The Event at Rebecca Farm is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the Northwest. But not everyone that attends the events have deep knowledge of horses or any of the events going on. We took a closer look at one of the events, dressage.
Dressage is meant to be an event to test the rider and horse’s technique. The same test is performed across the board by each rider and their horse. Judges will score the rider and horse out of ten. While dressage isn’t the most exciting event to watch it’s crucial for judges to set a standard for the riders. We spoke with Wayne Quarles who has been an equestrian judge for thirty years. As a young boy Quarles took an immediate liking to horses and wanted to spend as much with them as possible. Quarles pointed out large letters on the dressage course. Quarles explains to those who are not as familiar with the sport what those are used for.
Quarles explains, “The purpose of the letters is to give markers for the horse and rider to know where their exercises are to begin and end.”
As a judge on the dressage event Quarles tells us what he’s looking for out of the horse and the riders.
Quarles says, “In the dressage rhythm, regularity, obedience, symmetry the horses are using themselves well working through their backs.”
For those that aren’t as familiar with the sport Sarah Broussard, event manager tells us an easy way to tell if the horse and rider are performing the test well.
Broussard says, “You’re looking for a very harmonious relationship between the horse and rider. And in fact sometimes you won't actually see the rider doing anything but the horse responds just because the cues are so minor and so subtle.”
Both Broussard and Quarles are riders and tell us their favorite event to watch and compete in is the cross country. The cross country event will start on July 20th at Rebecca Farm at noon. The event is free to the public, but Rebecca Farm asks for a ten-dollar donation which will go towards the Halt Cancer at X. This initiative was started in honor of Sarah’s mother who passed away from breast cancer. All money raised for Halt Cancer at X will go back into research and development for a cure for cancer.