2018 Buckeye Classic is a Wrap
Congratulations to everyone on the #BestBuckeyeYet
The Little Buckeye and Buckeye Classic finished up strong on July 22nd with close to 14,000 entries showing at the beautiful World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio hosted by the Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association and The Buckeye Western Horse Association. The two circuits running for ten days offered free youth entries for the Little Buckeye and free amateur entries for the Buckeye Classic, free water, snacks and dozens upon dozens of free Buckeye Classic ice cream sandwiches handed out by The Equine Chronicle Golf Cart and Hospitality Tent. The Leadline class on Saturday of the Buckeye Classic had 19 riders, six and under, who were all beyond excited to receive the oversized stuffed Melissa & Doug Hippos, sponsored by Dewey Smith Quarter Horses.
There were also a few firsts this year for the two circuits including the offering of the first-ever NCEA Jr. Medal and YEDA Horsemanship Challenge for both rookie and open youth riders. 31 riders competed for $2,200 in scholarship monies generously donated by sponsors and proceeds from the Buckeye Class golf outing benefit. YEDA provided great awards and T-shirts to all participants. Congratulations to Brianna Merklin who was the winning open rider and Abby Wirick, the winning rookie rider. A big thank you to KC Knoch for organizing the annual Buckeye Classic golf outing and his efforts to organize a great scholarship for the prizes! The night before the Jr. Medal Class, AQHA Professional Horseman, Brent Tincher, offered an outstanding educational Ride-The-Pattern Horsemanship clinic and riders who participate in NCEA, IEA, YEDA and IHSA spoke about their experiences of participating on an equestrian team at the middle school, high school and college levels.
Another first was welcoming EKG Horse Show Services to our show. With their help, we were able use new cutting-edge technology to welcome 120 online pre-entries as well as the latest tablet arena management software. This technology allowed the show to run efficiently and provided quick and accurate results for all classes, including the Level 2 and 3 classes. We want to thank Kurtis, Liz and Tom Gear of EKG and Chris Darnell of Simply Show Services for all they do to help the show run smoothly!
The show has always been about giving back and this year the charity was the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Following the exhibitors’ dinner, the stands were packed as show participants cheered on 30 donkey jockeys who participated in the charity event which raised $6,000 that night. Christine Hoyer, Development Officer for Make-A-Wish, gave an inspiring talk and spoke about the significant and healing role horses play in the lives and wishes of children.
In addition to the donkey races, one special girl from Make-A-Wish, Ruthie, was given the opportunity to show a horse. Kate Zachrich graciously provided her horse, The Chocolate Chiper, and led Ruthie in the Leadline class. Show clothing and saddle were provided by Roby Roberts and youth exhibitor, Aviana Nemeth served as Ruthie’s mentor to help her look amazing for her show ring debut! Thank you Cris Martin and Dawn Martin for making all arrangements to grant this wish for Ruthie.
With the help from gracious sponsors, once again all youth received free entries at The Little Buckeye and amateurs received free entries at The Buckeye Classic. Thank you to our day sponsors being Leeman Farms, Iron Gate Quarter Horses, Hassinger Equine Sports Medicine, the Martz Family and Sea Ridge Farms. The Team Tournament sponsor was Piper Performance Horses and Baker Futurity Horses, giving great awards to all involved. The Buckeye was also able to give top five overall high point awards this year. Thank you to Bernatowicz Show Horses, The D’Onofrio Family, Buckeye Nutrition, Larry and Sue Sanken, Saul’s and Kittler’s, Kathy’s Tail Extensions, Gilliam Quarter Horses and Just Peachy. The high point prizes were also new this year with engraved silver spurs for first, engraved silver buckle for second, Lux Ceramic Therapy Saddle Pad for third, Lux Ceramic Therapy Boots for fourth, and Buckeye Classic stainless steel mugs for fifth.
Last but not least, we thank the many volunteers from the OAQHA and BWHA for once again taking their time off to work the ten-day circuit from their everyday lives. It could not be done without their guidance, leadership and hard work. The show crew puts in so much time all year long planning for this great horse show every year. Thank you to all for making this the #BestBuckeyeYet!!