Friends of FENCE to host Open Horse Show Saturday, Nov. 2

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A contestant completes a jump at FENCE. (photos by Just Beautiful animal photography)

A contestant completes a jump at FENCE. (photos by Just Beautiful animal photography)

On Saturday, Nov. 2, the “Friends of FENCE” will hold the third Open Horse Show at FENCE.

All proceeds will be donated to FENCE to aid with the costs of repairs for recent flood damage to the property.

“Open” horse shows offer classes for multiple equestrian disciplines and are not limited to a specific breed. In addition to customary hunt seat classes on the flat and over jumps, categories of performance classes include Western, English and gaited.

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Each of these is different as to movement of the horse, manner of being ridden, attire, and the saddle or tack. Spectators may see cowboy hats in one class and riders with a saddle suit and derby in another. The in-hand or non-riding classes, such as halter and showmanship, focus on the confirmation of the horse or the handler’s skill. Also featured will be trail classes, requiring the rider to negotiate the horse through a series of obstacles.

The variety of classes for multiple breeds affords a unique chance for horse and mule owners of every age who are not involved in traditional hunter/jumper or dressage shows to compete at FENCE.

Sue Truitt, the Show Manager, is committed to promoting open shows in the area because “it is an opportunity to compete with your horse in a more relaxed and fun atmosphere. Whatever your ability or discipline, there is a class that you can enter. Novice to seasoned competitors, everyone has fun!”

All types of horse and mules are welcome. Expect to see many breeds being represented, such as the American Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, American Paint Horse, Peruvian Paso, Friesian and Icelandic in addition to mules, which perform and compete in the same manner as the horses.

In the two prior open shows at FENCE, more than 300 entries were submitted by exhibitors, who came from the neighboring area and beyond. The notion of the open show has been well received in the local horse community thus far.

Numerous volunteers have donated their time to operate the show office, set trail and hunter courses, organize parking and assist at the events. Both Susie Kocher and Anita Williamson have volunteered as announcers as well as Cindy Boyle, an event narrator.

The judge for the Nov. 2 show is Tom Cochran of Chapel Hill, N.C., who is certified to judge open shows by North Carolina State University. Forty classes of great variety are scheduled in the performance, in-hand and fun categories. These consist of Western pleasure, English/gaited pleasure, trail, horsemanship, equitation, halter, showmanship, lead-line and traditional hunter over fences. Additional fun events include Egg and Spoon, Pepsi Challenge and a Young Wranglers competition (8 years and under; no horse required). Trophies will be awarded for first place in every class, and Youth and Adult High Point Awards will be presented. There is a nominal entry fee.

John Boyle, president of the FENCE Board of Directors, commented, “FENCE is excited to be hosting the third Open Horse Show, which introduces a new sport and equestrian activity to the venue.”

Spectators are welcome. Gates open at 7 a.m. and classes start at 9 a.m. Food will be available for purchase on site from Foothills Barbecue. For more information, contact Sue Truitt at or 864-457-2718.

– article submitted by Sally Rock