If you go ...

When: First week, Wednesday through Sunday; second week, July 24-28.

Where: J Bar J Boys Ranch, 62895 Hamby Road in northeast Bend

WEEK 1 SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

Thursday: Pro/Am Relay, approximately 4 p.m.

Friday: $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, approximately 4 p.m.

Saturday: $25,000 Grand Prix, 5 p.m.

Sunday: $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, 8 a.m. $5,000 Mini Grand Prix, approximately 2 p.m.

Admission: All competition events are free. Vendors are available on site.

Information: www.oregonhighdesertclassics.org.

The biggest horse show in the Northwest returns to Central Oregon starting Wednesday for 10 days of horse jumping and other events for equestrians.

The 30th annual Oregon High Desert Classics will bring nearly 800 horses and 3,000 professional and amateur competitors to 40-acre J Bar J Boys Ranch in northeast Bend. Classic I runs this week through Sunday, and Classic II runs July 24-28.

“It’s basically the largest horse show in the Northwest,” says horse show manager Diane Johnson. “We’ve got horses coming from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Montana. The Grand Prixs are the highlights, but the schedule is basically the same as last year. There’s six (competition) rings going.”

The headliner event of the first week of the Classics is Saturday’s $25,000 Grand Prix. Johnson says Friday’s $5,000 U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Derby, along with Sunday’s $10,000 International Hunter Derby and the $3,000 Mini Grand Prix, should be popular among spectators as well.

Classic II will include the $10,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Northwest Regional Championship on July 25, the $5,000 ­USHJA National Hunter Derby on July 26, the $25,000 Grand Prix on July 27, and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on July 28.

Riders will compete for a total of $150,000 in prize money over the course of the 10 days of the Oregon High Desert Classics.

“The first week we have 440 horses and the second week we have 332 horses,” Johnson says. “The rings are all grass, which is very unusual and a big asset.”

Bend’s Lindsey Garner is back to compete in the Classics after winning a $25,000 Grand Prix at her hometown horse show in 2017 and 2018. Kevin Winkel, of Reno, Nevada, also returns after winning a $25,000 Grand Prix event last year at the Classics.

Events are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day (later for the Saturday Grand Prix events) in each of the six rings. Spectators are welcome and admission is free every day. Dogs at the show must be on a leash at all times.

Special events include the International Hunter Derby brunches on Sundays, the Ride, Drive and Drink race (jumper course, wheelbarrow race, and finishing a beer), best dog competitions, and the Saturday evening Grand Prix dinners.

Those planning to attend the Grand Prix events should arrive early, as the grandstands are small and seating is first-come, first-served, according to Johnson. Spectators can also bring their own chairs.

According to www.oregonhighdesertclassics.org, the Oregon High Desert Classics is approved by the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association and is a recipient of the highest AA rating from the U.S. Equestrian Foundation. The Bend event is one of only 25 horse shows to receive Heritage Horse Show designation, and it is also the only show of its caliber that is primarily a fundraiser for a nonprofit.

Proceeds from the Oregon High Desert Classics support five youth-serving agencies parented by J Bar J Youth Services.

—Reporter: 541-383-0318,

mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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