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Saddlebreds To Participate in John Lyons’ Equus America



Sarah Byers recently received an invitation for Saddle Seat Equitation riders to participate in a new equine venue sponsored by John Lyons, Equus America. Lyons is a well-known and respected horse trainer and promoter. He is billed as America’s Most Trusted Horseman. In 1980 John began his professional career in horse training and has shared his talents with over 1,000,000 people through articles, seminars and other equine venues. He has written 17 training books, produced 27 videotapes, plus 10 audio tapes. He is one of the most sought-after speakers and demonstrators at horse expos across the US.

The first Equus America will take place in Houston, TX, at the Reliant Arena on February 6-9, 2003. A second show will debut in Kansas City, MO, at the American Royal Center and Kemper Arena on April 24-27, 2003.

This event is a refreshing new concept in the industry, highlighting all aspects of the equine world from proven champions and world-class competitors to educators and entertainers.

Equus Extreme, a competition unlike anything offered in the industry today, will be a virtual “Who’s Who” of the equine competition world. Not a sanctioned event, Equus Extreme is by invitation only, has no entry fee, and has a combined purse of $120,000. Four person teams from across the equine world -Jumping, Cutting, Freestyle Reining, Freestyle Dressage, Saddle Seat Equitation, Barrel Racing, Working Cow Horse and Trail - will compete.

Sarah Byers and Cindy Boel pulled together the first “volunteer basis” team to attend the Houston, Texas event for the Saddle Seat Equitation discipline. Blair Barrett, Deveau Zubrod, Renee Zubrod and Dakota Willimon will be the Saddle Seat Equitation team. Horses have been volunteered by owner, owner, owner and their trainers Janet Crampton and Dorothy Dukes Ford.

Paul Cates has volunteered to judge the competition among the four saddle seat equitation riders. Initial plans call for pocket workouts based upon the abilities of the donated horses.

The competition will take place on Saturday afternoon with an interview session on Sunday.

If this first competition is productive in introducing new audiences to the American Saddlebred, plans call for William Woods University to be involved in the Kansas City competition in April. If these competitions do prove to be fruitful, some means for qualifying for the competition would be developed. Whether these were the same as for the World Cup team, or some other criteria based upon World’s Championship finishes, etc., is yet to be determined.

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