The FACE OFF Competition on August 25th and 26th: The Details of what you will be able to see from the trainer x horse teams!


On August 25th, Trainers will arrive at Winfield Riding Arena in West Virginia to begin the jurying process.

3 judges

Michael Lyons, Tim Clyne and Susan Sunday will consider the following during each section of the competition:

Respect and Trust between horse and horseman/woman, Confidence and sensitivity of the trainer, technique and use of force.

Points will be assigned  based on:        

  • Unable to complete task,
  • able to complete,
  • able to complete well or
  • able to excel

Events will include:

Moving the horse 

  • Ability to get forward motion
  • Control of walk, trot (or gait), and lope (canter)
  • Difficulty of Horse

Desensitizing / Ground work of the horse

  • Ability of trainer to settle the horse
  • Tarps, flag and/or ropes, ground poles
  • Horses’s acceptance of the saddle & pad
  • Riding Portion
  • How prepared is the horse to be mounted
  • Horse’s willingness to stand
  • How horse turns and stops
  • Ridden both directions at the walk, trot and canter
  • Ability to load into and back out of a trailer
  • Willingness to stand tied

Following the end of the 1st days event, the highest scoring 8 competitors will continue on to Day 2 of the competition. 

Scoring from Day 1 will combine with Day 2 Scoring


beginning at 9am 


  • While navigating the course:
  • Ability to control spookiness
  • Walk, trot (gait) and canter around arena both directions while on the correct lead and against the rail
  • Ability to get forward motion
  • Stop their horse
  • Get the horse to back up 3 steps
  • Get off and pick up all 4 feet
  • Weave thru all poles
  • Walk thru zig zag poles
  • Cross tarp
  • Cross ground poles
  • Rope the barrel (they then drop the rope)
  • Drag the log (take rope from top of barrel)

Free Style Performance (Evening of the 26th)

Free style competitions are entirely the Trainer’s choice following the end of the obstacle course portion. Pyrotechnics, blank gun fire, jumps and similar obstacles are all permitted, as well as trailers/trucks.

Trainers have 12 minutes total to set up and perform. Trainers may use as much of the time on set up or performance as they chose. 

Author: T. Creamer

Director of Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC HomesteadHer, Photographer, Advocate for kindness, common sense and freedom

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