October 2017 - Eye on Eventing

Area VI Championships: New Intro Junior & Senior Championships and John Marshall’s spirited efforts set stage for excitement & fun.

by Lauren Billys

With the fall show season gearing up, riders and horses are getting ready for the upcoming championships that are taking place around the country. Most recently the American Eventing Championships took place in Tryon, North Carolina. Over 700 horses came from around the country to compete in classes from Advanced to Beginner Novice rider.

Lauren, left, with John Marshall of the Fresno County Horse Park, where this month’s Area VI Championships take place. On the right is Horse Park supporter Cheryl Gentzler. They’re being interviewed for Good Morning KSEE Sunrise.

Similarly, the Area VI Championships will be taking place at the Fresno County Horse Park on the weekend of Oct. 20-22. Riders from Introductory to Intermediate will be competing.  Riders qualify by placing from first to third in at least one event that takes place within Area VI from Sept. 29, 2016 to Oct. 13, 2017.

Most recently, trainer Sabrina Miller’s The Riding Academy in Salinas offered to sponsor Introductory Junior and Senior Championship classes. This Introductory Championship is a new addition to the Area VI championships. Many riders work all year to compete at the Introductory level.  The addition of this class gives these riders the same opportunity as everyone else: the chance to compete in a championship environment at a level at which they are comfortable. It is a unique opportunity to highlight the up and coming pairs of the sport.

Each year the Area VI Championships are passed to varying fall events held within California.  Since John Marshall revamped the former “Ram Tap” into Fresno County Horse Park in 2012, he has continued to improve the property and be an advocate for the sport.

Columnist Lauren Billys contested the 2016 Olympics in Rio, on behalf of Puerto Rico. She continues to compete and is accepting students and horses at Lauren Billys Eventing on the Monterey Peninsula. Visit www.laurenbillys.com for more info.

I met John in 2007 when he was learning to ride and competing his horse Cutamo throughout Area VI.  It was undeniable then that John had a love for the sport. Finishing clean show jumping rounds with a fist pump and making new friends at every event showed his love for eventing as a community and a sport. John and Fresno County Horse Park’s staff will undoubtedly host a fun championship event that will make each competitor in the championship divisions feel like a top rider.

Good luck to the riders of Area VI this fall!