September 2015 - What's Happening
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 21:27

Harvest of Hope
Sept. 12 in Calistoga

Sunrise Horse Rescue of St. Helena holds its sixth annual benefit dinner and auction, on Sept. 12 at Blossom Creek Farm in Calistoga.

Guests will be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and can stroll through the Blossom Creek Farm stable, mingling with horses and perusing silent auction lots. They will enjoy live music, brews and some of the finest of Napa Valley wines. The stable’s arena will be transformed into a rustic yet elegant setting for a seated dinner (guests are encouraged to wear boots to negotiate the arena sand). There will be a demonstration of natural horsemanship using “Equus,” the language of the horse, during the pre-dinner reception. A live auction will take place during the dinner. Auction lots will include international trips, a personalized experience at The Cameo Cinema in St. Helena, horse-themed adventures and more.

Each of Sunrise’s horses has a unique and formerly tragic story. Aaragon is one example. The 13 year old registered Morgan had been tied to a trailer at a breeding barn for weeks at a time before being rescued. Today he knows how to count, answer questions, dance and bow: he is often Sunrise’s ambassador at events.

“Every year, countless horses go without enough food, shelter or love. Sunrise Horse Rescue is the only non-profit organization in Napa County dedicated to saving such horses and providing them with ‘forever homes.’ Children and adults in the community who volunteer at Sunrise gain life skills by assisting in the rehabilitation of these horses and provide them with loving attention they so deserve,” explains Lisabeth O’Connor, Board President.
At the Harvest of Hope event last year, the non-profit welcomed an overflow crowd. “Last year we raised enough money to operate for the year, which encompassed the care and feeding of 21 horses at our facility as well as feed and veterinary assistance for other horses in the community who needed our help,” O’Connor continues. “This year, with the gracious support of Valerie and Bob Fish at Blossom Creek, we’re hoping to go even bigger,” O’Connor adds.

Sunrise Horse Rescue is Napa County’s only non-profit 501(c)3 horse rescue and sanctuary. Since its inception in 2007, the organization has rescued and provided homes for more than 75 at risk horses.

Press release provided by Sunrise Horse Rescue. For more information at

International Jumping Festival
Sept. 16-20 in San Juan Capistrano

This final show of the year at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park features something for everybody and excitement for all. Let’s start with the finals: $15,000 CashCall Mortgage U25; USEF Show Jumping Talent Search West Coast; Zones 8, 9 & 10 Medal and Adult Equitation and the Zone 10 Horse of the Year, South, for Jumpers. Another big highlight is the $45,000 Five, Six and Seven Year Old BES Young Jumper Championships, and there’s a $10,000 Scarlett’s Speed Derby.

At the other end of the intensity spectrum, the lovely Riding Park will host another “No Show” Oct. 17 and 18. It’s $25 per round, with no other fees.

Course height options range from .80 to 1.25 meter and are set in a European format designed to give young horses and/or young riders ring experience. The courses, designed by Robert Ridland, will include 12-14 obstacles at the “A” show standard with a liverpool and an open water option in the Olympic Arena (sand).

For more information, visit

Elizabeth Johnson Dressage Clinic Benefiting San Diego’s Best
Sept. 19 in Poway

USDF bronze and silver medalist Elizabeth Johnson once again lends her terrific coaching skills to raise funds for San Diego equestrians in need. Fees from a Sept. 19 clinic at Peppertree Farm in Poway will go toward helping California Riding Magazine founder Cheryl Erpelding and dressage show organizer Lisa Blaufuss with the cost of treating life-threatening medical conditions.  Elizabeth says her goal is to help riders of every level ride with compassion and understanding and she is highly regarded as a kind, effective and encouraging coach.

Riding spots are $100 each and auditing is $20. Peppertree has donated its facility, which features great sand arena footing, so all proceeds go directly to Cheryl and Lisa.

To sign up, contact Elizabeth at 619-508-0661 or e-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Winner of the Ultimate Hitch Competition, Wayne Wareing of Wareing Shires, performs at the 2014 Draft Horse Classic.

Draft Horse Classic
Sept. 24-27 in Grass Valley

Majestic Draft Horse performances, breathtaking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” are all part of the festivities at the 29th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, Sept. 24-27, at the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

Featuring six performances by the beautiful Draft Horses, this event has become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States. The Classic spotlights a variety of horses, teams, and performances; featuring everything from farm wagons, carriages, and driving competitions to dancing horses and racing mules.  The stars of the show are the horses, and with more than 120 horses stabled on the grounds, the Classic offers a unique chance to observe them in a multitude of settings.

Although there is a charge for the Draft Horse performances in the arena, admission to the Fairgrounds is free so all can enjoy the many activities of the Harvest Fair happening during the four days of the Classic. Visit the grounds to enjoy western music, Harvest Fair agricultural competitions and hundreds of community exhibits, a clogging jamboree, horse shoeing demonstrations, Treat Street goodies, and Art at the Classic. Plus, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the barns and meet the famous Draft Horses up-close.  We even offer guided barn tours!

Visit for tickets and more information.

The Shea Center BBQ
Sept. 26 in San Juan Capistrano

With an expected attendance of 1,500, the Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding’s BBQ and Family Faire has become an event that benefits attendees almost as much as its proceeds benefit the Center’s clients.

Shea takes its Family Faire theme seriously. Event partner Montage Laguna Beach provides the delicious BBQ dinner, there are games for all and excellent live and silent auction items, country music and dancing. What really brings everybody together, though, is when Shea students take the arena stage and show off their skills and confidence and smiles, during riding demos and the Parade of Stars.

General admission tickets are on sale now and sponsorships are welcome! Visit for more information.

Foxfield Fall Classics
Oct. 3 & 4 in Westlake Village

The Foxfield Medal Finals and $1,500 Calasabasas Saddlery and $5,000 Foxfield Jumping Derbies are set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4. All the competitions and the festivities that surround them are reliable fun for participants and fans alike. It’s the 44th annual Medal Finals and the 36th staging of the two Jumping Derbies, so these organizers know what they’re doing. Entries close Sept. 18.

For more information, visit

Hawley Bennett Awad & Robyn Fisher Clinic
Oct. 3-4 in Moorpark.

Canadian Olympic eventer Hawley Bennett Awad and eventer and USEF “r” dressage judge Robyn Fisher host a clinic focused on maximizing dressage performance and tests, show jumping courses and cross country training. Limited clinic spots and stabling available. The location is Tugger X Ranch in Moorpark, where Robyn bases her training business.

For more information, email Robyn Fisher at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call her at 949-644-2165.
Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by October 1st for the November issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!