Equestrian competition at North Mesa Saturday

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Horses: Locals to take part in dressage event

The Los Alamos Pony Club and New Mexico Dressage Association will combine forces this weekend to offer a horse show at the Los Alamos Rodeo Grounds.

The equestrian discipline known as dressage will be the focus of the competition, with both adult and junior competitors performing prescribed movements in a specific pattern, not unlike figure skating. Dressage is one of the equestrian sports included in international Olympic competition, likely to be seen in footage from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London this year.

For the local adults, however, this will be a practice event, called a “schooling show,” and it serves to prepare them for higher-level shows throughout the state later in the season.

For the Pony Club members, this is a competition at which they can qualify to represent the Southwest Region, including all of New Mexico, Arizona and southwestern Colorado. Should they qualify, they can compete at the United States Pony Clubs’ Championships East or West in either Virginia or Washington State later this summer.

“We have entries from Santa Fe, Medenales, Dixon, White Rock, Los Alamos, Española and even Fort Huachuca, Arizona,” said co-organizer Laura Worl.  “We’re especially grateful to the New Mexico Dressage Association for letting us host this show and our Pony Club rally together, it really boosts the future of the sport,” she said.

The show will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 21 and riders will be in the main rodeo arena through the early afternoon. Observers are welcome, and any accompanying dogs must be on a leash.