Annual show features local equestrians’ skills

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published April 25, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated April 24, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
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Bo Russell, left, and Scott Tucker ride their horses in the October 2012 Heber Springs Horse Show. Saturday kicked off the 2013 season of Heber Springs Horse Shows, sponsored by the Mountain Top Cowboy Church.

— Community members are invited to “horse around” at the annual Heber Springs Horse Show.

The shows, held one Saturday a month, are sponsored by the Mountain Top Cowboy Church in Heber Springs.

The next show is 7 p.m. May 11 at the Cleburne County Fairgrounds on Bittle Road.

Linda Dahl, event coordinator, said she became involved a couple of years ago with the show.

“I learned about it through attendance at the church,” Dahl said. “I have horses of my own — I trail ride — and I had been interested in horse events.”

Dahl said she grew up around horses and thinks they are incredible creatures.

“If you like horses, it’s a lot of fun to watch,” Dahl said. “It’s fun and family-friendly.”

Dahl, in her first year as coordinator, said participants’ ages vary.

“We have four different [age] groups,” Dahl said.

The categories are: Pee-wee, participants up to age 10; Buckaroos, 11-13; Junior, 14-18; and a Senior category, which includes anyone over age 18.

Dahl said most competitors are in the Buckaroos group.

The horse show used to be a citywide event, Dahl said, and the church took the event about two years ago, Dahl said.

Events range from basic horsemanship to speed events such as a “golf ball drop” and “pole bending.”

Dahl said the golf ball drop involves the rider holding onto a golf ball while they ride, and dropping it into a bucket at the end of the course, and whoever gets there the fastest wins.

Each division also has a walk, trot and canter competition, but the Pee-wee division is excluded from the canter event.

“We don’t do canter for safety reasons,” Dahl said.

Prizes for the winners differ by age group, but Dahl said the prizes are usually “horse” accessories, such as bridles and brushes.

Entry fees are $5 per class, but the fees will not exceed $15. Admission to each show is $2 for adults and $1 for children.

Dahl said the dress code for the event is casual. Boots, jeans and shirts with sleeves are required.

“We want it to be inclusive of everyone,” Dahl said.

More information about the shows is available on the event’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/Heber

SpringsHorseShowArkansas.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett is available at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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