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The Stars Of The West Gather At The Far West Regional

REDMOND, Ore. - The Deschutes County Fairgrounds located in scenic central Oregon welcomed exhibitors to the 45th Far West Regional on June 18-22. Following its move to Redmond, Far West became the talk of the west with its biggest and best show to date in 2000. The breathtaking scenery, high desert climate, and the two-year-old facility brought them all back again in 2002. The show again boasted some of the finest competition west of Oklahoma as a fantastic group of horses vied for the AMHA Region 8 Championships at Far West. In all nearly 400 horses came from the Region 8 states of Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho as well as California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Canada.

The competition was perfectly placed with the panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains surrounding Redmond as the backdrop for the Far West Regional. Exhibitors made the most of the sunny, hot days and cool, clear evenings. Many exhibitors come to Redmond to enjoy their summer vacation as well as one of the best horse shows in the country. They have the chance to take in over 200 classes of outstanding show ring competition and also use some of their time to play golf, go river rafting or fishing, or simply enjoy being a tourist.

The fairgrounds features a spacious coliseum with an attached warm up area, an outdoor ring, and many barns throughout the grounds with temporary stabling. Exhibitors were well prepared for navigating the large fairgrounds with golf carts being the travel mode of choice. Overall, exhibitors were complimentary about the facility and the positive changes that continued to be made.

Show manager Sally Plumley was thrilled with this year's show. "Once again the Far West had TERRIFIC exhibitors, sunny skies, and classes that were incredible from 'top' to 'bottom'. The show committee is very gratified that the trainers and exhibitors choose to come to the show; for many it is a long haul, but well worth the time and effort! We're looking forward to 2003 in beautiful Central Oregon," Plumley remarked.

Show Manager and Chairman Sally Plumley was again at the helm of Far West's capable group of staff and volunteers. Secretary Edrah Spielman again kept the office in tip top shape. Vern Serex and Gene VanDyke served as this year's ringmasters. Linda Kienlen summoned exhibitors to the ring as paddock manager while Robb Platz made the official calls as show announcer. Joan Shelton-Palalek kept everything by the rules USA Equestrian Steward. The exhibitors were pleased as Casey McBride snapped up the winning photos in the center ring designed by Carole Bradford complete with colorful flowers and fountains. Janet Barber, Richard Boule and Ann Slomkowski were selected to officiate the nearly 200 classes that made up the Far West show ring action while Sonja Veracko scored the dressage competition.

The Far West Regional was presented by the Morgan Horse Association of Oregon for the benefit of the J Bar J Youth Services, The Academy at Sisters Equestrian Program. One of the show ring highlights of a week filled with outstanding competition was the fourth presentation of the Pacific Coast Morgan Futurity which was held during the Friday evening performance (see separate story).

A busy show ring schedule as well as barn parties and catered meals kept exhibitors on the grounds for many hours each day. The show's party activities started on Wednesday evening with a Welcome to Far West Dessert Party at Crown Morgans. The Friday evening session began with an hors d'oeuvres buffet hosted ringside by the Pacific Coast Futurity prior to the futurity competition. The night ended with another memorable edition of the annual exhibitors party complete with entertainment by DJ Biff who kept the crowd entertained with many contests throughout the night. A Street Party was held at Fire Run Farm on Saturday afternoon in honor of DBA Street Talk (see separate story).

The 2002 Far West Regional was certainly a memorable week for all in attendance.

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