ESQHA Fall Show: September 25

The Empire State Quarter Horse Association offers ranch riding class, is a good place for exhibitors to show on their way to the All American Quarter Horse Congress.

Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal

Ranch riding classes provide AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Corey a chance to participate in AQHA events with her husband’s rope horse who is not well-suited for pleasure events, but is a natural in working ranch classes.

Any time AQHA introduces a new class, it takes time for the event to appear on show bills in the Northeast, especially in New York. Although ranch riding classes are among the fastest-growing events across the country, they are only beginning to make an appearance in New York.

This year, the Empire State Quarter Horse Association included ranch riding in its popular fall show September 22-27 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Exhibitors hauled several miles to a few hours to participate in the class.

“I am trying to qualify for the ‘Worlds’ and thought this event would be a good opportunity for us to earn points,” said Linda Delisle of Argyle, New York. She regularly competes in American Ranch Horse Association shows and is now looking to earn AQHA points with stallion Charmin Cisco Kid.

Ranch riding is an event that is appealing to amateurs and professionals alike.

“It’s so nice that New York shows are putting ranch horse classes in the program. I’m having the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” said Mike Bednarek, an AQHA and NSBA judge, trainer and open exhibitor from Jamesville, New York.

“We’re thrilled to have the ranch horse classes. The events are bringing back the traditions of what the Quarter Horse used to be and allows the horse to move out and showcase its natural abilities,” added AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Corey of Morrisville, New York.

ESQHA first offered ranch horse classes at its spring 2015 show and had 10 entries. At the fall show, seven competed in the event. Show managers Larry and Charlotte Jaynes not only plan to expand the offering to include other ranch horse classes.

“I believe in the class and like to watch the ranch horses perform,” Larry said.

In addition to the new class offerings, the fall ESQHA show hosted six full days of pointed all-around events. Mid-way through the event, entries cumulatively tallied near 5,000 under all six judges. Traditionally, ESQHA holds the show a week earlier, but because Labor Day fell late into September and the New York State Fair runs through Labor Day in the same facility, limited dates were available.

“Our numbers are a little down this year because the show is so close to the Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships. It’s hard for people to take two weeks in a row off for shows,” Larry noted.

Even though numbers were slightly down, the level of competition was still stiff. The show has a reputation for attracting top-level horses, trainers and exhibitors of all levels.

“The competition here is good,” said Tara Buckley, Buckley Quarter Horses in Preston, Connecticut.

During the six-day show, exhibitors competed for a share of a total of $21,000 in cash and awards in AQHA classes and $3,000 cash prizes for roans registered with the American Roan Horse Association. Riders had the opportunity to earn six sets of points under six judges. NSBA points were also available.

For small-fry, youth and amateur riders, the ESQHA show was a chance to compete in a large-show atmosphere before heading out to the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio, October 1-25.

“I like to go to the Congress and there aren’t any shows near my home in Quebec, Canada, in August or September, so this show gives me good practice in the fall,” said Carole Joubert Baboury a Select amateur competitor who rides in trail, western riding, horsemanship and western pleasure.

The event is a longstanding favorite among competitors and is gaining in popularity with local spectators. Anytime potential newcomers to the horse industry can interact with the horses and exhibitors is a positive for the industry.

“The local Chamber seems to be promoting the event quite a bit this year. We’ve received a lot of phone calls asking for details about the event and if there is a fee to watch,” Charlotte noted.

The Empire State Quarter Horse Association has approximately 250 members. The association also sponsors a youth club, the Empire State Quarter Horse Youth Association.