?  NOVAWE Equestrians Victorious at Virginia Horse Center Rated Working Equitation Event, August 24-25, 2019

NOVAWE Equestrians Victorious at Virginia Horse Center Rated Working Equitation Event, August 24-25, 2019

Submitted by: Biddie Lowry (written by Diane Hutchinson)
Phone: 8034872044
Email Address: novawe.info(at)gmail.com
Date Added: 9/1/2019

The break in the heat came just in time for seven Northern Virginia Working Equitation (NOVAWE) members who emerged victorious from the Working Equitation show at the Virginia Horse Center, in Lexington, VA August 24-25. Collectively they won the show's Championships and Reserve Championships in every division entered. The show was put on by the Eastern Region Andalusian Horse Club (ERAHC) and offered, in addition to the rated Working Equitation show, the Andalusian/Lusitano Regional Championship Show, and a "Fun"tastic show, the latter included trail classes, a musical freestyle and a smattering of English pleasure and jumping classes. NOVAWE riders collected quite a few of the "Fun"tastic ribbons as well.
While ribbons are nice, winning isn't everything, explained NOVAWE president Elizabeth "Biddie" Lowry. "I am so pleased with all of our NOVAWE members' success at this show, and even more so I am thrilled that so many of our friends and members came to support us and the sport," said Lowry. "They helped tremendously in the barn with the horses, and there was no mistaking their cheering, and not just for our members but for all the riders," said Lowry of Gainesville, VA. "This sport is so much fun to ride but also fun to watch."
Lowry was the Champion of the Level 2 Amateur division with her American Quarter Horse Oliver Red Tari by winning two of the three phases, Ease of Handling and Speed, and placing second in the Dressage phase.
Fauquier County resident Jessica Williamson, Catlett, VA, and Prince William County resident Kim Ellis, Manassas, VA had a great time at the Horse Center and were Champion and Reserve Champion in the Level 1 Amateur division on their horses Drumfield's Kaleidoscope (Welsh / Thoroughbred cross) and Mika (Arab / Thoroughbred cross) respectively. Mika is a rescue from Days End Farm Horse Rescue (Woodbine, MD) and had gone from nearly being starved to death before Ellis adopted her to a superstar under Ellis' care and training.
Both Williamson and Ellis and their horses are relatively new to the discipline of Working Equitation and are grateful to NOVAWE instructor Allison Reed of Catharpin, VA who had been providing lessons and clinics all year and who came to coach NOVAWE riders at the show. They also praised the show staff, volunteers and friends, and their horses for their generous nature and quick learning abilities.
NOVAWE, a new organization that has a mission to grow the sport of Working Equitation (WE) through education and opportunity in the Northern Virginia region, formalized its non-profit organization August 1 and already has over 50 members.
"It really does take a village," explained Laura Guillaudeu, in regard to horse showing and growing an equestrian community. Guillaudeu is the NOVAWE Membership officer. Her horse is currently on "injured reserve" but she attended the show and was instrumental in helping the team, both at the end of a lead rope and the end of a camera. While her horse and human support was key so was her promotion of the organization through NOVAWE banners, stickers, flyers and polo shirts that she brought to the event.
The friendships and camaraderie shared among the competitors is one of the many attractions for this sport, a challenging equestrian discipline as it requires participants to compete well in three diverse phases: "Dressage", "Ease of Handling"– (an arena obstacle course judged on smoothness, rhythm and correctness), and "Speed," a shortened version of the course where time is the decider. "We have all made so many friends through this sport . . . it's so wonderful to share your passion with like-minded equestrians," said Guillaudeu, we all seek harmony and horsemanship with our equine partners." She went on to note the challenges of doing so while navigating obstacles that require skilled riding and precision.

Loudoun County NOVAWE competitors also faired just as well at the Virginia Horse Center. Stephanie Jennings of Round Hill earned the Level 2 Open Championship aboard her American Quarter Horse BOH High Cal Ada and Kimberley Hillyer was close on her heels riding her American Paint Horse Bell the Cat, finishing with the Reserve Championship. Hillyer, lives in York, PA but nonetheless joined NOVAWE and ships in to most of the clinics, events and shows. "I love NOVAWE Clinician Allision Reed, and I've made such good friends among this group," said Hillyer, herself a former pony clubber who now teaches children and adults out of her Iron Rock Farm.
Jennings also offers riding instruction, including Working Equitation instruction, in the Northern Virginia area under her Professional Horse Services operation, which also produces on-line horse auctions in addition to other services. Jennings and student Adair Soho of Waterford, who had a strong showing at the ERAHC show finishing second in the Level 1 Amateur dressage phase, coordinated the NOVAWE team to provide a WE Demo for the Loudoun Hunt Pony Club earlier in August and Soho is working to provide Working Equitation learning opportunities to the area youth.
Leesburg resident Diane Hutchinson rounded out the NOVAWE team finishing Level 2 Amateur Reserve Champion on her beautiful pinto Oldenburg mare Splash of Glory. Hutchinson is also a NOVAWE founding board member who works to help promote the sport and the organization in addition to serving as the secretary-treasurer.
The three trials of Working Equitation, which has origins in European ranch work, is unique in horse sport in that all breeds and riding styles compete directly against each other in the same classes or events. Working Equitation is an exciting and beautiful dressage-influenced approach to arena obstacle execution, where riders navigate at least ten obstacles, which can include a bridge, a gate, carrying a 9-foot lance called a garrocha pole and spearing a ring from a bull-shaped cutout, and many other tests demanding tight circles and loops around poles and other obstacles. The obstacles demand careful attention and precise riding, and in the final trial, speed is also a factor.

For more information about Working Equitation or to join NOVAWE, visit NOVAWE's website at www.NOVAWE.org. Also, join Northern Virginia Working Equation Facebook group page or email NOVAWE.info@gmail.com for more information. #WEtogether

NOVAWE's Calendar of Events lists upcoming clinics, shows and other events. In addition to a September 14th Allison Reed clinic at Bella Vita Stables in Catharpin, Reed will also be instructing at Timber Dream's NOVAWE clinic in Purcellville, October 13th and NOVAWE is offering a Halloween themed Play Day October 19th at Bella Vita Stables.
NOVAWE and the Eastern Region Andalusian Horse Club (ERAHC) are both Group Member organizations of the Confederation for Working Equitation. For full show results and more information about Working Equitation visit https://www.confederationwe.us/



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