Sweet Briar to host 92nd Annual SWVHJA Horse Show on Oct. 14

Makayla Benjamin ’18
Makayla Benjamin ’18

Sweet Briar College will celebrate its 92nd Annual Horse Show on Sunday, Oct. 14. The event is recognized by the Southwest Virginia Hunter Jumper Association and is open to the public. Admission for spectators is free and concessions will be available.

The fall event will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at the 130-acre Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center on campus. As is tradition, individual riders will compete in a number of hunter and equitation classes at heights from 2 feet to 3 feet, 6 inches. Riders in equitation classes will be judged on position and accuracy, as well as the effectiveness of the partnership between horse and rider. Hunter over-fences classes will be judged on the performance of the horse. Sweet Briar students and local horses and riders will compete on the flat and over fences. Competitors at SWVHJA shows can earn points that count toward year-end awards offered by the SWVHJA.

As every academic year, Sweet Briar’s annual horse show will feature several special trophies and awards, including the Fayette-Brown Challenge Trophy, awarded since 1950 to the Sweet Briar rider who demonstrates the best horsemanship and sportsmanship throughout the show. A panel of judges, among them show judge Matt Payne, will select the winner.

Another historically important award, given since 1968 to the show’s Adult Hunter Division champion, is the Harriet Howell Rogers Challenge Trophy. Last time, Makayla Benjamin ’18 and Sweet Briar’s Theodore were awarded the trophy.

A newer prize is the Preston R. Brown Horsemanship Award, which recognizes students who exemplify the qualities of horse care, kindness and attention to detail that the late Preston Brown shared with the Sweet Briar College riding program for more than 30 years. The award was first given in April, at the 91st Annual Horse Show, to Kaitlin Duecker ’21. A plaque with the names of the recipients is displayed at the riding center.

Riding program director Mimi Wroten ’93 says the College’s new 3-12-12-3 academic calendar made it necessary to change the show’s schedule from spring to fall events — hence the twice-annual event in 2018. However, the two shows are still happening in separate academic years. The 93rd Annual Horse Show will take place in fall 2019.

Outside competitors may view the prize list for this show online or request it from Sweet Briar’s riding program by calling 434-381-6116.

For more information, email Dean Hashiguchi dhashiguchi@sbc.edu.