The UGA Livestock Instructional Arena will be full of horses and their human counterparts April 26 as a group of dedicated students puts on the sixth annual Bulldog Classic Horse Show.
The all-day event, which is organized entirely by the Collegiate Horsemen’s Association chapter at UGA, primarily serves as a fundraiser for the Georgia Equine Rescue League, a group dedicated to helping starved, abused or neglected equine.
While the Bulldog Classic Horse Show is free for spectators, riders pay an entrance fee, and donations will be accepted. Fifty percent of all money collected will go directly to the rescue league, according to Camille Guss, chairwoman of the show.
“Shows like the Bulldog Classic are so important for raising money and also getting the word out about rescue groups like GERL,” Guss said. “Often people hear on the news about these horrific things happening to horses, and they aren’t sure how to help; and now with events like our show, anyone can easily come out and make a difference for horses that have been mistreated.”
This year, the show will have a variety of riding classes and events.
“We’re aiming to make this show more of a fun, relaxing, family-friendly event,” said Kalila Clarke, president of the Collegiate Horsemen’s Association at UGA. “We even will have games so that people who haven’t been to a show before have something they can enter for experience.”
Among the games are a lipstick race in which participants will have to trot across the arena while trying to apply makeup.
There also will be a chin apple race in which riders will race in the arena with an apple under their chin; dropping the apple will cause rider and horse to head back to the starting line.
“A lot of the games are things that anyone with riding experience tried on their farms, like playing tag while on horseback,” Guss said.
“This type of show is going to be a new thing, even for us,” said Cathy Micali, who is responsible for promoting the show. “It should be a lot of fun while raising some money.”
Along with the games, there will be Western and English classes for riders and horses.
The executive board for the show began preparations last fall and has been working hard ever since. Student volunteers have done most of the work for the show, with outside judges and stewards volunteering their time to help out. Students have worked on posters, recruited sponsors, developed advertising and will be performing a plethora of activities on the day of the show.
Along with Clarke, Guss and Micali, Darice Bruce and Erin Moore worked to develop the show’s lineup. Bruce serves as treasurer, and Moore is secretary of the association.
“Horse people have a very kind heart and are always willing to help out,” Guss said, “but we always welcome more volunteers because that makes the show run smoother.”
Clarke said she’s hoping this year’s event draws the largest crowd in the show’s history.
The executive members also hope riders come with a good attitude, and the day is full of fun for all.
“At the end of the day, this is all about raising money and having fun,” Guss said. “It’ll be fun, and then that Sunday will be a much needed day of rest for us.”
More information on the show is at http://bulldogclassic.weebly.com/.