Top equestrians from throughout Iowa to converge on eastern Iowa for first Sport Horse Festival
(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) — A hush gathers over the crowd as the horse and rider enter the arena. The rider gazes at the large vertical jump in the center of the ring and gives her horse a reassuring pat. It is the final round of the high jump contest and the bar has been raised to its highest mark. Will they make it over safely?
The judge signals the rider to start and she asks her horse for a powerful canter. Together they bound fearlessly toward the towering jump as the crowd holds its breath. Three strides out, two strides, now one, they are up and over. The crowd roars to life and cheers wildly as the winner of the high jump gallops cleanly away.
The high jump is one of the many contests coming soon to the Iowa Equestrian Center on the campus of Kirkwood Community College. The show is part of Iowa’s first Sport Horse Festival the weekend of October 29-31, 2010 in Cedar Rapids.
The three-day event will feature activities not only for the horse enthusiast, but the general public as well, according to event manager and organizer, Rachel Wehrheim.
“This is a unique opportunity for horse enthusiasts in Iowa and surrounding states. This show is so different because it incorporates many elements of horses. There will be graceful dressage, jumping contests, a terrific Saturday night exhibition including trick riding and costume contest. The event will even have on-site shopping and trick-or-treating for the kids,” Wehrheim said.
A complete schedule can be viewed at www.iadcta.org .
The public is welcome to attend all activities, but there are certain times they are especially encouraged to attend. Saturday, October 30 evening events will begin at 6 p.m. with a costume contest that often has adults outnumbering the children. This will be followed by a public performance featuring the Wild Riders Trick Riding Team and spectacular Friesian stallion, Zorro.
Immediately following that performance specialized jumping contests take over, including the much anticipated high jump contest. At the conclusion of the contests, spectators will be welcomed back to go trick-or-treating through the barn aisles as they meet the horses and riders.
“This truly is an event not to miss,” Wehrheim said.
An admission donation of $5 will be asked at the door from all attending. Children 12 and under are free. Weekend passes are available for $10. A portion of the proceeds will be used to benefit Wildwood Hills Ranch in St. Charles, Iowa. Wildwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with disadvantaged youth to teach them the life skills necessary to become leaders in their communities.
For more information regarding the Iowa Sport Horse Festival, please visit www.iadcta.org .