World’s Curly horses set to enjoy their first virtual international show

A curly horse in action.
A curly horse in action.

Lovers of Curly horses have come up with the perfect answer to what has long been the curliest of questions: How to produce an international horse show when it involves a rare type of horse.

The rarity of Curly horses means is difficult to find even a dozen of them in one place.

This has made a truly international show, capable of drawing competitors from all corners of the world, a huge hurdle for the International Curly Horse Organization (ICHO).

» The genetics of Curly horses

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown it is possible to stage horse events virtually, and seemed the perfect answer to staging a successful international Curly horse event. Thus, the idea for a virtual international Curly horse show was born.

Earlier this year, the ICHO formed a volunteer committee with diverse backgrounds to study its feasibility. Joan Henning, Janice Crosby, Bunny Reveglia and Sheryl D’Uva built a plan for Curly horses to highlight their talents in a virtual format.

The end result is the first annual international ICHO Virtual Horse Show. The organizers are expecting a broad representation of the Curly horse community worldwide.

Horses from all registries which represent curly-coated horses are welcome – the ICHO, American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry, or Curly Sporthorse International. All horses entered must be registered with a recognized registry.

Curly horses will be able to compete in the virtual show across a range of disciplines.

The show will welcome Curly horse riders, handlers and trainers from wherever curly-coated horses reside.

Directions for videotaping entries will be posted this month on the International Curly Horse website, as will the rules for each class.

There will be several types of classes and disciplines offered: English Dressage, Western Dressage, Gaited Western Dressage, Driving, Halter, Showmanship, Jumping, Rail classes for Equitation and Pleasure, Trail Obstacles, Trail hours, At Liberty, and Lead-line.

There will be classes offered for a diverse group of riders as well, in addition to the usual youth classes (under 18) and adult classes (18 and over), there will be classes for youngsters who require lead line assistance and classes for those of all ages with special needs. In addition, classes for miniature Curlies, Curly ponies, and gaited Curlies will be offered.

ICHO president Joan Henning, of Henning Stables said she was pleased to see the Curly horse performance base get offered this international show. “The Curly horse deserves this admiration and exposure, and the Curly horse community deserves the opportunity to share the magnificence these horses have.”

Curly horses can be found all over the world, but there are rarely more than a handful in one location.

The show judge will be Joanne Coy, from the Western Dressage Association of America. Joanne Coy is a lifelong student of the horse, with a varied background.

She is on the boards of Glass-Ed (a member organization of the US Dressage Federation), the Western Dressage Association of Michigan, and is a new board member of Western Dressage Association of America.

She co-taught the Group Apprentice Judging Program at the Western Dressage World Show in Oklahoma in 2017 and 2018, and will be teaching it again in 2020.

She was one of the clinicians at the Western Dressage Judges’ Seminar this year and last year in Colorado, and judged at the 2019 Western Dressage World Show.

She is a US Dressage Federation bronze medalist, an L graduate with the federation, and a US Equestrian Western Dressage “R” judge.

When not judging a show herself, Joanne enjoys showing her quarter horse and her half-Arab in both English and Western dressage and working with gaited horses.

“I haven’t met a horse yet, no matter what breed, who hasn’t benefited from the elements of training as described in the training pyramid,” she says. “Following those elements will always make a horse better, happier, and more correct so that he can live a long and healthy life.”

The ICHO was formed in 2000 as an all-inclusive registry for Curly horses. Its mission is to preserve, protect, promote, register, and research the Curly horse and its unique characteristics.”

The organization has been instrumental in promoting scientific research on curly-coated horses around the world.

More information on the show can be found here.

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