Tag Archives: Western

Kentucky Horse Park Announces Spring Opener Horse Show

Second park-owned event kicks off season April 6-7

LEXINGTON, Ky. (February 26, 2019) — The Kentucky Horse Park is excited to announce the creation of a new horse show, the Spring Opener, which will debut April 6-7.  This show is an unrated, two-day, open level show with English, Hunter classes, and Western pleasure classes. The Spring Opener will offer competitors and their equine partners a wide variety of divisions and classes.

“The Spring Opener is the second event owned and operated by the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “Our first event, the Bluegrass Rockin’ Rodeo, continues to gain momentum and aligns with the long-term initiatives set forth in our strategic plan of creating park-owned events. For our show we wanted to create an event which encourages riders who might not normally have the opportunity to show at the Kentucky Horse Park, to participate.”

The Spring Opener will be held at the Park’s covered arena. English classes will be on Saturday and Western classes on Sunday. All breeds of horses and ponies are welcome. Pre-Entry Fee per class is $20 and $25 the day of the show.

For more information about the Spring Opener including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.kyhorsepark.com/springopener.

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
904-255-4225
timjones@coj.net
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
kstevenson@central.com

Deaf Horse Dazzles at Western Dressage World Show

With his pure white coat with just a black “sun visor” for a marking, Smokin White Gun, known as “Danny,” has become one of the best-recognized horses at the Western Dressage World Show.

But Danny is unique for another reason: He is deaf.

Deafness can be associated with lack of skin pigmentation, says his rider, Joanne Haughan from Pennsylvania. Joanne, who is a veterinarian, explains that the cells governing a horse’s pigment and its hearing have a similar origin in the embryo and genes responsible for skin pigmentation are associated with deafness in some Paint horses.

Working with a deaf horse does pose some unusual challenges, Joanne says. “He doesn’t spook at things ordinary horses spook at,” she says. At their farm, while the other horses will flee from the lawnmower, Danny will follow it around, hoping for treats.

But he will spook at things that suddenly appear in his field of vision. He hasn’t heard them coming, so they startle him. Joanne says she has learned to be his ears, listening for anything she can hear coming that’s likely to bother him, recognizing when it’s likely to appear for him and then distracting him or keeping him turned away from it.

Where he lives at Bally Vae Farm, near Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, his handlers have all learned that he may have issues with things over his head, or with sudden contrasts between light and dark.

“It has been a learning curve for both of us,” Joanne says.

But for all that, she wouldn’t trade him for the world.

He started life as a reining horse and came to a barn where Joanne was learning reining. Having been born in England and grown up in Austria, she’d ridden a number of horses there, but as soon as she met Danny, she knew he was special.

That was three years ago.

“The minute I sat on him, I thought, ‘This is the horse for me’,” she said. She rode him for about two weeks, under the tutelage of her trainer, Lauren Annett, then bought him.

She started riding him as a reining horse, but after a while, “I think both of us were getting a little bit burned out with that.”

Joanne in particular was having a particularly hectic year. She was working full time, trying to finish work for her Ph.D. in veterinary medicine (her subject of study is analysis of the relationship between osteoarthritis and periodontal disease in horses), working full time, and trying to ride and show, as well.

She ended up moving Danny to Bally Vae Farm, which is much closer to her home, and gradually switched to Western Dressage.

“It has really done him a world of good,” she says, noting how much his gaits have improved. “But I think he chose it more than I did.” He made it clear that this was work he liked, and “he does have a great work ethic.”

But still, she laughs, “I think his dream job would be to be in a petting zoo… he’d love to stand around being petted all day and being given treats.”

By Barb McLintock
Western Dressage Association of America

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation

Some Tips on Getting Your Horse to Roll Back Perfectly

Practice makes the perfect rollback. Journal photo.

The rollback consists of three separate maneuvers – a stop, a 180-degree turn and a lead departure. The rollback should be one continuous, fluid motion. However, this is easier said than done. National Reining Horse Association $3 million-dollar rider Craig Schmersal describes some of the techniques he uses at home to ensure precise rollbacks.

Getting Started

1. The first thing you need on a horse before teaching the rollback is suppleness. He must be willing to give his face. Using two hands, if I pull his head to the right, I only want him to move his head. I do not want his body to move to the right until I add the left neck rein.

2. The horse needs to know how to yield to leg pressure.

3. The horse has to know how to back up. When I take hold of him and back him up, I don’t want to be pulling him back. I want him to back up on a fairly loose rein.

I want the horse to almost lock in the reverse position in the backup. I then apply the outside rein to see if the horse will step into a turn by himself. If he doesn’t, then I’ll take my direct rein and pull him through a time or two into a good spin and a half or two spins.

I’ll stop, back up and ask him with the neck rein again. I don’t want to crowd my horse too much, especially in the beginning steps of learning the rollback.

I just want him to back up, and when I add the neck rein, to come to me. I don’t want him to pick up his head. I don’t want him to take three more steps backward as soon as he feels the neck rein. When I move my hand, if I’ve done my job properly, the horse goes. He won’t get stuck.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Ranching Evolution

A little history and a look at the current offerings in AQHA ranch-horse competition.

No bling. No fancy clothes. Those were the tenets of the first AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse classes that debuted 16 years ago.

Exhibitors were looking for something different from the usual AQHA show classes. So a task force comprised of ranchers, exhibitors, judges and representatives from other ranch horse organizations developed the five-class VRH shows, and at each VRH show, exhibitors competed in ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, working ranch horse and ranch conformation.

The classes harkened back to a day when an American Quarter Horse would show in halter in the morning and do all of the other classes – cutting, western pleasure, etc. – through the rest of the day. Since then, AQHA has added a hugely popular standalone ranch riding class, as well as AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges that are open to all AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horses.

Versatility Ranch Horse

AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse events debuted in 2002. The five-class VRH shows required exhibitors to compete in five classes: ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, working ranch horse and ranch conformation.

To read more about ranch classes, go to AQHA Daily.

By Becky Newell and Larri Jo Starkey

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Quarter Horses Take the Reins over Memorial Day at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of SD Photography.

Jacksonville, FL (June 1, 2018) – The Florida Quarter Horse Association hosted a three-day showing extravaganza at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center May 26-28, 2018.  High point awards were given out and over 200 classes offered something for everyone to enjoy.

Showcasing the versatility of the American Quarter Horse, the show offered a full slate of classes including trail, reining, and conformation.  On Friday the show organizers had a clinic for working hunter and equitation over fences and a trainers’ hospitality pizza party held at the Arena Café. Over the course of the weekend ten high point awards were awarded to horse and rider combinations.  Niftys Rock Star, ridden by Lauren Neily, won the Open VRH, Hot Chippin Charley, ridden by Brenda Baker, took home the Open Performance high point, and Sinceerly took home Halter Mare, while there was a tie for Halter Gelding between PF The Only One and Homerun Stats.

Coming up next for the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is the First Coast Classical Dressage show on June 23-24, followed by an all breed horse show on July 14th.

For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

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
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

How to Be Good Turnback Help

Great herd help, both turning back and in the corners, must have the ability to scan and react to any situation in the cutting pen. They are also able to evaluate the cutter, his horse and read cattle with a sixth sense.

Earning respect as “great turnback help” takes a little natural aptitude and a lot of experience. Paying attention and being aware of the overall pen scene is optimum.

Pay Attention

To help turn back or work the corner during a cutting, you must be mounted on a good horse, make yourself available and always pay attention. Manpower is in demand during those long days, with the best helpers spending long, hard hours in the saddle. Knowing what it takes to be useful turnback help will also help you find the best help when it is your turn to cut.

Paying attention to the many unscripted movements during a run is very important to people working outside the herd, too. Even when just practicing at home, turnback help should keep the run moving at a reasonable pace without letting the action cease.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

After Hosting NTRL Finals, Jacksonville Equestrian Center Gears Up for More Crowd Pleasing Events

Photo courtesy of SDPhoto.

Jacksonville, FL (February 12, 2018) – The momentum remains strong at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center (JEC), a world-class facility that hosts a wide variety of events and leisure gatherings – from equestrian competitions to BMX biking – each year. Over the four days of January 25-28, riders attending the NTRL (National Team Roping League) National Finals got down to business at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, while competing on world-class arena footing and enjoying the many amenities the center has to offer. With over $500,000 in cash and prizes at stake, competitors from around the U.S and the league’s top contenders in the sport of team roping displayed high speed teamwork and “edge of your seat” excitement.

“This was our biggest finals yet!” exclaimed Katie Smith. “We finished the weekend with 2,559 teams, a cash payout of $425,000, and a prize line payout of $90,000. Not only was this the biggest payout yet at the finals, it’s also the largest ever East of the Mississippi.”

After hosting the NTRL Finals at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for 13 straight years, the league remains dedicated to the center. Located about 12 miles east of downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 400-plus permanent stalls and huge indoor coliseum, which includes a 123,000 square foot arena with permanent seating for 3,700, makes the center a perfect choice for NTRL competitions.

“We really love having our finals here,” Smith added. “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. We ran a second arena outside this year that allowed us to run more teams in less time. Once that arena is covered, those advantages will become even bigger without the weather factoring in.”

Also held in January, the Pals and Paws Dog Agility Club, a group of dog agility lovers from the Jacksonville, Orange Park, and surrounding areas, came together to enjoy this wonderful canine sport. The club hosts four trials each year – open to all breeds – and has a top-notch practice field for use by members and to host weekly classes. Pals and Paws, which began in the early 1990s, will offer agility enthusiasts another chance to catch the dogs in action at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in late March. As always, spectator admission and parking are free of charge.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center also has a variety of must-see events scheduled during the month of February.  From February 13-15, Construction Career Day, designed to introduce school students to the wide range of career opportunities available to them in the construction industry in a hands-on environment.

For equine enthusiasts, The First Coast Classical Dressage show, a schooling show attended by First Coast group members but open to the general public from 8a.m.-5p.m., will take place in the Dixon Square Arena on Saturday and Sunday, February 17-18. The Florida Paint Horse Club hosts the Zone 9 Southern Classic February 16-18 from 8a.m.-8p.m., featuring horses who display their unique splashes of color and all round athleticism in a variety of classes. Next up is the Florida Reining Horse Association Florida Classic, Feb 21-25, offering Open and Non-pro Derbies as well as many super classes for rookies and green reiners, show times 8 a.m.-8p.m. daily.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center looks forward to welcoming a variety of crowd-pleasing events to its facility throughout the winter and spring months. Plans are also in place to enhance the facility with even more additions and construction projects in the future. The facility hosts a wide range of popular, family-friendly gatherings throughout the year, such as car shows, family fun days, dog agility trials, bicycling events, and equestrian competitions for every breed and riding discipline. For nature lovers, the property also features miles of hiking and riding trails as well as a picnic pavilion.

Known for its extensive amenities and ideal location only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility includes two outdoor 36,000 square foot show rings, four permanent barns, 422 stalls, 78 full hook up RV spaces, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces, and access to an Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221