Tag Archives: Western

First Western Dressage National Champion Honored at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Photo courtesy of Rachael Harze)

Raleigh, NC (October 13, 2017) – For the first time since its inception, the Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Show offered Western Dressage as a championship class. Triple Crown® Nutrition was proud to reward Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Maranello x Abaskiss), with the coveted Triple Crown Excellence Award.

The Triple Crown Excellence Award is presented to a rider who demonstrates exceptional horsemanship on a fit and healthy mount. Rapier and SB Heritage+, nicknamed “Cricket,” were a shoo-in for the honor as they were also named Western Dressage Basic Level National Champions during the weeklong show held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The pair garnered the national championship with an average score of 69.4%. The impressive performance came after a nearly two-year layup.

For “Cricket,” the win was fitting recognition for his journey from a debilitating illness to being named a National Champion at the Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.

In 2015, Cricket was diagnosed with EPM after having finished in the Top Ten in Dressage Training Level ATR with his owner, Liliana Nabhan. When Nabhan decided to put him back to work, she sent him to Rapier. “I used western dressage as a way for him to come back,” Rapier said.

“I’ve always called him a comeback kid. He’s seen the worst of the worst and he’s just has the heart and fight to not give up,” she said. “Because he didn’t want to give up, his people didn’t give up and now he’s a national champion.”

Rapier described the event as a whirlwind, especially since the decision to enter Cricket was made the day entries closed. The 10-year-old chestnut gelding had only been in Rapier’s training program for four months.

“It was the perfect combination; everything came together,” she said. “He had one shot and he cleaned up.”

Cricket is currently up for sale and Rapier will keep him in training and progressing him up through the levels until he has new owners. “His future depends on if he stays here with me under new owners or moves on with new owners,” she said. “There is nothing holding this horse back at this moment. He is strong, ready and waiting for next person to take him and continue climbing.”

In addition to winning the national championship aboard Cricket, Rapier also showed WKF Ebony Phoenix, a horse she co-owns, and was the Western Dressage Level 1 Reserve National Champion and finished third in Western Dressage Level 2.

While Rapier trains and competes in a variety of disciplines from sport horse under saddle to traditional dressage, hunters and ranch events, she starts every horse in western dressage. “When they start with that foundation, horses can go in any direction that is chosen for them,” she explained.

Winning the Triple Crown Excellence Award, which includes a tri-colored ribbon and an engraved silver tray, was an affirmation to Rapier’s commitment to maintaining healthy and fit equine partners. Coincidentally, all of the horses in Rapier’s program thrive on Triple Crown feed. Rapier has been exclusively feeding Triple Crown products for well over two years and can’t say enough good things about them.

“I’m absolutely in love with all of their products,” she said.

Based in Wayzata, Minnesota, Triple Crown® Nutrition was the first company to add prebiotics, probiotics, and organic minerals to horse feed. Today, the company continues to deliver the very best in equine nutrition with its revolutionary formulations and premium quality ingredients. Triple Crown is proud to honor success stories like Rapier’s and Cricket’s with the Triple Crown Excellence Award.

To learn more about Triple Crown, the official feed sponsor of the U.S. Dressage Team, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and the Hermes U.S. Show Jumping Team, go to www.TripleCrownFeed.com, call (800) 451-9916, or visit the company’s Facebook page or Instagram @TripleCrownFeed.

Contact: Kelly Payne
Triple Crown Nutrition
(800) 451-9916

Summer Sizzles with Fun Family Events This July at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL –The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is turning up the summer heat through the rest of July with a sizzling lineup of exciting events that are fun for the whole family. Sparking things off on July 15th is the Jacksonville All Breed Open Horse Show. Sponsored by Holmes Ranch, this show offers all the favorite classes including Open Halter, Showmanship, Hunter Classes, Western Classes, Gaited, Saddleseat, Trail Classes, Dressage and Western Dressage. Kids 7 & under are able to show their stuff as well in the Walk Classes including lead-line and walk equitation. The show runs from 8am – 5pm, and AQHA/ARHA/Breed Specific rules apply to applicable classes.

The following week, take advantage of the chance to spend a cool summer evening with fellow equestrians in the spacious main arena on Tuesday, July 18th, in the Community Night Schooling program. The program runs from 3pm – 8pm and costs only $10 per horse. After that, things will heat back up again at the Jacksonville facility with a different kind of Horsepower. The 3rd Annual Rollin Sound & #GetLikeHeather Car Show and dB Drag on Saturday, July 22nd provides the opportunity to see Hot-Rods and Muscle Cars and hear some hot tunes like never before! Car Show classes include Best of Truck/SUV, Mini Truck, Import, Domestic, Exotic, Lights, Paint, Donks, Bike, and Best of Show. Be sure to stick around for the chance to participate and cheer on your favorite for the Crowd Pick award as well. Spectator parking is only $5, and goodies will be handed out to the first 100 people. Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the day for $1. The show starts at 10am and trophies and raffle will be awarded at 4:30pm.

July at the JEC then wraps up on Tuesday, July 25th with the rare opportunity to see some of the best Belgian Warmblood Horses in North America at the N.A. Division’s Belgian Warmblood Inspection Tour. This spectacular event runs from 7:30am – 1:00pm and gives Belgian owners and breeders the opportunity to register their youngsters and certify mares and stallions, demonstrating that they meet strict guidelines for conformation, performance, and breeding standards within the registry.

The event will be the sixth stop in the fifteen-city breed inspection tour, which is conducted by the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association’s North American Division. Executive director, Chris Sallee, is excited to host the event at the Jacksonville facility this year. Sallee stated: “After doing some research, we knew it was the obvious choice for our keuring event in Florida. The facility is unbeatable – it has all the amenities you could ever ask for when hosting an event like this.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center looks forward to welcoming these sizzling summer events to its world-class facility. In addition to these exciting and fun summer events, plans are also in place to enhance the world-class Jacksonville facility with even more additions and construction projects set to take place over the coming months. The facility hosts a wide range of popular family-friendly events throughout the year, such as horse shows, recreational events, car shows, family fun days, dog agility trials, and equestrian events 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 an Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to find out about other exciting upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
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

Virginia Horse Center Hosts State 4-H Horse & Pony Show

Morgan Strickler and Ima Glowin Coco Chip. Photo courtesy of Leona Randsdell.

Lexington, Va. – Oct. 18, 2016 – The Virginia Horse Center was proud to host juniors from around the state at the 2016 State 4-H Horse & Pony Show Sept. 15-18. Riders competed in a variety of disciplines from hunt seat to western to dressage, in addition to numerous other contests and events.

The overall high point Dressage championship went to Hannah Rice of Accomack County and Page 3 Girl. In the Senior Hunter division, Katie Define of Albemarle County and Prize claimed the championship title. Hannah Revere of Hanover County took home the top spot in the Junior Hunter division aboard She Sells Sea Shells.

In the Western divisions, Randi Roehl of Caroline County took home the top spot in the Junior division with Ima Keeper. The Senior division championship went to Morgan Strickler of Frederick County with Ima Glowin Coco Chip. Maryann Johnson of Southampton County took home the Overall Western Highpoint championship with Zippos Sweet Tea.

In addition to mounted competition the State 4-H Horse & Pony Show offers a wealth of other competitions for its exhibitors from stall decorating to art and photography. Ruth Alexander of Goochland County was the champion in the photography contest, while Taryn McFarland earned the top spot in the art contest.

The Leg-Up Award is given to a 4-H participant who exemplifies the qualities of 4-H and strives to “make the best better” This year’s recipient was Colleen Chaplin. She was nominated by Sofia and Kelly Whealton from the Chincoteague 4-H Club. With 10 years of 4-H experience, Chaplin is a multi-disciplined rider, and has held every office in her club, has been inducted as an All-Star, and is also a Northern District Horse Council Teen representative.

“I was very honored to be nominated,” Chaplin said. “It was nice to be recognized. I love showing at the Virginia Horse Center, it’s my favorite show of the year. I think the 4-H motto, ‘make the best better’, encompasses a lot, it’s amazing to see how helpful everyone is at the horse show and what a positive attitude all the competitors have, it’s great.”

The Connie Collier 4-H Scholarship Award is given to a 4-H participant who has been an exemplary volunteer. Applicants are required to submit an essay describing how 4-H has influenced their life and their goals for the future along with three letters of reference. This year’s award went to Libby Arnold and Mattie Ruth Stanley who were both awarded a $1,200 Scholarship.

The 2017 State 4-H Horse and Pony Show will be held September 14-17. For more information on the Virginia Horse Center, please visit www.horsecenter.org.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Banner Year for Western Dressage Association of America and Its World Championship Show

Parket, Colo. – In 2013, it was little more than a dream. Then, the fledgling Western Dressage Association® of America hosted the first Western Dressage World Championship Show, which drew 42 horses and 167 entries.

Now in its fourth year, the Western Dressage World Show is nothing short of a celebration. Hosted for the first time by WDAA at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla., the show has attracted 213 horses and 830 entries, a 34 percent increase over 2015. Twenty-seven states, three Canadian provinces and 29 breeds of horses will be represented.

The show will be Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 and will be live-streamed at www.horseshowwebcasts.com for those who would like to watch from home.

The 2016 Western Dressage World Show offers a number of improvements, including expanded prizes, exhibitor parties, an additional day of competition and additional show classes and divisions, such as walk-jog rail and para-equestrian classes.

2016 has been a breakout year for WDAA, as the association also rolled out a points and awards program and a show recognition program, in addition to making continued improvements in its judges training program.

WDAA, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the United States Equestrian Federation’s recognized affiliate for western dressage and is proud to be the standard bearer for what is one of the industry’s fastest-growing disciplines.

The World Show will be preceded by the 7th annual WDAA Annual Meeting & Convention, which allows members to get an inside look at their association. The convention also includes the debut of the 2017 tests – which is an exclusive unveiling for meeting attendees only.

Another highlight is the honors luncheon, at which WDAA will recognize the first Horse Lifetime Achievement Awards, as well as the Top Hand Award, which recognizes an outstanding WDAA volunteer. A generous sponsorship from USEF supports both the annual meeting and the honors luncheon.

As the convention concludes, the action is nonstop – both in and out of the arenas. Rail classes begin on Sept. 29, and an evening welcome party will be the official kick-off to the show. Sept. 30 is freestyle day – one that spectators won’t want to miss! – made even more fun by a freestyle party sponsored by GGT Footing.

Oct. 1 is the gala dinner and silent auction, with tickets available for purchase. Many state affiliates will be donating state-themed baskets to the auction, and a number of sponsors have also kicked in great prizes. Corcoran Saddlery has donated a custom-built western dressage saddle to be raffled off. Tickets are available on site or online at http://westerndressageassociation.org/news-events/win-a-custom-saddle-at-the-wdaa-world-show/.

As the show concludes Oct. 2, a farewell party will be the venue for the presentation of breed high-point awards and custom-made divisional championship belt buckles.

Throughout the convention and show, the focus is not only on top competition but also on a shared celebration of this special discipline and the horses who make it possible. Come prepared to have a wonderful time with old friends and new.

WDAA is devoted to building an equine community that combines the western traditions of horse and rider with classical dressage. We honor the horse. We value the partnership between horse and rider. We celebrate the legacy of the American West. Won’t you come and celebrate with us?

Visit the WDAA World Show website at www.horseshowconsulting.com for details. More information about the annual meeting & convention, and about WDAA, is available at www.westerndressageassociation.org.

For additional information, please contact info@westerndressageassociation.org. Or you can contact Dini Swanson at dini@westerndressageassociation.org as well as Ellen DiBella, WDAA president, at edibella@aol.com.

Favorite Mustang Trainer, Jimbo Albritton, Embarks on Next Wild Horse Training Journey

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (July 14, 2016) – It’s been over two months since the Extreme Mustang Makeover drew crowds to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center to watch recently tamed Mustangs perform impressive feats before being auctioned off to permanent homes. Local Jacksonville trainer and Extreme Mustang Makeover entry Jimbo Albritton, though, has still not gotten his chance to exhibit his Mustang in the competition due to a last-minute injury. So after spending time this summer training at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Albritton will be heading to the next Extreme Mustang Makeover with the support of the Jacksonville community behind him.

It was a perfect example that things don’t always go as planned – especially in the horse world – when Jimbo Albritton’s assigned Mustang mare, Penney, tore a suspensory before the Extreme Mustang Makeover at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in May. Albritton opted to pull her out of the competition rather than have her endure any unnecessary pain. Although the rules of the competition still stood for Penney – the Mustangs must be auctioned off after spending 100 days working with a trainer – there proved to be luck in store for Albritton and the Mustang mare.

Albritton’s “lucky Penney” has had her fair share of luck (especially since landing in Albritton’s care). Instead of her going to a new home, one of Albritton’s sponsors purchased Penney for him so that he could continue to give her the care she needs to heal.

“Penney is now doing much better than expected and is healing great,” Albritton said. “She is now getting some monitored turn out in a small paddock. She has not been lame at all. She will have a re-check with her vet most likely in the beginning of August, and then hopefully we can start riding her again. It may be a far stretch, but we do have a ranch horse show at the end of September that I think she would be very successful in. If the vet clears her to work, I may try conditioning her back for that. If not, we will wait to do those shows next year and, in the meantime, she will be my go-to horse at the ranch for working the new colts and cow work. She will also be ridden by my two-year-old little girl Kendall, because that is who she really belongs to!”

While Penney rehabilitates, Albritton is keeping busy with many other endeavors, including signing up for the next Extreme Mustang Makeover competition that will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 15-17. For this competition, he was assigned a new Mustang called Cassius. The 100 days that Albritton spends transforming Cassius from a wild horse to a trained horse will include riding and clinics at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The 80-acre facility features an enormous indoor arena for all all-weather riding, several outdoor arenas, more than 400 stalls, and accessibility to miles of trails.

Albritton and Cassius will be at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for the Double Up Horsemanship Clinic on July 16-17, a clinic that Albritton is co-instructing with Mike Woodard. While Cassius isn’t quite ready to participate in the clinic, Albritton plans to trailer him out to get him exposure to a new setting and the stimulus that horses experience at an event.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is proud to be a part of helping the area’s favorite Mustang trainer with his newest project, and also stands behind Albritton in his efforts outside of the arena. Albritton is currently dedicating time to helping two local residents overcome tragedies. On July 9, he held a benefit barrel race for Jacee Beth Thomas at Albritton’s facility in Green Coves Springs. Barrel racer Thomas was injured in an accident when a train struck her car, and she is now on the long and costly road to recovery. Albritton hopes that the proceeds from the event will help provide Thomas and her family with some financial support.

Albritton is also working with the organization Dreaming of Three to help brighten the life of Kasen, a young cancer patient. Albritton plans to host an event that will let the young boy experience the animals on Albritton’s ranch amidst friends, family, and supporters in Jacksonville. Albritton also hopes to have a blood donation bus at the event, as Kasen is in need of blood donations. For more information on how to contribute to these efforts, contact Albritton at james.albritton@rocketmail.com.

Meanwhile at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, other events open to the public will immediately follow the Double Up Horsemanship Clinic. Next up will be Community Night Schooling on July 19, and then the #GetLikeHeather Car Show on July 30. 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

Wild Horses Transformed in Extreme Mustang Makeover at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Marsha Hartford-Sapp and her Mustang partner Freedom (Photo courtesy of SDPhotography) 

Jacksonville, FL (May 13, 2016) – This past weekend, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center was host to genuine American Mustangs and their trainers as they showcased their newfound partnerships to a packed house. The Extreme Mustang Makeover, which is designed to test both human and horse for their ability to learn quickly and make the most out of a small period of time, was presented by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Each participating trainer had just 100 days to transform a wild mustang into a star performer that would impress the judges and the crowd. Spectators then had the opportunity to bid on a piece of America’s equine heritage at the end of the competition.

Youth competitors adopted their Mustang partners before the event, and showed off how far they had come together in 100 days. Adult competitors auctioned off their Mustangs at the end of the Extreme Mustang Makeover weekend. The competition included classes such as Handling and Conditioning, Trail, and Freestyle. Adult competitors all vied to be selected to compete in the Top Ten Freestyle Finals that took place directly before the Mustang auction. A first place prize of $25,000 and a custom-made Gist belt buckle was at stake for the winner. Alongside nine other spectacular performances, Marsha Hartford-Sapp and her Mustang partner Freedom brought the crowd to their feet with a bridleless riding exhibition and other impressive acts. Hartford-Sapp and Freedom were named winner of the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover is a unique event produced by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization. Kyla Hogan, the director of marketing for the Mustang Heritage Foundation, explained, “The Mustang Heritage Foundation’s mission is, with the help of the Bureau of Land Management, to increase the rate of adoption of excess mustangs that are in holding facilities. We had 24 adults and 16 kids competing at the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Jacksonville.” This means 40 more wild Mustangs were transferred from holding facilities to good homes.

Dan Russell, who was onsite representing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), explained, “The Extreme Mustang Makeover events show people that Mustangs are good horses. Mustangs are the horses that the original cowboys rode in the 1800s. There are roughly 50,000 horses on the range right now and an almost equal amount being cared for in holding facilities. They’re taken off the range into holding facilities for different reasons – forest fires, droughts, over-grazed land – and we’re just looking for somebody to give them good homes.”

Taylor McIntosh and Sonora (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Taylor McIntosh and Sonora (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Taylor McIntosh, the 2014 Extreme Mustang Makeover champion from just outside of Auburn, Alabama, made it into the Top Ten Freestyle Finals with his assigned Mustang, Sonora, at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s competition. McIntosh shares in the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s admiration of the strength of Mustangs’ spirits. “At first I did this to gain exposure, but now that I’m doing this for my third year I can really say it’s all for the love of the Mustang,” McIntosh shared. “Sonora is a smart horse – and that can be both a good and a bad thing – but she’d tried so hard at everything I asked her to learn. I love that about her.” McIntosh and Sonora’s Freestyle performance included McIntosh standing in the saddle, and Sonora lying down.

The youth trainers at the Extreme Mustang Makeover were as excited about the Mustangs as the adults, and also delivered impressive performances. After Ruthann Strickland competed with her adopted Mustang, two-year-old Battle Beau, she explained, “I did this because I wanted a challenge. I’ve never trained a horse before. I really like him, but he can be a handful! I love his personality. He’s a goof and can be very sassy – we’re working on that,” she laughed.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was thrilled to host the Extreme Mustang Makeover to help bring awareness to the public about the wild Mustangs and Mustang adoption. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is known as a family-favorite destination for equestrian and recreational events all year long. The 80-acre facility is easily accessible from major highways in Jacksonville, and features an enormous indoor arena, outdoor arenas, and over 400 stalls. There are also miles of riding, hiking, and biking trails accessible from the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, 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

Team Roper Wins a New Dodge Truck at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (May 5, 2016) — For the 11th year, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center proudly hosted the National Team Roping League (NTRL) Truck Roping Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. The fan-favorite event encouraged team ropers from all over the southeastern United States to compete for the chance to win a 2016 Dodge 3500 Dually (four-door edition). The event paid out $150,000 in prizes over the course of three days of competition. In total, five hundred teams entered. Denver Ivester of Clarksville, Georgia with his horse Nova earned the most points and was able to drive the new truck home.

John Johnson, President of JX2 Productions, the company that produces the NTRL Truck Roping competition and multiple other western events, values the centralized location of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “It is a good location to draw the southeast and Sarasota and Miami area. It is a great draw for people on the Atlantic seaboard, and now is a great time of year here because it is not so hot.”

Team roping tests the teamwork of two horse and rider combinations as they work in tandem to lasso a steer. At the NTRL Truck Roping competition, the 55 fastest teams out of 500 entries roped to win the new Dodge truck. The final two teams then returned for a third time for a tie-breaking round. Riders could enter up to 20 times each. “We then go through and take each person and, depending on how many times they rode and where they placed, we total up their points. Then the person with the most points is the one who wins the truck,” explained Johnson.

This year, the winner of the truck was Denver Ivester of Clarksville, Georgia. Ivester, with the help of his new mare Nova, competed twenty times in the competition and accumulated enough points to earn the brand new truck. “I just got Nova about four or five weeks ago,” said Ivester. “I have been roping for twenty years, and she is already the best roping horse that I’ve ever had!”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was happy to congratulate Ivester on his win, and to host all horses and riders throughout the competition. The facility has developed an outstanding reputation for hosting family-friendly and exciting events all year long, which are open to the public. Events range from team roping to dressage to dog agility competitions and more.

The month of May will continue its excitement at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this weekend when the Extreme Mustang Makeover comes to town. The Extreme Mustang Makeover tasked participating riders to transform a wild Mustang into a well-trained horse in just 100 days. The competition is designed to test both human and horse for their ability to learn quickly and make the most out of a small period of time.

The competition will take place on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7. The winner of the Extreme Mustang Makeover will win a $25,000 grand prize and a custom made Gist belt buckle, and all Mustangs will be available for adoption after the event.

To see the excitement yourself or to adopt one of the competing Mustangs, head to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this weekend. Preliminary classes (all day Friday and on Saturday until late afternoon) are free to watch. Tickets for the Top 10 Freestyle Event on Saturday evening ($16.50) are available here.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a favorite destination for equestrian and recreational events. The 80-acre facility is easily accessible from major highways in Jacksonville, Florida, and features an enormous indoor arena, outdoor arenas, and over 400 stalls. There are also miles of riding, hiking, and biking trails accessible from the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, 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

The PBR Rides into the Florida Horse Park

OCALA, FL – MAY 5th, 2016 – For the first time ever, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Touring Pro Division is coming to Ocala on Friday, May 20th and Saturday May 21st, 2016 at the Florida Horse Park.

Join us for two action packed nights as we watch some of the world’s top bull riders go head-to-head with the best bucking bulls in the business. Witness the thrills and spills as the bull riders try to stick it out for eight seconds to earn valuable points that are needed to qualify for the PBR Built Ford Tough Series.

Be prepared for shock and awe as the bull riders face off against their 2,000 pound opponents Friday and Saturday night. This is the only chance for Floridians to witness the electrifying atmosphere of the PBR. Join us for the After-Party, hosted by Cowboy’s Saloon and Cuvee Wine + Bistro, when the show is over. There will be dancing with live entertainment provided by Luke Kaufman, a Meet + Greet with the bull riders, food, and a cash bar. There is a $10 cover charge, or entry is included in the VIP Package.

The PBR Touring Pro Division will begin at 7:30 pm on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st. Will Call Tickets can be picked up starting at 6:00 pm. Gates open at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Boot Barn, Russell’s Western Wear, and the Florida Horse Park office for $20. They can be purchased on our website (www.flhorsepark.com) or at the gate for $25. Contact the Florida Horse Park at 352-307-6699.

VIP Packages are available and include entry to the Invitation Only Pre-Party, a Meet + Greet with the Bull Riders, One Day Entry to the PBR Event, VIP Seating Section, and a ticket to the VIP After-Party with live entertainment featuring county singer Luke Kaufman. The VIP Package is the experience of a lifetime – not only do you get entry to all the parties, but you’ll be up front and personal right next to all the action. There may also be an opportunity to walk through the bull pens and be on the bucking chutes when the bulls start bucking. Don’t miss out!

Media Contact:
Emily Holmes

Do You Know What It Means to Moderately Extend the Jog?

By Dan Trein in The American Quarter Horse Journal

What is the moderate extension of the jog supposed to be?

Simply what it’s called: It’s just a moderate extension of the jog. We put enough extension to it so that there’s a notable difference.

However, with this gait in a western pleasure class, you won’t see the level of impulsion as you would if you asked that hunter under saddle horse to trot ahead.

A Little Bit of Flutter

We like to sit back a little more and use a “flutter” or bump with the legs to ask the horse to extend. We might use or add a verbal command.

When we want to back off the extension, instead of fluttering the leg, we take the full leg down around and underneath the rib, so the leg comes up against the body, and the horse comes to associate that squeeze with a slowdown.

If our horse surges forward at that point, we restrict and restrain his face with our hands. But we’re not going to demand or command so strongly that the horse is intimidated and the face goes behind the vertical. If the horse yields, he gets a reward: We soften that hand control. But we might still keep that wrapped leg so he understands what we’re trying to do.

The Comfort Zone

For me, the comfort zone relates to how knowledgeable a horse is.

To help a horse gain training stability and confidence, I ride him with a little bit of contact. I hold him in my hand, and he ultimately understands to yield at his face and throatlatch. It doesn’t mean he’s snapped and jerked behind the bridle, but it does mean that as I ask him to go forward, as a training technique, I don’t release his head completely.

When a horse resists, say if he’s going from the jog to the extended jog and he overreacts, to me that means he’s not in a comfort zone. My repetitive response to that would be to accelerate into the extended jog but hold him in my hand and get him to yield into the bridle and stay there.

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