Tag Archives: barrel racing

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Races into New Year with Timed and Championship Events

No Bull Grand Slam competitor showing her speed at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. (Photo courtesy of SD Photography)

Jacksonville, FL (January 11, 2019) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center rang in the New Year with a dash for cash that attracted the country’s top barrel racers. The No Bull Grand Slam barrel race was held January 4-6, 2019 and paid out more than $100,000. Entries totaled 1,000 for the weekend-long event.

Teenager Michael Duffie was crowned the Open 1D Champion riding Reclaim Fame. The 13-year-old rider also finished fourth with a second horse, JJ Three Famous Bars. The young rider, who has also won a youth world championship through the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA), outran a field of tough competitors.

“Some of the top barrel racers in country were there,” said Kyle Rictor, who maintained the footing during the show. “Anita Randle won the Grand Slam’s short-go and she is a NBHA World Champion. Brett Monroe finished third. He’s won over $1million in barrel racing.”

This was the third year the No Bull Grand Slam returned to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

“This is a full-service facility with the best staff that we see throughout the year,” said Jamie Cagle, the event secretary.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center staff quickly stowed the barrels and reset the arenas to welcome the Florida Feathered Horse Classic January 11-12, 2019. The show is the longest-running Gypsy Vanner breed show series and has been held at the Jacksonville Equestrian center for eight consecutive years.

“It is a great location, with a nice facility that continues to evolve as the needs of its exhibitors grow,” said Gail Shrine, owner of the Feathered Horse competition series.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center wraps up the first month of the 2019 with another action-packed, timed event — the National Team Roping League Finals scheduled for January 24-27, 2019. More than $500,000 is paid out each year at the finals, which has been held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for 14 straight years.

“We really love having our finals here,” said Katie Smith, No Bull Barrel Race competitor. “There are plenty of stalls and RV hookups to accommodate everyone. The whole facility is top notch; the location is central and great for us.”

For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Victory Comes in Many Forms for Mother-Daughter Barrel Racers Angela and Jackie Ganter

Jackie Ganter and Howes A Tycoon at the 2018 WPRA World Finals. (Photo courtesy of Phifer Photography)

Abilene, TX (December 19, 2018) – When faced with setbacks like Angela Ganter and her daughter, Jackie, have experienced recently, most riders would simply hang up their cowboy boots and call it a day. But for this mother-daughter duo of barrel racers, victory comes in many forms simply because they refuse to give up on each other. 2018 has proved to be a great year for both women, in spite of the challenges thrown at them. Angela is back in the saddle after a long and rigorous battle with breast cancer and Jackie is racing to the top of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) after a very rough start to the year.

For Angela, the thought of being a top-rated barrel racer after 8 years of battling breast cancer seemed pretty far out of reach.  However, with the help of her daughter, Jackie, and an awesome new horse, Angela has found herself back in the rodeos and riding better than ever.  “I bought a horse in February of 2017 after trying to put myself back together from being sick,” she explains. “Then, in March of 2017, Jackie told me one day that she didn’t think I was trying hard enough to fix myself – my balance and my nervous system. So I hired a trainer and got my balance back and I also found another horse who taught me how to run barrels again.”  Angela continues, “Then, about January of this year, I decided I was ready to have a better horse.” She describes how she found and bought a horse named Bogie French Bug after riding him for about 20 minutes at the stock show in Fort Worth. “Since then I’ve won six pro rodeos in Canada this year on him and made the Canadian Finals.  It was just kind of a dream come true and he’s just kind of a miracle for me!”

Looking forward, Angela says she has her sights set on making it to Calgary in 2019. “I’ll probably ride better now than before I got sick,” she explains. “After being sick for eight years, I guess you wake up and kind of decide that any day can be your last day, so you better make the best of it.”  She goes on to say that her main focus, however, is to help Jackie get to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). “Whatever that takes, that comes first,” she insists.

Angela and Jackie have been traveling together for the last several years since Jackie has been in the WPRA. They usually haul 4 or 5 horses to each rodeo. Jackie explains, “We get to travel together, we get to compete together, and it’s fun when we can win together!  That’s something that a lot of people don’t get to experience.”  Jackie says that this year started out with a much different story than others. In only her second rodeo of the year, a horse fell on her and broke her ankle. She was out of the saddle all winter, and then explains that she tried getting back on too soon and couldn’t ride to the best of her ability. To top it off, two of her horses were injured and so she was down to only one main horse. “Then, in July,” she continues, “I got a phone call asking me to ride a horse in one rodeo.”  Jackie ended up winning the first round on him, and then, after the short round, she and her mom asked the horse’s owner, Gayle Howes, if they could buy him.  “She thought we were a perfect match,” Jackie smiles. She was definitely right about that.  Since then, Jackie and the 10-year-old gelding named Howes A Tycoon have been an unstoppable force. “I placed everywhere I took him,” Jackie remembers. “He got me in the top 50 for the year end, and then, when the new year started, we went to the WPRA Finals and won, which got us a spot in the Houston Rodeo next year.  So he’s been a huge blessing,” she adds. “He’s just amazing!”

Contact: Katie Stevenson

Barrel Racers Run for Pot of Gold at Shamrock Showdown Held at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photography by Phifer.

Jacksonville, FL (March 23, 2018) – Barrel racers chased a $62,000 pot o’ gold at the 13th annual National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Shamrock Showdown Super Show held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida March 16-18.

Competitors traveled from as far as Canada, Vermont, Tennessee and North Carolina. Racers from nearby South Carolina, Georgia and across Florida are familiar with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and never miss an opportunity to run for big cash prizes inside the state-of-the-art coliseum.

“The facility is great,” said Renee Jenkins. “We were the second show to ever be held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and we haven’t missed a year yet.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was excited to host the group for its fourth consecutive year. A total of 853 entries dashed down the alleyway over the course of the three-day event. In addition to cash prizes riders had an opportunity to win tack and one of 60 wildcards. The wildcards give the first, second and third place finishers in each division a guaranteed slot to compete at the NBHA World Championship Show held each October.

The next scheduled event is the Florida Reining Horse Association Spring Show March 23-25. The multi-day reining competition features a full slate of classes from short stirrup and youth to amateur, non-pro, novice, green and open. The second annual Spring Classic Hunter/Jumper show is set to start on April 4 and upcoming events in May include dressage and team roping.

For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race in Honor of Brie Ahearn

One of the many riders showing their love of Brie, wearing the BrieStrong shirt rounding the barrel. (Photo courtesy SDPhotography)

Jacksonville, FL (January 22, 2018) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center may be a destination on the map for riders from across the United States, but it still retains the small-town feel loved by the equestrian community that calls Jacksonville, Florida home. This month, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center paid tribute to a young equestrian from its own community who passed away tragically in a car accident last year. The first annual BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race was produced by No Bull Barrel Races and held on January 12-14.

Brieana (Brie) Taylor Ahearn died at the age of 18 on January 19, 2017. “She was a vibrant, smart, and beautiful lady. She has been barrel racing since she was old enough to sit on a horse, which was her true passion all throughout her life,” Ahearn’s family stated.

Ahearn was known for her fierce bravery around the barrels, strong heart, and determined mind. In addition to racing barrels, she competed in track and weightlifting. She was a senior at Baker County High School at the time of the accident.

At the BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race, members of the Jacksonville community came together to support Ahearn’s family and celebrate her passion for horses. Show sponsor Rick Horne said, “Brie went to school and rode horses with my daughter. Some of our best friends were the first ones to reach her on the night of the accident. It’s a small town, and we all want to help.”

No Bull Barrel Races was honored to be a part of the tribute through producing another of the company’s well-known races. Winners included Ashley Davis, who raked in prize money throughout the weekend, and Jamie Hodges, who won the WBRL Futurity.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center made the perfect location for the union of a competitive barrel show and a memorial for one of Jacksonville’s own star barrel racers. The spacious facility was glad to be a part of honoring Brie Ahearn’s memory and sharing comfort and sympathy with her family and the entire local equestrian community.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will continue to host equestrian events for all disciplines throughout the rest of the year, including the Gypsy Vanner National Championship, Florida Feathered Horse Classic, Special Olympics, and Team Roping Finals, which all take place this month. To find out more about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

The Luck Carries Forward from NBHA Shamrock Showdown at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (March 28, 2017) – It’s a combination of skill and a little luck that makes a winning barrel run, and barrel racers at the 2017 Shamrock Showdown found some extra Irish luck this month at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, an 80-acre state-of-the-art equestrian facility in Jacksonville, Florida. Hundreds of competitors and their horses vied for payouts at the annual National Barrel Horse Association show, a highlight of the month for the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center held the show in its 3,500-seat 150’ x 300’ indoor arena. In addition to the indoor coliseum, the facility boasts several outdoor arenas, over 400 permanent stalls, ample parking, and RV hook ups. The premier facility was excited to host the annual NBHA show once again, providing riders the opportunity to run for winning titles and their piece of large payouts over a three-day weekend.

Jennifer Lee-Sims of Elkton, Florida had lightning-fast rides throughout the weekend, placing first in the 1D women’s races every day, staying in the top five overall each day, and finishing the final day with a 15.033 time. Lee-Sims, who has competed at the Shamrock Showdown since the show’s inception, was happy to return to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for another show. “It’s a great facility,” she said. “And it’s close to home.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a top destination for equestrians from across Florida and the country. For Lee-Sims, the convenience of traveling to a nearby venue has always been a huge draw for her and her students. Especially this year, as her 10-year-old homebred Quarter Horse Specta Hayday just recovered from an injury and has returned to the arena only recently.

“This was our first big win since his break, and I was so happy to see him come back so strong,” Lee-Sims said. “I am also very proud of all my students that come for lessons on all the improvements we have been working on to make them better in the arena.”

With youth divisions offered at the Shamrock Showdown as well, Lee-Sims’ daughter, Kaitlyn, had a successful weekend competing at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center as well, with top finishes throughout the show. She and her mother plan to continue running at big NBHA shows, and Kaitlyn, who’s been riding since she was two years old, will hit the Junior Rodeo Association shows throughout the rest of the year.

With the luck of the Irish on Lee-Sims’ family’s side, they will return to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center next year for another shot at the Shamrock Showdown’s pot of gold.

Other events at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this month have included an all-breed open horse show, community night schooling, dog agility competition, dressage show, and reining show. The upcoming event calendar at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center includes more exciting equestrian and recreational events throughout the spring, and the facility’s staff wishes all future competitors a share of this season’s luck as they compete in the sports they love at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosts a spectrum of equestrian events, as well as other sporting, recreational, and community events at its expansive state-of-the-art facility. To learn more about all the facility has to offer, how to host your event there, or to request more information, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Barrel Racers Fill the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for the 14th Annual Fiddler’s Turkey Run

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (December 8, 2016) — Horses and riders from as near as the southeast United States and as far as Canada descended on Jacksonville, Florida for the 14th Annual Fiddler’s Turkey Run, held at the end of November at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. More than 600 entries vied for over $106,000 throughout the three days of barrel racing competition.

The Fiddler’s Turkey Run has been held for the past seven years at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and has continued to grow every year. Paul Stanley, who assists Sabra O’Quinn in managing the Fiddler’s Turkey Run, said, “This is a great facility with plenty of stalls and RV hookups. We’ll be back next year!”

Many riders are already looking forward to a return trip in 2017 to the facility, which boasts a 3,500-seat 150′ x 300′ indoor arena, several outdoor arenas, and over 400 permanent stalls. Longtime Fiddler’s Turkey Run entries as well as new faces to the competition enjoyed the experience at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this year.

“This was my first time here at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and I love it. This is a beautiful facility,” said Kaitlin Chieca of Vero Beach, Florida. “The grounds are wonderful. The people have been fantastic – this is a class act!” Chieca competed two horses at the Fiddler’s Turkey Run – her own “Jacob,” and Heidi Thompson’s “Pinkie.” She was happy with her results, especially as this was only her third show ever on Pinkie. Although for Chieca, the highlight of the weekend wasn’t the scores, but the trip around the barrels.

“The adrenaline rush when you shoot out of the alley way – there’s nothing like it,” Chieca explained. “It can be a little scary, but it’s worth it every time. There’s something about riding something this big and being in control of it – it’s just the craziest feeling. It’s awesome!”

Eleven-year-old Kaitlyn Sims of Elkton, Florida shares Chieca’s passion for barrel racing. Sims was the big winner Sunday in the Fiddler’s Turkey Run Open, turning in a blazing time of 15.08 aboard her Quarter Horse, Specta Goodtime. The pint-sized jockey has been riding since she was two years old and competes in junior rodeos as well as the barrel racing shows. Why spend so much time in the saddle? “I like being able to go fast,” Sims explained.

Sims and her mother, Jennifer Lee-Sims, are no strangers to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We love this facility because it’s close to home,” said Lee-Sims. “We try to come to all the big events that they have here.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was thrilled to once again host the Fiddler’s Turkey Run and all of its talented barrel racers. Sponsors for the Fiddler’s Turkey Run included Equine Medical Center of Ocala, Santa Fe Horse Transport, Wrangler, Formula 1 Noni, Sebelle Dymmek, Triple Crown Feed, Formula 707, 5L Performance Horses, and Seminole Equine Products.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 2016 calendar has several more exciting events planned before the end of the year, including the USDAA Pals & Pals Agility Trials on December 9-11, and Community Night Schooling on December 20. Parking and admission for spectators is free for all events.

For more about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and to find out how to host your event at this multifaceted facility, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4254.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
13611 Normandy Blvd,
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Barrel Racing Benefit to Be Held in Jacksonville, Fla. for Two-Year-Old Brain Cancer Patient

Photo courtesy of Sheri Wurth Images, LLC.

Jacksonville, FL (August 24, 2016) – “The perfect definition of the phrase ‘All Boy’” is how Brittany Rowland describes her blond two-year-old son Kasen, whose infectious smile is biggest when he’s outdoors playing in the dirt. “His imagination is out of this world,” says Rowland. “He will sit for hours at a time with his toy cars and trucks and have his own story line going.” The little boy was diagnosed with brain cancer just a few months ago, quickly transforming the Rowland family’s life into a cycle of hospital visits, MRIs, and continuous bad news – but thanks to their local Jacksonville, Florida community, a chance to enjoy an evening of outdoor farm life and an exciting barrel race while raising money for Kasen’s procedures is right around the corner.

On Saturday, September 24th, horse trainer Jimbo Albritton will be hosting a barrel race benefit for Kasen Rowland at Albritton’s farm, Flying A Performance Horses in Penney Farms (just outside of Jacksonville), at 3900 Paso Fino Rd., Green Cove Springs. The barrel race is being put on by Dreaming of Three, an organization that uses rodeos and other equine-related events to raise funds for children like Kasen who suffer from tragic diseases.

Jackie Harris, the founder of Dreaming of Three, explains, “Dreaming of Three was started after I lost my stepfather to cancer and my dad to a heart attack three months apart. When my stepfather was diagnosed, for Christmas I had no clue what to give somebody who had 12 months to live. So I decided memories would be the best gift. This is what we try to do with the rodeos and barrel races for kids like Kasen – for the families, it’s a night out, not thinking about doctors, treatments, and the illness. It’s just family time; a night with no worries while being treated like kings or queens.”

Everyone’s invited to join in the fun of the upcoming barrel race benefit, which in addition to the barrel race will include pony rides, face painting, a bounce house, vendors, food, a silent auction, and a blood donation bus for anyone willing to help Kasen through blood donations.

Kasen, for one, is looking forward to the event. “I think Kasen will enjoy getting out of the house, being outside, and experiencing something new and different,” Brittany Rowland says. She and Kasen’s father, Chad Rowland, will also enjoy a night of fun with Kasen and his older siblings, Dillon and Allie.

Kasen was diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 2016. When a 12-hour brain surgery was only able to remove 75 percent of the tumor, Kasen had to begin re-learning everything he had so far mastered in his two years of life, down to re-learning how to swallow. He has recently started walking again, but still suffers from weakness in his left arm and hand and paralysis to the left side of his face. Kasen began chemotherapy in March 2016, with high hopes that he would be cured. Unfortunately, the tumor did not respond to the chemo and instead grew larger. Doctors then predicted only a 50 percent chance that Kasen would survive. Kasen is now currently going through treatment with a different kind of chemotherapy, and will have an MRI in September to see if the new treatment is working.

“There have been many hospital admissions and setbacks since this nightmare began,” explains Brittany Rowland. “We will use the funds raised at the barrel race benefit to go towards Kasen’s medical expenses, gas for traveling to and from his weekly chemotherapy appointments, and his weekly medication costs. Kasen has a long road ahead.

“People ask us how we do it and how we stay strong – but honestly, we don’t do it and we don’t stay strong. Kasen does. He gives us our strength and our will power to keep going. Kasen has one of the biggest and brightest personalities I have ever witness in a two-year-old. Through all of the hard times – the surgeries, the needles, the daily medications, the vomiting, the chemo, the tests and scans, the hours of infusions – he somehow keeps a smile on his face and a belly full of laughs,” Rowland says. “His will to win, his determination to succeed, is by far the strongest thing I have ever seen.”

Albritton, who is the Florida Captain of Dreaming of Three, says, “One hundred percent of the money donated to this benefit – including proceeds and vendor fees – will be used to benefit the Rowland family. Donations to the event can be made through Dreaming of Three, which is a non-profit organization and tax deductible.”

Anyone interested in entering the barrel race to compete for the prize purse can contact Albritton at james.albritton@rocketmail.com or (407) 319-8268. Barrel racing entries are $35.00, and admission for spectators at the event is $5.00 per adult (kids are free!). All businesses are welcome to sponsor the event, or to be a vendor for a fee of $50.00. Advertising and sponsorship packages are available for businesses who would like to sponsor. Anyone interested in sponsoring, vending, donating a silent auction prize, or helping in any other way can contact Albritton for more details. The barrel race will begin at 6:00 pm, so be sure to come by and join in the excitement.

To donate to Kasen Rowland and his family, a check can be made out to Dreaming of Three, 5700 Corporate Dr., Suite 455, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237. Dreaming of Three will send the donations to Albritton to be presented at the benefit.

Contact: Jimbo Albritton
(407) 319- 8268

Barrel Racers Feel Some Irish Luck at Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s NBHA Shamrock Showdown

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (March 24, 2016) – Riders of all nationalities were feeling a bit of Irish luck as they headed to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this past weekend to vie for an equestrian’s version of a pot of gold at the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA)’s Shamrock Showdown.

The annual competition invited riders to compete in senior and junior barrel racing exhibitions for their share of the prize money. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center, an 80-acre multifaceted facility in Jacksonville, Florida, was excited to once again host the event in its enormous indoor stadium.

The fun-filled Shamrock Showdown proved a great opportunity for a family outing as it offered free parking and admission to spectators. With several hundred talented horse and rider pairs competing each day of the competition and rows of barrel racers’ favorite merchandise in the vendor areas, the event was a must for equestrians.

Known for its laid-back and yet exciting atmosphere, many spectators and riders alike find themselves celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the Shamrock Showdown year after year.

Ivy Grieb, from Green Coves Springs, Florida, is one of those people. Grieb has been coming to the show for the past seven years.

“The arena and the facilities at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center are amazing,” she said. “The practice arena is nice and the atmosphere around here is great.” To Grieb, years of competing at the Shamrock Showdown could never get old. “I just love barrel racing!”

Edie Neal, from Webster, Florida, on the other hand, brought her horse Gizmo to the show for the first time this year, and had an equally positive experience. This was four-year-old Gizmo’s first major show, and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center proved to be a great place to kick off the gelding’s career.

“He did really well,” Neal said. “Being that this was his first show, he was awesome. He’s very calm for a four-year-old.”

With the Shamrock Showdown under their belt, Neal is excited for what lies ahead.

“Probably by end of this year, I’ll want to pick up our time,” she explained. “Right now, we’re not running fast because we’re working on proficiency and getting around the barrels the right way, so right now we’re taking it slow. I took him here to get seasoned before we start going faster. This was a great experience for him.”

Ansley Herrin and her family traveled from Hortense, Georgia to compete with her horse Allie, who she’s owned for just a year. This was their second Shamrock Showdown together, and Herrin hoped to see improvements in their ride after spending a year working together since their first time around the barrels. “I am nervous,” she admitted as she prepared to enter the stadium, “But Allie loves what she does.”

The exhibition’s winners included Sabra Moore, Kenny Hodges, Kalie Ruthledge, and Ron Lattimer, among others. All of them clearly had a bit of Irish luck (as well as a lot of skill!) on their side.

Today, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is transforming the barrels and western saddles to dressage rings for the facility’s next event, which will take place on Saturday, March 26. This will be the Northeast Florida Dressage Association (NFDA) Schooling Show, which will include a special Freestyle Challenge. Visit http://www.jaxequestriancenter.com/events/ to find out more about this show and other upcoming events.

Events at The Jacksonville Equestrian Center range from barrel races to dressage shows to horsemanship clinics and more. Even for non-equestrians, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center makes sure to keep something on the calendar for everyone, with canine shows, concerts, and community events regularly taking place. For more information, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Celebrates Holidays with 13th Annual Fiddler’s Turkey Run

Photos courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (December 4, 2015) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosted an equestrian version of a “turkey trot” to celebrate Thanksgiving this past weekend. Instead of runners racing off extra holiday calories, horses and riders poured into the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for a barrel racing extravaganza on November 26-29, 2015. Fiddler’s Trailer Sales sponsored the event, which is now in its 13th consecutive year. The Fiddler’s Turkey Run was an immense success, featuring $95,000 in prize money, and plans to return to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center next year.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has become a popular event venue for a variety of equestrian sports. The facility came under new management last year, and has since invested in significant upgrades to its venue, which includes several outdoor riding rings and a 3,500-seat 150′ x 300′ indoor stadium. The indoor stadium was used for the Fiddler’s Turkey Run last weekend.

Young Laney Robinson earned the fastest time around the barrels at the Fiddler’s Turkey Run, who was awarded a beautiful pair of silver spurs donated by Amanda Weekley. The Fiddler’s Turkey Run was a WPRA sanctioned barrel racing competition. Although competition was fierce, the show organizers made sure there was also some “just for fun” competition in the form of a potato sack race!

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will continue to host equestrian events and other community-focused events throughout the rest of the year. This weekend will feature the Winter Dressage on the First Coast equestrian event. Riders will compete with their horses in the equestrian sport of dressage on December 5 and 6. The following weekend, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will welcome the USDAA Pals & Paws Agility Trial. Spectator admission and parking are free for those wishing to watch canine athletes in action on December 11-13.

Fiddlers2For more about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and to find out how to host your event at this multifaceted facility, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at 904-255-4227.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

From a Liability to a Lesson Horse – Ray Ainsworth Transforms Barrel Horse

Twist was previously considered a serious risk to anyone who worked with her, now, after her time with Ainsworth she’s running barrels successfully.

Jackson, MS – December 1, 2014 – When Jordan Kiker and her mare Twist would show up at barrel racing events no one wanted them there. The mare was reckless, dangerous, and what many considered to be a liability and risk to their safety.

Kiker was even offered money not to run the mare, and she was about to throw in the towel and find a new barrel horse. Then a friend made a suggestion that would drastically change things for Kiker and Twist.

“I had lost a lot of confidence in her, and I was just about to get a young horse to start instead,” 22-year-old Kiker said. “There was a friend of ours that had sent a horse to Ray Ainsworth and said, ‘You should just give him a shot.'”

So with no ideas left on what to do to stop Twist’s dangerous behavior, Kiker turned to renowned horseman Ray Ainsworth. Known as “The Man Horses Talk To™,” Ainsworth does not train horses; he teaches them in a way that makes him one of the world’s most unique horsemen.

Ainsworth first began working solely with Twist, before soon working with both Kiker and Twist to help develop what would become an unbelievable partnership.

“I went down there and worked with Ray and worked with Twist, and I loved it. It was great. He taught me so much about life,” Kiker said. “There were days he made me cry and that I hated him, but it made me a better person in general. I understand horses better now. I went to Ray’s farm about two or three times a week.”

Kiker continued, “During that time, I went to Arkansas for a barrel run. All these people there were saying things like ‘I can’t believe you brought her back. We do not want this horse here.’

“A guy offered my dad another $200 just to not bring her. My dad said, ‘I don’t want your money. Back off.'”

What happened next for Kiker and Twist was priceless. Not only did they surprise the skeptics who did not think that the dangerous Twist that they knew could ever change, Kiker and Twist beat everyone by more than two seconds and set a new arena record – all with no bridle, just a halter and lead rope.

“I was on the horse that everybody hated and that everybody said was going to cause somebody to get hurt. We probably would have if it hadn’t been for Ray. It was wild!” Kiker said. “People realized that we had both grown up and changed. It’s unbelievable the change in Twist and the change in me. Ray changed my whole perspective on riding, and my horse and I are both happy.”

Now, in between balancing classes as a chemical engineering major at the University of Mississippi, Kiker teaches riding lessons when she can to pass along the knowledge and approach to horses that Ainsworth instilled in her.

Through those lessons, Twist is right there with Kiker, teaching even the youngest students how to ride.

“I have a 13-year-old girl, Taylor, leasing Twist and running her right now. She’s run in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi,” Kiker said. “Taylor said that Twist is really minding her and acting like a sweetheart. Back home, I have little five-year-olds crying because Twist is leased out and won’t be back in my barn for a year!”

Kiker concluded, “I owe everything to Ray. It’s amazing how different Twist is and how different of a rider I am because of him. When people are like I don’t know what to do, I immediately say send them to Ray. It’s worth any money, and it’s worth any time. You’ll come out a different person.”

Ainsworth travels the world presenting entertaining and informative clinics to horse lovers of all disciplines. Plus, he has a series of comprehensive teaching DVDs. Ainsworth has started as many as 10,000 horses. His stress-free program teaches horses how to behave with a maximum of understanding. He works with all types, breeds of horses – young foals, old mares, abused horses, trailer-shy horses, horses who will not allow their feet and ears to be handled and every horse in between.

Ainsworth’s specialty is starting horses the right way and helping address behavioral concerns. Along the way, owners and riders learn horse language themselves and are able to apply this knowledge to their own dealings with these amazing animals.

Find out more about Ray Ainsworth at www.rayainsworth.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)