Are you ready to show the world your horsemanship skills and earn some cash in the process? Applications are now being accepted for Equine Affaire’s popular all-breed Versatile Horse & Rider Competition—aka “VHRC”—that will take place on Friday, November 10th, in the coliseum at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA. A select group of only 25 horse and rider teams will tackle a challenging obstacle/trail course in this timed and judged race for $5,500 in cash prizes and the coveted title of 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion.
The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is now in its tenth year at Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, and this year’s event is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Nutrena, manufacturer of exceptional nutrient-focused feeds for horses and other livestock.
“The VHRC is a challenging test of horsemanship for those who choose to put their skills to the test, and it attracts some pretty amazing contestants,” explained Eugenia Snyder, the President of Equine Affaire. “The event has become really popular for both the contestants and Equine Affaire attendees because it’s fun, fast-paced and unpredictable.”
Win $5,500 in cash and more! Cash prizes will be awarded to the top four contestants with the first-place team receiving $2,500 and the title of Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion and the second, third, and fourth place teams receiving $1,750, $1,000, and $250 respectively. Ribbons will be presented to the top 10 teams, and additional awards will be announced prior to the event. All awards will be presented at the conclusion of the competition on Friday afternoon.
Who Can Compete
The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is open to all riders age 18 years and older and horses of all breeds and disciplines. Horse breeds as diverse as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, Morgans, Norwegian Fjords, Rocky Mountain Horses, Warmbloods, and Gypsy Vanners have participated successfully in past events demonstrating that the competition is truly “all breed” in nature. A maximum of only 25 horse/rider teams will be pre-selected to compete based on application materials submitted, and all horse and rider teams will compete against each other. There will be no “divisions” based on gender or age.
The competition course. The VHRC course will be made up of 12-13 obstacles and patterns set in the 95’ x 200’ arena of the Eastern States coliseum. The obstacles may include jumping over or through structures, backing through a pattern, pole bending and/or roll backs, gait changes, various gymkhana games, ground tying, working gates, and riding over or through difficult or spooky objects.
How the competition will be judged. The horsemanship performance of each contestant will be judged on each obstacle. Performance points will be awarded on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the rider’s horsemanship, the horse’s attitude, and the team’s overall performance. Horses and riders will be required to complete the course within a given time. Any contestant who fails to meet this time limit will be disqualified. Ride times will be translated into points, and the team with the highest overall point score will be the winner.
Are you and your horse ready to compete? To obtain all of the details on the VHRC and an entry form, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Massachusetts event and “Participate” links to access the VHRC page. You may also contact Alison Scott at [email protected] or by calling (740) 845-0085 ext. 105. The entry fee for each horse/rider team is $350 and includes stabling on Thursday to Saturday and three single-day tickets to Equine Affaire. Applications and support materials will be accepted by Equine Affaire through September 8. They will be reviewed by the management of Equine Affaire, which will select the final contestants for the competition and notify contestants by September 29th.
Just Want to Watch?
Come and empathize with the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others. You can also learn a lot by watching the different approaches that outstanding horses and riders take in tackling the same obstacles. Admission to the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is included in general admission to Equine Affaire—providing just one more reason to travel to the 2017 Equine Affaire in W. Springfield, MA. We extend our thanks to Nutrena for their support of this exciting competitive experience at Equine Affaire.
Be sure to visit equineaffaire.com for everything you need to know to attend the 2017 Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering—on November 9-12 including details on all of the top quality clinicians and presenters; the clinic, seminar, and demo schedule; list of trade show exhibitors; ticket information; and details on discounted rates at Equine Affaire’s convenient host hotels.