A Horse Is a Horse, of Course

Equestrians mount their four-legged teammates in much-anticipated competition.

Nearly 200 steeds and their riders trot, gallop, and jump for trophies at this weekend's Ridgewood Horse Show. But here's the catch at the ninth annual equifest: Every contestant draws the name of a horse and competes on it with virtually no practice. "This format rewards the skills of the rider," says Roxane Rheinheimer, the show's director. "There are no barriers created by the ability to afford a better horse or equipment."The competition is divided into three divisions: The Hunter category focuses on the rider's ability to make his horse graceful and stylish in the ring, the Equitation class marks competitors on position and appearance, and the Jumper group is all about the horse's speed on an obstacle course. During the tournament, spectators can browse through vendor stands, tack trailers, and horse exhibits. "We are interested in letting people know it's all more than a showcase," says Rheinheimer. "Our event provides opportunities for young equestrians to be recognized and honored as competitive athletes." The show runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday at the Andrews Osborne Academy Equestrian Center, 38588 Mentor Avenue in Willoughby. Admission is free. Call 440-942-8700 or visit www.andrewsosborne.org.
June 6-8, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 2008