ESSEX, Vt. Over 100 horses and riders are at the Champlain Valley expo for two days of shows. Riders from all levels compete for medals. For beginners, it's a chance to get to know the sport and test their skills--and for experienced riders it is an opportunity to qualify for the upcoming regional show.
"It gives riders a chance to earn those goals. You can get gold, silver, and bronze medals through the U.S. dressage federation. We've had people get their gold medals here. We've had people qualify for regionals who never thought they could or would or never had any real thought of going," said show manager, Kristina Price.
The sport of dressage originally started in Greece. Show arenas are ringed with various letters, and horses are required to ride patterns at different speeds and directions coinciding with the letter. For the more advanced riders--it can become a type of dance routine even involving music. Sunday there will be a second full day of shows. There is no charge for spectators.