Wilsonville horse shows wrap up for the season

by: JOSH KULLA - Laura Piccard rides Scandalous in the 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-old jumper 1.25 meter championships. A sure sign of the end of summer, the 2013 horse shows in Wilsonville have come to an end. The final big event, the Northwest Spectacular, wrapped up Sept. 1.

A series of six equestrian events organized and run by Team Northwest Equestrian Sports were held at Hunter Creek Farms in Wilsonville this summer. The Northwest Spectacular was the big finale. With more than 230 competitors and nearly 1,000 visitors, Mary Arnstad, a consultant for Northwest Equestrian Sports, considers it a big success.

The Wilsonville events draw both professional and amateur riders from across the Northwest, including folks of all ages from Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Northern California. There are also many competitors from local communities such as West Linn and Lake Oswego.

The Northwest Spectacular ran Aug. 25 to Sept. 1 and included the $20,000 Team Northwest Tricolor Grand Prix on Aug. 31, which was sponsored by American Family Insurance of Wilsonville. On Sept. 1, the $10,000 International Hunter Derby was held. In between the two larger events were other Pacific Northwest regional finals.

The winner of the $20,000 Team NW Jumper Classic 1.40 meter was Atlantis, owned by New Venture Investments and ridden by Megan Jordan. The winner of the $10,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Derby was Mandela, owned by Katherine Dash and ridden by Dustin Goodwin.

Two of the styles of events held during competition are hunting and jumping. The hunting events are more about style and rhythm, and the jumping events are judged on time. Arnstad compares them to ice skating with hunting being similar to figure skating and the jumping like speed skating. Horse shows are one of the few competitions where men and women compete equally against each other.

Though Wilsonville is becoming known in the equestrian community across the Northwest as “horse country,” not many Wilsonville residents are aware of the shows taking place. But Arnstad and her team are working on changing that. This year, Northwest Equestrian Sports worked with tourism organization Oregon Horse County and the Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce to help promote the events.

“We had such support from merchants in Wilsonville,” Arnstad said. “It really is becoming a community event. The message is outreach.”

The horse shows are free and open to the public to watch. And, spectators are free to roam through the aisles of stalls to look at the horses, and most riders will stop to chat and show off their horses.

“Everyone loves horses. Let’s face it. Everyone loves horses and ponies,” Arnstad said.

This year’s events, held in June, July and August, all featured Oregon and its bounty, from area businesses to local food. Since competitors are in Wilsonville for days at a time, Arnstad explained, they also visit and patronize area businesses, sights and attractions.

“It’s an experience inside and outside the arena,” Arnstad said.

For more information about Team Northwest Equestrian Sports, visit To learn more about Oregon Horse Country, visit > JULIE WARD - The winner of the $20,000 Team NW Jumper Classic 1.40 meter was Atlantis, owned by New Venture Investments and ridden by Megan Jordan.

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