Hunter Jumper Classic participants don't horse around in their spare time. "I ride six days a week, eight horses a day," boasts Meg Udelson, who will compete, along with her horses, at the weeklong contests -- which judge style, pace, and form during jumps.
Man's best friend is allowed to get in on the action too: The dog-and-horse relay pairs the two animals on a twisting, hurdle-filled obstacle course. The fun starts Sunday at Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field at South Chagrin Reservation (Route 78 and Chagrin River Road in Moreland Hills). It happens 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through July 18. Admission is free Sunday through Wednesday, $5 ($3 for kids) Thursday, July 14, through Saturday, July 17, and $10 ($5 for kids) Sunday, July 18; call 440-708-0013. -- Nadia Michel
Sculptor docks at Fest.
Twenty tons of sand will land at Mentor Lagoons on Saturday as part of the Ships Festival on the Lagoons. This year spotlights a huge sand sculpture that will be created by native Clevelander Carl Jara. "I usually go [in] with no idea what I'm doing," admits the North American World Champion. "The idea forms and changes when I get there. I'm famous for doing contest pieces that fall down right after the awards, because I push the physics to the absolute brink." In addition to a 15-foot wall of sand, the Ships Festival includes plenty of watercraft-based activities, including free kayaking and canoeing and rides aboard a 72-foot U.S. Navy landing craft. It happens from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina, 8365 Harbor Drive in Mentor. Admission is free; call 440-974-5720. -- Lucy McKernan
Flock of Cyclists
There are several advantages to maneuvering a bicycle through the mean streets of Cleveland as a group, says the Lake Erie Wheelers' Dan Izuka. For one, "When you're riding in numbers, you're seen better," he explains. The 100-members-strong Wheelers offer a pair of rides on Sunday: One, for experienced riders, meets at 8 a.m. at Rocky River Reservation's Scenic Park (24000 Valley Parkway in North Olmsted) for a trek to Euclid, and another, a trail trip, leaves Edgewater Park (6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) at 10 a.m. and also heads to Euclid. Call 440-734-5777 for more information. -- Chris Miller