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Horse Force in NRV Show

DUBLIN — Kim Smith has been a lifelong lover of horses.
Even before she was born, her mother was involved with these graceful equine creatures. Then, at the age of 3, Smith was given her first pony.
By 9, she was participating in horse shows with her pony, Star.
This weekend, Smith, now an agriculture teacher at Narrows High School, will serve as manager of the Blue Ridge Horse Force during the New River Valley Horse Show this Saturday at the fairgrounds in Dublin.
The Blue Ridge Horse Force is an organization in southwestern Virginia which oversees horse shows and offers year-end awards for equestrian competitors, Smith explained.
Different organizations, such as the New River Valley Fair, host the shows, but must follow the guidelines and rules set forth by the Horse Force, she said, noting that these are primarily small schooling shows focused on introducing new equestrians to competition or as a lower-budget alternative to rated shows.
Smith added that the BRHF offers the following riding classes: hunter, western, English, gaited and gymkhana, and she said most of the shows take place at Green Hill Park in Salem, but recent shows have been held at other facilities as well.
Smith became involved with the BRHF when she returned to Virginia Tech to pursue a master’s degree in education. She noted that at the time, she was working out of Harmony Hills Equestrian Center in Pembroke as a riding instructor, and the shows through BRHF were an excellent venue for instructors to introduce new riders and “green” horses to showing.
To participate in the BRHF, all members are required to perform four volunteer hours a year in order to be eligible for year-end awards, so Smith has earned those hours through showing, coaching and volunteering at BRHF shows.
She added that she has also served as a judge at several of the shows.
As for what spectators may expect at the Blue Ridge Horse Force show on Saturday morning, Smith said it will feature hunter, western and English classes throughout the day. In addition, there will be two jumping classes which will take place that morning.
Smith explained that after each of the respective disciplines have ridden, the blue ribbon winners from each class will compete against each other, and at the conclusion of the competition, overall champions from each discipline will be named.
“Most of these classes focus on the horse carrying out the commands of the rider in a pleasurable demeanor,” Smith said. “This may sound simple but can take years to accomplish with any given mount.”
Smith herself has dedicated many years to becoming an accomplished rider. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was very active in 4H and Pony Club, and said that she “showed in about anything I could and was lucky to have a very patient and versatile quarter horse, Mac, as my mount.”
Together, Smith and Mac competed in hunters, jumpers, eventing, Western pleasure and gymkhana classes, and have enjoyed trail rides.
Eventually, Smith went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in Tech’s equine science program, followed by earning her master’s degree.
Currently, she owns a small business in the NRV teaching riding lessons and training sport horses, in addition to her full-time teaching job at NHS.
She noted that next year, she will be moving to Auburn High School to teach, which will be much closer to her home in Christiansburg.
As for what continues to draw her to horses, Smith said, “I enjoy the challenge that horses present, figuring each one out and focusing on their strengths. The thing I love most about horses is the bond formed between horse and rider. It really is a true partnership.”
Tonight is opening night for the NRV Horse Show, with events beginning at 6 p.m. Evening shows will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights as well, with the Blue Ridge Horse Force show beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information, contact the NRV Fairgrounds at (540) 674-1548.

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Horse Force in NRV Show

DUBLIN — Kim Smith has been a lifelong lover of horses.
Even before she was born, her mother was involved with these graceful equine creatures. Then, at the age of 3, Smith was given her first pony.
By 9, she was participating in horse shows with her pony, Star.
This weekend, Smith, now an agriculture teacher at Narrows High School, will serve as manager of the Blue Ridge Horse Force during the New River Valley Horse Show this Saturday at the fairgrounds in Dublin.
The Blue Ridge Horse Force is an organization in southwestern Virginia which oversees horse shows and offers year-end awards for equestrian competitors, Smith explained.
Different organizations, such as the New River Valley Fair, host the shows, but must follow the guidelines and rules set forth by the Horse Force, she said, noting that these are primarily small schooling shows focused on introducing new equestrians to competition or as a lower-budget alternative to rated shows.
Smith added that the BRHF offers the following riding classes: hunter, western, English, gaited and gymkhana, and she said most of the shows take place at Green Hill Park in Salem, but recent shows have been held at other facilities as well.
Smith became involved with the BRHF when she returned to Virginia Tech to pursue a master’s degree in education. She noted that at the time, she was working out of Harmony Hills Equestrian Center in Pembroke as a riding instructor, and the shows through BRHF were an excellent venue for instructors to introduce new riders and “green” horses to showing.
To participate in the BRHF, all members are required to perform four volunteer hours a year in order to be eligible for year-end awards, so Smith has earned those hours through showing, coaching and volunteering at BRHF shows.
She added that she has also served as a judge at several of the shows.
As for what spectators may expect at the Blue Ridge Horse Force show on Saturday morning, Smith said it will feature hunter, western and English classes throughout the day. In addition, there will be two jumping classes which will take place that morning.
Smith explained that after each of the respective disciplines have ridden, the blue ribbon winners from each class will compete against each other, and at the conclusion of the competition, overall champions from each discipline will be named.
“Most of these classes focus on the horse carrying out the commands of the rider in a pleasurable demeanor,” Smith said. “This may sound simple but can take years to accomplish with any given mount.”
Smith herself has dedicated many years to becoming an accomplished rider. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was very active in 4H and Pony Club, and said that she “showed in about anything I could and was lucky to have a very patient and versatile quarter horse, Mac, as my mount.”
Together, Smith and Mac competed in hunters, jumpers, eventing, Western pleasure and gymkhana classes, and have enjoyed trail rides.
Eventually, Smith went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in Tech’s equine science program, followed by earning her master’s degree.
Currently, she owns a small business in the NRV teaching riding lessons and training sport horses, in addition to her full-time teaching job at NHS.
She noted that next year, she will be moving to Auburn High School to teach, which will be much closer to her home in Christiansburg.
As for what continues to draw her to horses, Smith said, “I enjoy the challenge that horses present, figuring each one out and focusing on their strengths. The thing I love most about horses is the bond formed between horse and rider. It really is a true partnership.”
Tonight is opening night for the NRV Horse Show, with events beginning at 6 p.m. Evening shows will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights as well, with the Blue Ridge Horse Force show beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information, contact the NRV Fairgrounds at (540) 674-1548.

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