1st Annual Equifest Open Ranch Horse Versatility Show
The first annual Equifest Open Ranch Horse Versatility Show is Friday, September 13, 2019, at 10:00 am.
Classes will include Senior Horse, Junior Horse, Youth, All Girl, Ranch Cowboy, and Amateur Reining/Boxing.
As western show horses become ever more specialized, a growing counter-culture of authentic cowboy-inspired competitions are gaining momentum. Instead of a laser-like focus on taking home the trophy or buckle in a specific equine class or event, competitors are challenging themselves and their horses in classes inspired by the reality of ranch work.
Versatility Ranch Horse competitions are not only ambitious and filled with variety, but they’re also loads of fun. Once you see one, you can’t help but have a new appreciation for the profound horsemanship on a working ranch.
These competitions appeared on the horizon about a decade ago. They represent a return to the roots of the working cowboy and cowgirl, where success depends simply on the ability to ride, rope, and have a horse who can get the job done.
How is a winner determined?
As its name suggests, Versatility Ranch Horse competitions reward a well-rounded horse and rider. Points and placing are earned in each event, and the horse and rider team with the highest cumulative points wins.
To win, a horse and rider must compete in all offered events. Various class divisions based on experience and mastery ensure riders of all levels and ages have the opportunity to compete. Additionally, exhibitors must own the horse they are showing. Riders may also show horses owned by their immediate family or by a ranch that they are a full-time employee of; ranch children may also show a horse owned by their ranch.
You don’t have to get fancy show clothes and tack.
In homage to the working ranch horse, fancy, expensive tack is actually discouraged. Clean, working equipment is the norm at these shows. Additionally, horses are expected to compete without the detailed grooming, such as hoof and face polish, interior ear-hair trimming and faux tail extensions, which are often utilized in world-class equine events. Versatility Ranch Horse riders usually wear a long-sleeved western shirt, jeans, hat, chaps or chinks and, of course, appropriate footwear.
Versatility Ranch Horse Competitions are “open,” i.e. open to any breed of horse. In this discipline, performance is more important than pedigree. Additionally, most have several levels of competition, allowing beginners and youth to compete in their own divisions.
Ranch Horse Versatility one of the fastest-growing western stock horse competitions. We are excited to have it a part of the 2019 Equifest.