What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Hold On Tight! The Toughest Rodeo Joins the Mississippi Gulf Coast Winter Classic March 14 and 15

March 08, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

For Immediate Release

Gulfport, Mississippi



Saddle up! It’s Rodeo Time!


The Gulf Coast Classic Company is proud to announce that as a special treat this year, there will be a rodeo in the covered arena March 14 and 15 to close out the fantastic six weeks of AA show jumping action.


Meet the cowboys and cowgirls during the special 6-7 pm Kids Hour Friday and Saturday night!


But, this is no average rodeo! Spectators will be treated to a five star performance which will include internationally known trick rider Brandon Perdue, extreme stunt rider Gina Cox, the legendary rodeo announcer Roger Mooney and rodeo entertainer and cowboy clown, Brian Potter will be there with his crowd pleasing comedic performance. Avid tandem riders Perdue and Cox are the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire of the horse world who defy danger with their extreme trick riding.


Edge of your seat excitement for the entire family!


Don’t forget the bull riders! Twenty four of the top bull riders and the top 15 barrel racers in the country all ride for the title of the Toughest Cowboy and Toughest Cowgirl.


Advance purchase tickets are available at the show office or Fazio’s Feed Store and cost only $12 for adults and children 12 and under are $7. Buckaroos under 5 are free. For at the gate purchases, tickets cost $15 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under. All children under 5 are admitted free of charge.


Top barrel racers and bull riders compete for the title of Toughest Cowgirl and Toughest Cowboy!


Gates open at 6 pm and performances take place at 7pm. There will be a free Kids’ Hour from 6-7 with pony rides, face painting and a meet and greet with the cowboys and cowgirls of the rodeo.



Catch the action close up in the VIP area.


Want to catch the action up close? Reserve your VIP table or seat now for the best seats in the house. VIP seats are $40 a ticket or $225 for a table of six and include ringside seating, two drink tickets and entrance to the after-party where Robin Dixon and the Midnight Moon Band from Atlanta, Georgia will rock the night away from 10pm until 1am!


Don’t miss the rodeo March 14 and 15 at the Harrison County Fairgrounds!


For more information, visit perdueproductions.com or call 850.380.8866.




The Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic is proud to offer everyone the opportunity to watch show jumping action LIVE! Click on this link or cut and paste it in your browser and catch the action LIVE and FOR FREE!


Gulf Coast Sunshine Classic V

Friday March 7th at 8:00 am USHJA Int’l Hunter Derby

Friday March 7 at 3:00 pm $25,000 Welcome

Sunday March 9 at 2:00 pm $77,700 Governor’s Cup Grand Prix


Gulf Coast Finale VI

Sunday March 16 at 2:00 pm $25,000 Grand Prix


Make sure to follow the idk media group on twitter at twitter@idkmediagroup.


The Gulf Coast Classic Company and the Classic Company sm is a USHJA ‘s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. Together, they offer the best exhibitor- friendly, top quality hunter jumper events each winter. Please visit them at www.gulfcoastclassiccompany.com and www.classiccompany.com or call them at 843.768.5503.


All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at lisa@classiccompany.com or call 908.310.6248.


Stay up to date: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


See you at the ring!


The Classic Company, Ltd.


Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503

Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

THE OLD WEST COMES TO PALM BEACH COUNTY FOR WHO REINS SUPREME? Reining Competition, Trick Riders, Music, Cocktails and More at Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Fourth Annual Fundraiser

December 26, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

WELLINGTON, FL (December 19, 2013) – The Equestrian Aid Foundation will host the fourth annual winter Who Reins Supreme? on Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach. The Old West themed event will feature a unique reining competition, cocktail hour, trick riders, awards ceremony, live and silent auctions and more.


The highlight of Who Reins Supreme? will be a reining competition between two teams, each comprised of a compilation of hunters, jumpers, and dressage riders. The competitors will include Ashley Holzer, Nick Dello Joio, Peter Pletcher, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson. World Equestrian Games individual Gold Medalist Tom McCutcheon and Tim McQuay, one of the all time leaders in the sport of reining, will captain each team, coaching the competitors and representing their teams in the competition.

Peter Pletcher - Credit Tom Tracy

Peter Pletcher – Photo Credit Tom Tracy

The past two presidents of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, Robert Dover and Mason Phelps, Jr., will be honored along with the current president, R. Scot Evans, for their dedication to the equine community and role in providing care and support for those in need.

“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be in a position that allows me to give back to those who make equestrian sports possible and share my passion for these remarkable animals,” said Evans. “I truly believe that the Equestrian Aid Foundation provides an invaluable service, and I am proud to be a part of their great work.”

Winners Circle - Photo Credit Tom Tracy

Winners Circle – Photo Credit Tom Tracy

Proceeds from the evening will benefit EAF programs that financially assist equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses and injuries. Tickets and tables can be purchased at equestrianaidfoundation.org.

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For 17 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.orgwww.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

Good Food Hunting: Foodie Interview with Diane Barber

November 14, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Wojtylak

Kitchens can be designed by Diane Barber Designs to include spacious rooms for guests, extra space for treats and supplements as well as flooring to cater to the lifestyle of dirt, dogs and craziness.

Kitchens can be designed by Diane Barber Designs to include spacious rooms for guests, extra space for treats and supplements as well as flooring to cater to the lifestyle of dirt, dogs and craziness.

Horse professionals are leading dual lives. It’s not quite the awesome super heroes we know in movies and television, but more like everyday heroes coming to the rescue in ways that bless the lives of those affected. Take Diane Barber. She’s one of the kindest individuals I’ve had the opportunity to meet and it’s the culmination of her passions and experiences that make her such a fascinating and uplifting person to have on your side (or in this case, to learn more about).

Diane is a fellow writer. Her articles have graced the pages of Dressage TodayModern Arabian HorseSouth Bay magazine and various other publications. She pours her heart out each and every time, leaving a piece of herself behind. Her unbridled passions for horses is shown not only in her writing, but seeps out into other areas of her life including Diane Barber Designs. It’s just one of her many creative outlets where the equestrian montage sneaks out into the world, this time though interior designs and many a kitchens in return.

Her tale of horse ownership is certainly not for the faint hearted. It was her sheer determination to not accept the cards she was dealt with that propelled her life into a brand new direction of faith and healing. Thankfully I met her because of this journey and since then have found a kinship in equines, but now through food.

Kat (left) and Diane at the World Equestrian Games in 2010.

Kat (left) and Diane at the World Equestrian Games in 2010.

KW: Hi Diane, thanks so much for joining us! Please give our readers a bit of background on your relationship with horses.

DB: My parents raised me with Western riding and American Quarter Horses in Pennsylvania. My father and I rode through the Pennsylvania forests for hours with our Labrador Retrievers tagging along. I have long since moved to California and enjoy both dressage and Western riding in local arenas and on neighborhood trails. My horse Bold Brahim (“Jesse”) is a grandsire of Spain’s 1976 Gold Medal Horse of the Year – Sidi Brahim.  Years ago, my fascination with his lineage landed me in Spain with Sidi Brahim’s breeder (Don Diego Mendez) giving me a personal tour of his hacienda, stables and the trophy building that housed all of Sid’s winnings. It is through this exploratory first trip that I also trained at Epona Riding Academy in Seville and was introduced to the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, of which I am an alumna.

KW: That sounds like a trip of a lifetime! Tell us about your favorite memory from the trip, if you can pick just one.

DB: One of my favorites was riding at the Royal School of Equestrian Arts in Spain and hearing Spanish Olympian Rafael Soto shout out to me in the palace arena, “Feel the horse, Diane!” as I experienced high school dressage on an Andalusian stallion for the first time in my life.

KW: Wow, thats definitely something you’ll never forget! But the trip was bittersweet. What happened?

DB: It was also while at the Royal School that I received a phone call from the stables in California telling me Jesse was lame and I would probably have to get another horse. Diagnostics upon my return revealed a severe deep flexor tendon injury. The short version of the story is that my horse and I traveled a two year healing journey with stem cell therapy, micromanaged physical therapy, Reiki therapy, Draper Therapies’ Celliant (crystal infused) leg wraps, daily prayers while holding his leg and healing crystals braided into his mane. I pulled out all the stops and opened myself to the world of metaphysics and homeopathic remedies alongside conventional medicine and faith.  After two intensive years under the guidance of leg specialist Dr. Sylvia Ouellette (formerly Dr. Greenman), Jesse was 100% sound and still is today. I can remember vividly when a long awaited smile and hug from Dr. Oullette  meant that we won Jesse’s fight for soundness for good.

My published writing began when the editor of Dressage Today learned about Jesse’s injury and asked me to write about it. Our experience became a feature magazine story titled “Defying the Odds”, which was  published in 2008.  That story opened doors for me with other editors – a good example of there always being a silver lining when life serves up some lemons!

Diane and Jesse. Photo courtesy of Stephan Cooper.

Diane and Jesse. Photo courtesy of Stephan Cooper.

KW: An amazing testimony to faith and determination! Tell us, in addition to your writing you also are able to incorporate your love for horses into another medium besides writing.

DB: Several years ago when I was designing and redesigning homes for people I met at our stables, I realized that “horse speak” in design is critical for working with horse owners. An excellent designer who does not live and breathe the horse world cannot possibly achieve the same “on the mark” design and lifestyle results as a designer who does.  When I realized this during one of my projects, I then shifted more attention to working specifically for horse lovers alongside working for non-horse people. Of course, my favorite projects are the equestrian projects!

KW: Well I can’t imagine why! Actually, I can because we are a rare breed. Yet since this is a food column, can you share with us about the center of the home, the kitchen, and what designs you implement to make them more equestrian friendly?

DB: Probably the most common considerations for my kitchen designs for equestrians are durable floors and finishes, large sinks and refrigerators with great storage capacities.  Equestrians tend to prefer to not have to kick off their boots to go into the kitchen so commercial grade floor materials are often specified. And, we all tend to have an abundance of carrots, apples, supplements and meds that take up kitchen real estate that non-horse folks don’t have to consider.   Open floor plans and ergonomics are also high on the list. Equestrians tend to have very active and social lifestyles with dogs at foot, families and busy on-the-run schedules.  Since most people tend to end up in the kitchen at any gathering, the more that can comfortably fit the better!

A more modern kitchen design by Diane Barber Designs.

A more modern kitchen design by Diane Barber Designs.

A finished kitchen by Diane Barber Designs incorporates durable flooring and countertops.

A finished kitchen by Diane Barber Designs incorporates durable flooring and countertops.

KW: Sounds perfect to me and exactly why you’d be the person to pick for designing an equestrians’ ideal living space. But tell us about what other connections to the food industry you have, because you have quite the list!

DB: My sister and her husband are in the restaurant business in Los Angeles.  Primarily upscale sports bar restaurants in the South Bay, including Kings Cove restaurant at the Los Angeles Kings training facility in El Segundo. Also, a very dear friend, Kara Mikelson (Creative Culinary Group), is an accomplished food stylist and personal chef in my community.

KW: Sounds like I need to plan a visit to come see you! For my benefit, and the readers who live or travel to the Los Angeles area, share with us some hot spots we shouldn’t miss out on.

DB: The Palos Verdes Peninsula where I live is home to an avid equestrian community (our biggest show is the Portuguese Bend Horse Show every fall) and our South Bay has some great restaurants. Of course I have to mention my family’s restaurant Sharks Cove in nearby Manhattan Beach! Closer to the local barns and stables is the gorgeous Terranea Resort (built on former coastal horse trails) with several great restaurants, including Nelson’s which is on the bluffs where the old Sea Hunt television series was filmed with Lloyd Bridges (now I am dating myself!).  And, Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles is another favorite for an excellent meal with a great Pacific Ocean view.

KW: Any last words to live by before we sign out? 

DB: Lead with your heart!


Super hero to Jesse, writer and designer by day, Diane certainly is making the most of her passions in her life. To learn more about her, visit Diane Barber Designs, and stay tuned as we investigate more equestrian foodies in next month’s column.

To full plates and eating your tarte out.

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.

Biostar EQ Presents a Live Webinar, “Biotechnology in the Barn? Everything You Wanted to Know About Genetically Modified Organisms But Were Afraid To Ask”

May 24, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Gordonsville, VA (May 23, 2013)Biostar EQ and Tigger Montague will be hosting “Biotechnology in the Barn? Everything You Wanted to Know About Genetically Modified Organisms But Were Afraid To Ask,” a free webinar open to the public. The event will take place on Thursday, May 30th, at 8PM EST. Tigger will be discussing and answering questions related to what is a genetically modified organism, environmental and health concerns, biotechnology in our food, relevant scientific studies and what this all means in relation to our horses. Signup is not mandatory, and all details for the event can be found on Biostar EQ’s website. Questions will be taken during the event, but those submitted prior to the event would be most welcome. Please submit questions and any other inquiries to kat@biostareq.com.


Tigger Montague will be leading the discussion on GMO’s. Her background is extensive in nutrition including thirty years in the human and equine supplement industry, and a focus on Ayurvedic Medicine.   “Feeding horses doesn’t have to be difficult,” said Tigger. “My goal is to help break down the barriers of confusing labels and feeding programs so that individuals can provide better health to themselves and their horses. Not to mention, improved performance in the show ring.”


About Biostar EQ: Whole Food Supplements For Best in Class Health and Performance

Biostar EQ holds the belief that non-synthetically derived ingredients, aka whole food has positive effects on health and wellness. They support the whole food and organic food movement, and strive to bring products to horses and dogs alike who don’t have a lot of alternative options in terms of what they are being fed. Biostar EQ uses a unique system that dehydrates food into tasty bars that provide a tremendous amount of nutrients and vital food factors. Using this unique process, Biostar EQ dries their formulas at an extremely low heat, allowing for the nutrient levels to be as close as possible to eating the real thing. Taking this step into a brand new market with profound results that are organic, GMO (genetically modified) free, coal tar derivative free, petrochemical free and absent of artificial sweeteners and synthetic ingredients, Biostar EQ leads the way into natures best formulas. For more information on Biostar EQ, visit their website, or can also connect with them on Facebook.

Dan Steers of Double Dan Horsemanship Announced as First Competitor of Road to the Horse International 2014

May 15, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Australian clinician, Dan Steers of Double Dan Horsemanship, was announced as the first competitor at Road to the Horse 2014. Steers will make his way to the Kentucky Horse Park March 14-16, 2014 to compete for the World Championship of Colt Starting title representing his homeland of Australia.


Both Dan Steers and Dan James are all too familiar with the Road to the Horse phenomenon. Steers’ business partner James competed at Road to the Horse 2012 and 2013. James, as one half of the Australian team, took the World Championship title in 2012 by storm. Both years, Steers assisted James outside the round pen as Pen Wrangler. As the other half of Double Dan Horsemanship, Steers entertained crowds with his light-hearted humor and demonstrated his amazing talent performing in horsemanship demonstrations alongside James. Now, Steers leaves behind his position as wrangler to step into the Road to the Horse spotlight as a competitor.


Steers received the personal invitation from Road to the Horse Owner and Producer Tootie Bland. At the time of the call, Steers was competing at the Australian Stock Horse National Show in Tamworth, New South Wales with Double Image, an Australian Stock Horse stallion.


“It is an honor to be invited to compete at Road to the Horse 2014,” stated Steers. “Being able to share my passion for the horse with the thousands of fans at the Kentucky Horse Park is a once in a lifetime opportunity and being chosen to represent my country will be an unbelievable experience.”


Steers will be joined by other chosen competitors, to be announced later in the year by Road to the Horse, and a Wild Card contestant, determined by a separate competition before the first round pen session at Road to the Horse 2014.


Tickets for Road to the Horse 2014 are available for Nations Members and go on sale to the general public May 14, 2013. For more information on Road to the Horse visit www.RoadtotheHorse.com. For more information on Double Dan Horsemanship visit www.DoubleDanHorsemanship.com and check out Double Dan Horsemanship on Facebook for regular Road to the Horse 2014 updates.


About Dan Steers of Double Dan Horsemanship

Dan grew up in the South West of Western Australia and was first introduced to horses in his early teens and at 15 years of age he began working for master farrier and horseman Pete Webber. Learning from Webber, Dan developed both his horsemanship and farrier skills. At 17 years of age Dan began working for cutting trainer Corry Holden in Cobram Victoria where he spent the following six months starting and training young horses – it was here that Dan was first recognized in the show ring


During 2008, Dan joined his good friend Dan James at El Caballo Spanish Horse Center, Wooroloo WA – where they performed as “The Dan & Dan Show” each weekend – refining his showmanship and training skills. In 2009, Dan & Dan relocated their training business to North Arm Cove, NSW and “Double Dan Horsemanship” was born.


For more information visit www.DoubleDanHorsemanship.com