Anja Scherpa, 7, center, walks between Kaycee Curry, 14, left, and Lexi Lerew, 14, at a Northern Colorado Riding Club show Sunday at the Greeley Saddle Club arena. (Emily Wengerfirstname.lastname@example.org) Mary Bohlender and Debbie Warehime have been showing horses — and helping their children show horses — for many years, but they never found a
Mary Bohlender and Debbie Warehime have been showing horses — and helping their children show horses — for many years, but they never found a riding club where they felt anyone who wanted to could belong.
In 2006, they decided to start their own riding club, one with shows open to all skill levels and all horse breeds. The Northern Colorado Riding Club continues to expand, they said, and become a place where beginner children and adults can learn and grow.
The second annual Fall Spectacular, a Northern Colorado Riding Club show, will be Sept. 28-30 in Loveland, and registration for the show is still open. For more information, or to register, click here or go to www.northcoloridingclub.com.
At Sunday’s Champion Performance Show at the Greeley Saddle Club, the last in the 2018 show series, 13-year-old Lauren Rajotte said she that’s what she likes about participating in the shows: Everyone is supportive of each other. She also said she likes the ribbons given to those who place at the show.
Although the shows are competitive, Warehime said, she and Bohlender did their best to foster a relaxed, low-pressure, educational, affordable environment for the families who participate.
Laurie Lukas, a Northern Colorado Riding Club board member and riding instructor, said she’s brought many of her students to the club’s shows, to give them a chance to ride with other novices and test their developing skills.
“It’s the perfect stepping stone,” Warehime said.
Keri Dennison, whose daughter, 15-year-old Emelia, rides in the club’s shows, said Emelia began showing with the club with little confidence, due to being kicked by a horse. But through the riding club, she’s developed enough skills and confidence it was tough to see any sign of nerves as Emelia rode in the English portion of Sunday’s show.
The club’s newest expansion was the addition of the Fall Spectacular show last year, which drew nearly 700 entries over the course of two days. The show is unique, Warehime said, because it’s a combination of a show for riders to test their skills and a chance for new judges to hone their craft.
Judges have a 3-4-day seminar before the show to learn judging techniques from certified judges, many of whom are faculty from Colorado State University’s equine sciences program. The faculty members also bring their students to help run the show.
As they look forward to the second year, which has been extended to a three-day show, Warehime and Bohlender said they expect participation to increase.
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