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Chrislar Farm Hosts UPHA-14 Winter Tournament

Chris & Larry Cassenti’s Chrislar Farm, in Rowley, Mass., hosted one in a series of UPHA Chapter 14 Winter Tournaments on Sunday, December 2.  The facility was festively decorated inside and out for the upcoming holidays


Chrislar trainers/instructors who hosted the event


According to Tournament Secretary Sarah Lettre, Wright-Way Stables, Augusta, ME, “Chrislar’s location is convenient and welcoming and attracts many UPHA-14 instructors/trainers from the New England area who are always graciously accommodated for a day of winter showing.”  Sarah says, “This location is perfect for everyone since the farm is located just off I-95. The Chrislar staff and clients go ‘all out’ for everyone who attends, serving a large variety of hot dishes and wonderful foods for all to enjoy.”  


Josh Noble of Burkland Farm, Rowley, Mass., donated his services to officiate as the judge for a day, which turned out to be seasonally cold and quite busy. Of course, the heated indoor arena took the chill away fast! Chrislar’s Kevin Solimine donated his professional announcing services for the event. Chrislar’s Rachel Berry did a terrific job as Ring Mistress, while the “Chrislar Kids” rotated as ribbon-runners for the day. Chrislar’s instructors: Ann Walker, Cathy Caruccio, Jackie Medico, Katelyn Jenkins and Victoria McKillop  pulled the event together, efficiently moving riders in and out of the ring all day with the assistance of the Chrislar “A”  Show Circuit kids. Greeting attendees and efficiently parking vehicles was expertly done by Larry Cassenti and Chuck Jenkins. Heading up the “lunch break” was Jan Jenkins with the help of Pam Atkinson, Pat Ingersoll and with the assistance of many eager clients and friends.


Officials (L to R): Kevin Solimine, announcer; 
Sarah Lettre,
tournament secretary; Joshua Noble, judge


In addition to the Chrislar trainers/instructors/students, other farms participating in the event were: After Thought Farm, Kim Ann Timmons; Dar-Col, Darlene DeBlois; Deer Run Farm, Joanne & Jennifer Galvin; Edgewood Farm, Lisa Mann; Hillary from HMA Enterprises; High Tail Acres, Deirdre Henry & Darla Wright; Perry Hill Farm, Elissa Finks; LM Turner Stables, Jessica Savinelli; Phoenix Stables, Lindsay Westover; RMD Stables, Deb Black; S&S Stables, Susan Casper & Heather Morin; Taylor River Farm, Kristin Farley & Becky Fish; Wright Way Stables, Sarah & Jon Lettre.   


Participating trainers/instructors


A total of fourteen stables attended the tournament, with 31 outside horses accommodated for the day.  There were 88 riders and approximately 400 people were fed!


Tournament Secretary for the entire Winter Tournament series is Sarah Lettre who keeps everything organized and running well. Sarah reports that this was one of the largest tournaments ever.


The UPHA Winter Tournaments are winter “schooling” horse shows. The tournaments were originally organized by the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) in Kentucky to promote saddle seat riding across the country, primarily with Saddlebreds and Morgans. With the increased interest and expansion over the last few years in each breed division to include other disciplines, the Association rallied to the wants and needs of the instructors/trainers and exhibitors and expanded their tournament classes to include hunt seat pleasure and hunt seat equitation classes. The UPHA National Chapter provides insurance for the host facility for the day, as well as the ribbons for the winners in each class with the winners victoriously sporting a neck ribbon & medallion similar to the style awarded at the Olympics.


The UPHA-14 Chapter consists of the professional membership in the New England area, where, one day each month (during the non-horse show season, November to March), a professional trainer will donate the use of his/her indoor facility to accommodate the day of showing. Other participating professional instructors/trainers attend with their students of all levels, preparing them for larger show competition, sharpening their skills, or to give them a “feel” for what competition is like. The exhibitors bring along members of their families and friends, and the events also attract many spectators.  The attire is informal: Kentucky jodhpurs/breeches, boots, gloves, a turtleneck and sweater, with lots of thermal underwear under all of that! Exhibitors are not required to own a horse, because those competing must ride horses typically used in lesson programs. The competition begins at 11:00 AM and is usually concluded by 4:00 PM, with a coffee break and a hot and social lunch. What a great way for the whole family to spend a winter afternoon of showing, socializing and getting to know the horsey crowd!  


The next UPHA-14 tournament will be held at High Tail Acres in Newbury, MA on Sunday, January 20, 2008. For more information about the Winter Tournament Program, contact Sarah Lettre, Wright-Way Stables (207) 626-5680 or visit: 


The UPHA Chapter-14 holds the first USEF “A” Rated horse show of the season in the Northeast, the Spring Premiere Horse Show, to be held on April 23-26, 2008 (school vacation week for Massachusetts students) at the Eastern States Exposition Center in W. Springfield, Mass.   For information about the horse show, or to receive a prize list, contact Horse Show Chairperson Bill Beckley at 



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