Due to a host of uncertainties impacting the event, the Heart of Dixie Reining Horse Association cancelled the Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship Show originally scheduled for August 19–23 in Perry, Georgia. Fortunately, reiners came together to find a solution and a new home for the event.
According to HDRHA Board Member Kyndall Peeples, there were discussions with the Florida Reining Horse Association about the future of the event and the FRHA Board offered to run the Affiliate Regional Championships at its show in Jacksonville, Florida. Peeples noted, “This is the best option for our region and its membership. We know FRHA will highlight the ARC with pride and give it the recognition it deserves.”
The National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors gave its approval to the location change during its July 2 meeting. The 2020 Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship will now be hosted by the FRHA October 29 – November 1, in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Jacksonville Equestrian Center provides exhibitors with a large indoor coliseum and a large outdoor covered arena with additional outdoor riding areas. There are 470 permanent stalls at the facility as well as five local hotels (within 5 miles) and 80 camper hookups on site.
It’s a popular and familiar facility for reiners as the Florida Reining Classic, an NRHA Top 20 event, is held there each February. Besides the onsite accommodations, there are several restaurants nearby and an international airport within a 25-minute drive.
The FRHA has committed to hosting the ARC classes and providing the roughly $4,000 in added money that was planned by HDRHA. The ARC classes will run with the second slate of NRHA classes throughout the four-day show.
FRHA Secretary Shannon Rafacz noted, “We are fully staffed and ready to handle this event as we understand its importance to our Southeast membership. We will work hard to make this a true regional championship, putting emphasis on the ARC classes and providing championship awards for each division, including the short stirrup.”
She continued, “We are prepared to award down to 10th place for each ARC. This particular show was already slated to host a derby, futurity, and 7-Up. The FRHA was not able to hold its March or May shows so the club opted to pool the monies and put together a larger show, pushing our projected total added money over $57,000 for this event.”