Northern Virginia Working Equitation Equestrians Dominate at Rated Working Equitation Horse Show in Pennsylvania July 20-21

The weather wasn’t the only thing that was hot last weekend, as two area horsewomen were on fire to win Championships at the ERAHC Birchtown Stables Working Equitation Show in Forest City, PA, July 20-21.  Waterford’s Adair Soho bested a large field to prevail riding her Quarter Horse Cromeless Mercedes, winning two blue ribbons and the Grand Championship in the Level 1 Amateur Intro Division while her instructor, Stephanie Jennings of Round Hill, prevailed to win the Level 2 Open Novice Grand Championship riding BOH High Cal Ada, also a Quarter Horse.

Both equestrians are Loudoun County horse industry business owners as well. Soho is co-owner of Another Turn Tack Shop in Purcellville, while Jennings and her husband own Professional Horse Services, LLC.  Both represented the newly formed Northern Virginia Working Equitation (NOVAWE) organization and were joined by three additional area riders from Prince William County, all of whom also won good ribbons. (NOVAWE riders won 7 first places, 4 seconds, 2 thirds and 1 fourth in total.)  

Jessica Williamson of Catlett finished Reserve Champion to Soho on Rugby, having won the tie breaker with Kim Ellis of Manassas on Mica who placed third.  Biddie Lowry of Gainesville, impressively won both the Dressage trial and the Ease of Handling trial in the Level 2 Amateur Novice division, riding her Quarter Horse Oliver Red Tari.  Pennsylvania NOVAWE member Kimberley Hillyer was the Level 2 Open Novice Reserve Champion on her gelding Bell the Cat, winning the Speed Trial and finishing second in the other two trials.  

 The Birchtown show was the first official outing for NOVAWE riders all of whom are founding members of this new non-profit member organization dedicated to promoting and growing Working Equitation in Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.

The three trials of Working Equitation, which has origins in Spain, France, and Portugal 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.  All five Virginians have been working hard this year training and learning the finer points necessary for success at this level. 

For more information about Working Equitation, visit the Northern Virginia Working Equation Facebook page or email [email protected] .

Eastern Regional Andalusian Horse Club (ERAHC) and NOVAWE are both Group Member organizations of the Confederation for Working Equitation.