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, April 13, in the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. A select group of horse and rider teams will tackle a challenging obstacle/trail course in this timed and judged race for $5500 in cash prizes and the coveted title of 2018 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion.
The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is now in its eighth year at Equine Affaire in Ohio. As Eugenia Snyder, Equine Affaire’s founder and president explained, “It is a challenging test of horsemanship for those who choose to put their skills to the test, and it attracts some pretty amazing contestants. The event has become really popular for both the contestants and Equine Affaire attendees because it’s fun, fast-paced and unpredictable.” Admission to watch the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is included in general admission to Equine Affaire—providing just one more reason to travel to the 2018 Equine Affaire in Columbus.
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 race 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 90’ x 212’ arena of the Ohio Expo Center 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. Van Hargis will serve as this year’s judge, and Warwick Schiller will provide obstacle-by-obstacle commentary.
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 Ohio event and “Participate” links to access the VHRC page. You may also contact Beth Volpe at [email protected] or by calling (740-845-0085 ext. 103. The entry fee for each horse/rider team is $350 and includes stabling from Thursday to Saturday and three days of admission to Equine Affaire. Applications and support materials will be accepted by Equine Affaire through February 15. They will be reviewed by the management of Equine Affaire, which will select the final contestants for the competition and notify contestants by March 2.
Want to Watch?
Come and cheer on 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. Be sure to visit equineaffaire.com for everything you need to know to attend the 2018 Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering—on April 12-15, 2018, including details on all of the top quality clinicians and presenters; the clinic, seminar, and demo schedule; a list of trade show exhibitors; ticket information; and details on discounted rates at Equine Affaire’s convenient host hotels.