Tag Archives: Western

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

Tryon to Host Carolina Classic Derby and Team USA Reining Selections for WEG

Photo by Waltenberry, Inc.

TRYON, N.C. – February 1, 2018 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) announced today that it will host the 28th annual Carolina Classic Derby at its facility on May 8-13, 2018, the first reining event to be held at the 1,600-acre venue.

Renamed the Carolina Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center, the event will also host the Selection Trials for the Reining USA Team in preparation for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG), as well as the $15,000 CRI3* WEG Reining Test Event. The show’s expanded schedule also includes the Carolina Classic Open and Non Pro Derbies and Atlantic Breeders Incentive Derby along with a double slate of National Reining Horse Association ancillary classes, American Quarter Horse Association classes and USA Reining classes.

Mike Hancock, longtime producer of the event, was glad to see this next step for the Carolina Classic. “After 27 years of producing the Carolina Classic Derby, I am proud to see the event move to another level. The facility at Tryon is spectacular! I know the management team will do an outstanding job producing an event that will be exciting and fun-filled for the exhibitors. It is good to see that our history of Southern hospitality will continue!”

Mark Bellissimo, Co-Founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center, said, “We are incredibly honored to be the new host of the Carolina Classic and expand our footprint to welcome Western disciplines to Tryon International Equestrian Center. With the addition of our covered arena, we look forward to delivering world-class reining competitions at our venue year-round and are very proud to launch our reining program with such a distinguished show and its impressive team.”

For more information about the Carolina Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center, please contact Pro Management, Inc. at +1 (580) 759-2572.

Admission and parking to the Carolina Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center is free and open to the public. For WEG tickets, event schedules or to sign up for the e-newsletter featuring the latest WEG updates, please visit www.tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media. Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort is located at 25 International Boulevard, Mill Spring, NC 28756.

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

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
kpayne@triplecrownfeed.com

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