The 2018 CONFEPASO Youth World Cup is set for July 19-22 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion.
For the first time ever, Ocala will host the CONFEPASO Youth World Cup, which draws youth riders from around the world. Held every two years since 1996, the event is a collaborative effort of CONFEPASO, the Paso Fino Horse Association and the Southern Regional Paso Fino Horse Association. The latter is serving as the host organization.
“We could not possibly put on a show of this magnitude without our show committee and the grant we received from the Marion County Visitors Bureau,” says Cheryl Vincent, SRPFHA treasurer and CONFEPASO Youth World Cup show manager. “Hundreds of youth riders from the United States, Columbia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao and others will be competing in an Olympic-styled event.”
Following a grand opening ceremony, competition will begin with riders ages 4-24 competing in equitation classes by age and sex to earn medals for their country. There will also be classes for handicap riders. Male riders will compete on July 19 and July 21 with female riders featured on July 20 and July 22.
Riders can compete on their own horses, leased horses or in a unique twist, those from a horse bank.
“For some coming from other countries, it isn’t always possible to bring their own horses. We are very fortunate and grateful that several local Paso Fino trainers have made horses available through a horse bank,” says Vincent. “We will provide 30 horses through the horse bank. They can each be ridden by four different people, but no more than two times on one day with a day off between competition. Without the horse bank, many riders wouldn’t be able to compete.”
The show will also be live streamed to each country with riders competing.
“Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in each class. And there is a podium ceremony with the gold medal winner’s national anthem being played,” says Vincent. “Each country’s medal count will be kept toward an overall team total. We will also have a big closing ceremony.”
Vincent is quick to note that the show is more than just about competition.
“The show is really about celebrating the Paso Fino breed and family,” says Vincent. “Paso Fino owners are passionate about their horses and consider them a part of the family.”
Learn more › CONFEPASO Youth World Cup › July 19-22 › Competition begins at 8:30am each day, $10 at gate/under 8 free (half ticket cost will benefit Feed The Children, a non-profit relief organization) › Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala