Tag Archives: National Barrel Horse Association

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
dstegner@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

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
PGorton@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221