one of the founders of the natural horsemanship movement, and also inspired by Tom and Bill Dorrance.
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.
In the end, careful was more important than fast as show jumping took center stage at the Virginia Horse Center on Saturday, April 29. Alexa Lowe-Wiseman and Windsor Farm’s Synapse De Blondel were the only combination to produce a double clear effort, winning the $30,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix and Dubliner Trophy. Out of 14 entries, five returned for the jump-off, with Wiseman qualifying with two mounts.
Synapse De Blondel, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare, had previously shown with
Wiseman in her first grand prix as a sale horse a year earlier. “My mother negotiated a trade deal with Nicholas Pio to get Blondie (Synapse De Blondel) to stay in the family after the great year we had, so it was my first grand prix with her as ours. It was very special and very exciting for Synapse De Blondel to win.”
Wiseman had the first and last attempt at the jump-off. Her first was aboard Udstrum Du Lys, a green horse who was competing in his first grand prix. Each competitor had a rail down throughout the jump-off when Wiseman entered the arena for her second round on Synapse De Blondel.
“Normally the strategy, if everyone has had a rail, you still have to go fast because if you also have a rail you don’t want to be the slowest 4-faulter. Knowing that I was the last one on course on my chestnut mare that is so careful I actually played it safe and executed a slower, but safe, clear round. It’s nice when you know that you can count on your horse to leave the jump when you are sitting in that position.”
Although completing the fastest round in the jump-off, Colombian rider Andrea Torres Guerreiro took second place aboard her own Fifty Shades, an 8-year-old Westphalian gelding. Torres Guerreiro also owned the third place finisher for Colombia, Christofolini H, a 9-year-old Rheinlander gelding ridden by Manuel Torres.
As a native Virginian, Lowe-Wiseman looks forward to continually supporting the shows at the Virginia Horse Center. “Everyone is friendly, the horse show staff, the ladies in the office, and the stable manager. They do everything they can, including having people to run you up and down the hill in golf carts so you don’t have to walk. The grand prix is special because the crowd shows up at night and cheer you on and it’s all because of the management of the show.”
On Friday, April 28, Maria Shannon won the $3,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, claiming victory aboard Buble’, a Danish Warmblood owned by Mohammad Attar. The pair rose to the challenge with a score of 169 to claim the Laura Pickett Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Show Stable.
Twenty entries competed over the Paul Jewell designed course in the Wiley Arena. Buble’ — in addition to the reserve champion, Cavallino — were trained by Shannon’s mother, Claiborne Bishop of The Barracks Farm in Charlottesville, VA. Shannon has worked for the farm since 2000 where she competes in the professional divisions.
The Lexington Spring Festival continues at the horse center and will be capped by the $30,000 George L. Olhstrom Grand Prix on Saturday, May 6.
The Virginia Horse Center recently hosted The Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale, drawing nearly 170 sale horses and hundreds of potential buyers together from April 7-8. While the weekend centers around the auction of well-broke trail and working horses, it is much more than just a horse sale. Many of the horses also vied for $1,000 Ranch Horse competition or the $2,000 Trail Horse competition the day before the sale.
The trail horse competition includes eight obstacles, six of which the consignors know such as loading and unloading from a horse trailer or crossing a bridge, and two surprise elements. This year’s surprise included an adorable yet formidable donkey and the ringing of a hanging dinner bell. The course also included live chickens in a cage nearby a tent campsite, log crossings, an outhouse that required the horses to ground tie while their riders answered the call of nature and walking through brush.
All of the horses handled the course well, but only 10 could return the next morning for the trail finals. The finals included some of the same obstacles as the preliminary round, a few twists on the old obstacles, plus some new obstacles. And after each tackled the obstacles, they were given the opportunity to show off their horses in a freestyle routine that showcased the horses’ abilities. Some did reining spins and stops, illustrating their horses’ great handles, others jumped over logs, dragged barrels and spun flags and ropes over head.
In the end, a flashy 2013 sorrel APHA gelding, Doug Only Wishes, consigned by Marion G. Valerio and trained and ridden by John Roberts Performance Horses rose to the top of the 70 trail horse competitors and took home the winner’s paycheck.
This year, the sale also included a ranch horse competition. Horses could be shown in either of the two competitions, but not both. The ranch horse class was meant to show the horses’ abilities at working with cattle and performing ranch-type tasks. One at a time, each horse completed a working pattern, then boxed a cow and then illustrated the ability to be used to rope the cow.
Topping the class of about 15 was Hip #18 Stars Stripes N Spike, a 2004 sorrel AQHA gelding consigned by Odel & Susan H. Grose of North Carolina. He later sold in the sale for $14,500, the No. 4 high-seller. The high-seller of the sale was Hip #10 Shiners Spinning Top, who was reserve champion in the Ranch Horse Competition. The 2010 gray AQHA gelding, consigned by Steve Meadows, sold for $25,000.
Gaited horses were showcased on Friday night as well in a “Gaited Horse Show Off” just prior to the start of the trail horse competition.
Besides all the competitions, horses for sale, and the general excitement surrounding the auction, the Coliseum’s concourse was packed with vendors and shoppers including booths from World Class Saddlery (who also sponsored the Ranch Horse Competition), Lucky B Trailers (who sponsored the Trail Horse Competition), Bar C Designs, Cats Tack, Cavalor Care Products, Fisher Tack, Hidden West Jewelry, In Stitches, Richard Toms and many more.
Some other stars of the sale included Hip #56 Buckeye’s Lottery Diamond, a 2014 Gypsy Vanner/Haflinger cross tri-colored paint gelding, who sold for $20,000. He was consigned by Buckeye Acre Farm. Standing 14.3 hands high, he rode and drove.
Hip No. 24, Incredibly Kool, a 2013 sorrel gelding sold for $16,000. The proven show horse had more than 80 halter points and 30 grands and reserves.
Top 10 high-sellers:
Hip 10 – Shiners Spinning Top, $25,000
Hip 56 – Buckeye’s Lottery Diamond, $20,000
Hip 24 – Incredibly Kool, $16,000
Hip 18 – Stars Stripes N Spike, $14,500
Hip 88 – Marissa, $13,500
Hip 27 – Bo Jack BB King, $12,500
Hip 70 – Mr Montana Peppy, $11,200
Hip 46 – WR Missn Dash Jet, $11,000
Hip 36 – Home on the Range, $10,500
Hip 26 – Cowboys N Margaritas, $10,000
Prices were mixed throughout the day and went down to under $2,000. But many of the horses sold in the $4,000-$7,000 range. And several consignors didn’t get what they were looking for and “no sale” was announced at the close of the bidding. While some announcements of what the seller was looking for brought grumbles of disbelief from the crowd, at least one got what they were looking for and ended up with a sale afterall.
Next year’s sale and competitions will be April 13-14, 2018, at the Virginia Horse Center.
Capt. Mark Phillips is the new FEI course designer for the Virginia Horse Trials on May 25-28, 2017, and October 26-29, 2017.
The Virginia Horse Center features two separate cross country courses, each with rolling terrain and a stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Capt. Phillips will design the CCI*, CIC2*, CCI2* and Intermediate tracks, with VHT Organizer Andy Bowles assisting at the two-star level and John Michael Durr, designer of the Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses, assisting at the one-star level.
“We’re glad to be bringing Mark to VHT,” Bowles said. “Our hope is that his experience will increase the quality of our FEI courses and present to the competitors a challenge that is true to the level and appropriate for a destination event.”
The FEI and Intermediate competitors will experience a totally new cross country challenge than in past years. The course has been reversed and a second water complex will be built.
“There had been some concern that the Oak Hill course sent horses downhill too long near the end of the course, so to lessen the impact on the horses we reversed the track,” Bowles said. “Now all the significant climbing is done within the first third of the course. This will also place the finish line and vet box closer to the road crossing back to the barns.”
The team also received feedback on the cross-country footing and so have committed considerable efforts towards preparing the best possible galloping conditions. Construction and jump placement are scheduled to be completed early to preserve the footing on cross country, and all tracks will be aerated in advance of both competitions. Mowing has already begun and will continue on a regular basis throughout the year.
This year we’re really focused on good grass maintenance. Between mowing, aerating and keeping heavy machinery off the course as much as possible, we expect the footing to be better than ever,” Bowles said.
“We’re sincerely listening to competitor feedback and making every effort to set a high standard and provide a world-class experience for horses and riders.”
The second cross country area is home to the Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses designed by John Michael Durr. As a USEF “r” Course Designer, he joined the VHT team as part of the Course Design Mentor Program in 2015 under the tutelage of John Nicholson. As part of the natural progression for the program, Durr will be assisting Capt. Phillips in designing the one-star courses this year.
“It feels great to be involved in the design of an FEI course for the first time in my career,” Durr said. “My goal as a course designer is to educate horses and riders and prepare them for the next level. Being a part of the Mentor Program has given me invaluable experience, and I’m excited for the next step in my own education as a designer.”
The Horse Center course will also feature a newly constructed water complex that will be unveiled in May. Durr feels that this addition, as well as the multitude of other new fences constructed at VHT in the last two years, will “maximize the experience” for competitors.
The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) kicks off the 2017 Hunt Seat National Finals at the Virginia Horse Center on Friday, April 21. The competition will run through Sunday, April 23. Nearly 400 of the nation’s leading IEA Middle School and High School equestrians will converge in Lexington at the horse center’s Anderson Coliseum to compete for top honors. The student riders, in grades 6-12, will travel from across the United States to participate in this competition. Riders will compete in Hunt Seat Equitation classes over fences and on the flat throughout the weekend. Although its only a short drive from Roanoke, the show also will be available via livestream on EqSportsNet if you don’t feel like going out this soggy weekend.
Riders will compete in Hunt Seat Equitation Classes, over fences and on the flat, throughout the weekend. The format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts; therefore, they draw their horses the day of competition and enter the arena after a brief, if any, warm up.
Judging each of the team and individual Hunt Seat classes will be Rachel Kennedy from Brookeville, Maryland and Melanie Smith Taylor from Germanton, Tennessee. Kennedy began riding at the age of 3 outside of Philadelphia at Jack Trainor’s Here and There Farm. Following a successful junior career, she rode to seven AHSA Horse of the Year titles along with numerous state titles as a professional. In 1995, Kennedy moved to Maryland and started her own business — ESP Farm. She has trained and shown numerous hunters and jumpers to championships and Grand Prix wins on the on the USEF “AA” Circuit at shows such as the Winter Equestrian Festival, NAJYRC, Capital Challenge, Devon, Ocala, Washington International, Upperville, Vermont Summer Festival, and Fairfield.
Melanie Smith Taylor also brings a wealth of experience to the IEA National Finals. Taylor became one of only two riders to ever win the Triple Crown of Show Jumping — the American Invitational, the International Jumping Derby, and the American Gold Cup — and the only person to win all three on the same horse. After winning the World Cup Final in 1982, she was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year and inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Two years later, she capped off her show-jumping career with a team gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Today, Taylor serves the horse world as a clinician, a television broadcaster for major events, including the Olympics and World Championships, and a recognized judge for hunters, jumpers and hunter seat equitation. She is also the author of Riding With Life, a comprehensive training guide detailing her unique program for setting horse and rider up for success.
The IEA Western National Finals at will be held on June 30 through July 2 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where nearly 200 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school Western equestrians will have their chance to compete in team and individual competitions in western horsemanship and reining.
Friday, April 24
6:00 AM Schooling of horses
7:30 AM Varsity Open Draw and Course Walk
8:30 AM–5 PM (approximate) Competition
Saturday, April 25
6:30 AM Schooling of horses
8:00 AM Varsity Open Draw and Course Walk
8:30 AM–2:00 PM (approximate) Competition
2:00 PM Varsity Open Championship Class followed by Award of IEA Leading Hunt Seat Rider
3:00 PM Parade of Teams (All IEA teams, coaches and riders scheduled to appear in arena.)
3:20 PM IEA Lifetime Achievement Award (Adult)
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (approximate) Competition
Sunday, April 26
6:00 AM Schooling of horses
7:30 AM Holy Innocents Horsemanship Test Finals
8:00 AM Open and Immediate
9:00 AM–12:00 PM (approximate) Hunt Seat Team Semi-Finals
12:00 PM–3:00 PM (approximate) Hunt Seat Team Finals Competition
3:00 PM Awards Ceremony
The Hollins Spring Welcome Horse Show will return to the Virginia Horse Center March 2-5 and will feature a variety of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The Spring Welcome is a “National/A” rated show and will have USEF 1* Jumper classes as well as USHJA Outreach classes.
Hollins University has had a competitive equestrian program since the 1930s. In the past 30 years, Hollins students have won 18 national individual championships and four have gone on to win the coveted Cacchione Cup. As a team, Hollins has won the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Team Honors twice.
The March show will include a $1,000 WIHS/NAL Children’s & Adult Hunter Classics, $1,000 Hollins Amateur Owner Hunter Classic, $1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Stake, a $1,000 Hollins Junior Hunter Classic, a $500 Hollins Pony Hunter Classic and a $225 Hollins Children’s Pony Hunter Classic. The show also includes several other special awards and perpetual trophies.
The show will use four arenas at the horse center, including the Coliseum. Judges are Chance Arakelian of Rancho Santa Fe, California, E. Sue Bopp of Remington, Virginia, Randy Henry of Castle Rock, Colorado and Judy Spitzer of Mount Sidney, Virginia.
Points will count for Eventing In Virginia year end awards!
A Jumper Derby combines stadium jumps and cross country jumps that might typically be encountered at an event or horse trial. This is a good test of your horse’s willingness to jump a mix of fences or varied terrain. This competition is open to any eventer, hunter or jumper who wants to practice for the upcoming season or wants to add a little variety and fun to their jumping. Anyone who wants to have fun in a low key casual atmosphere is welcome!!!
All Divisions will consist of 3 rounds:
Round 1: Optimum time round. Set course, the rider with the least amount of penalties and closest to optimum time wins. (time will not be disclosed prior to the round until all riders have gone).
Round 2: Speed round with Jump off. Set course, if clear rider can stay for jump off round after bell or whistle. Least penalties and fastest time wins.
Round 3: Gambler’s Choice round. All obstacles will have a set value, each rider will be given a set amount of time to jump as many of these obstacles clear as possible, the rider with the most points at the end of the division wins.
$25/class or $65/division plus $20 Grounds fee applies to every horse not stablingPRE-ENTRIES ONLY! TIMES WILL BE ASSIGNED PROIR TO EVENT!
Entries close Wednesday, January 25.
Entries available online http://www.eventinginvirginia.com or mail them to Eventing In Virginia, PO Box 13, Greenville, VA 24440. PayPal available. Make checks payable to GC Equestrian/Brookhill
Divisions: if enough entries will divide into Senior/Junior
Tadpole – Rails on the ground up to 6 – 8 inches tall
Green – Fences up to 18” tall
Advanced Green –2’0 – 2’3 verticals
Beginner Novice – 2’4 -2’7 verticals & oxers
Novice – 2’8 – 2”11 verticals & oxers – may have fake Liverpool and skinny
Training – 3’0- 3’3 verticals, oxers – may have Liverpool, corner and skinny
Preliminary – 3’4 – 3’7- verticals, oxers may have Liverpool, corners & skinnies, bounces
Generally run according to USEA rules where applicable. The organizer further reserves the right to combine or split classes within the division if entries warrant. No classes will be run out of order.
MUST PRE-ENTRY! Entries close Wednesday January 25th & Wednesday February 8th. TIMES WILL BE POSTED & EMAILED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON/FRIDAY MORNING BEFORE SHOW & POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.
Entries available online http://www.eventinginvirginia.com or mail them to Eventing In Virginia, PO Box 13, Greenville, VA 24440. PayPal available. Make checks payable to GC Equestrian/jumper derby
No unauthorized assistance will be allowed. Riders must perform their courses from memory
Horses may be competed in up to 2 consecutive divisions
Attire: Informal but neat and tidy. SEI/ASTM Helmets are required. Medical armbands strongly recommended.
Tack & equipment: only running martingales are permitted.
Courses will be open for walking the night before the event, the morning of prior to 8am and just prior to each division. Arena will be open for flat schooling only the day before and prior to 8am the morning of. Competition will begin no earlier than 8am.
Ribbons 1st – 6th for each class and Champion and reserve champion for each division. All points accumulated will go towards Eventing In Virginia 2016 year end awards.
Event will fill in a first come first serve basis
Please include current coggins with the registration form
$5 off total discount for Area 2 Adult Riders members and Pony Club member, must have proof!