4th Dancing Under the Stars Saturday at FENCE

Published 1:52 pm Friday, September 4, 2009

Connie Brown, Erica EberiusAmong the performers will be local mini-drivers Connie Brown and Erica Eberius. Brown has been a licensed massage therapist for the past 16 years, treating both human and equine. Her background is in hunter jumpers and dressage riding, and most recently breeding, training, and competing miniature horses.

Jeff and Connie Brown own and operate Green Creek Miniature Horses, which is the home to twelve AMHA/AMHR registered miniature horses, which have competed in various events from in carriage driving to the miniature horse breed shows and on to the AMHA/AMHR Miniature Horse National Shows.

Brown became &uot;totally smitten&dquo; with the miniature horse after visiting her now mentor Linda Kern of South Florida and asking the obvious question, &dquo;What do you do with these things?&dquo;

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She says she is very happy that it was Kern who introduced her to this large and growing industry. They will give spectators a glimpse of what you can do with these amazing little creatures.

Connie Brown will be accompanied by 17-year-old Erica Eberius of Campobello, who started out riding hunter jumpers and got into the miniature horse world by rescuing a miniature mare who she later trained to drive.

Brown and Eberius met at a local driving event where they were competing their miniature horses. They went on to become great friends and now they spend much of their time driving their horses together.

The miniature horses are more than something cute to look at, organizers say. They are a force to be reckoned with. These miniature horses are very athletic, competing in many driving events and as part of the East Coast Miniature Horse Club of the Carolinas, they show in the AMHA and AMHR miniature breed shows in performance, driving, and halter classes, even in hunter and jumper classes over fences in hand.

These miniature horses are capable of driving in marathon events over long distances and hilly terrain. The miniature horse has a delightful temperament and is now being bred for breed standard and exquisite movement. Bred and handled correctly, they will take on any task asked of them.

Joey MacRae

Another local rider will be this year&squo;s Western Reining performer, Joey MacRae of Anderson, S.C. Before moving to South Carolina, MacRae did extensive internships in all the Western disciplines with professionals in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming.

MacRae has won several high point end of year awards from the U.S. Reining Association and has been in the top 10 or World Reining finishers. Recently Joey conducted a very successful clinic with Joe Harper at the University of Georgia.&bsp; MacRae says he is delighted to donate his time to help TROT or any other therapeutic riding program as he appreciates the worthwhile work that these programs perform.

Joe Sandven

Local dressage rider Joe Sandven will also perform. Sandven has been riding dressage since he showed up on Hilda Gurney&squo;s doorstep and asked for a job after seeing Ahlerich in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Since then, he&squo;s trained in Germany and France, but thinks maybe he&squo;s learned the most from riding the young horses Tantalus has imported.

Tickets for Dancing Under the Stars are on sale now, only advanced Dinner ring side tickets will be sold. For additional information or tickets, please call FENCE at 828-859-9021 or visit www.fence.org.