The Jacksonville Equestrian Center proudly hosted the National Team Roping League’s (NTRL) Truck Roping/World Series Qualifier competition in Jacksonville this month. The competition, in its 12th year at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, tested the teamwork and skills of pairs of riders and their horses working in tandem to rope steers in a timed competition. Hundreds of teams came from all over the United States and even Cuba to compete for the chance to win a 2017 Dodge RAM 3500 diesel truck (a four-door dually) as well as a two-horse aluminum trailer. The event paid out $216,000 in cash and prizes over the course of three days of competition.
The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s over 400 permanent stalls and huge indoor coliseum, which includes a 123,000 square foot arena with permanent seating for 3,700, make the Jacksonville Equestrian Center a perfect choice for NTRL competitions. John Johnson, President of JX2 Productions (the company that produces the NTRL Truck Roping competition and multiple other Western events), said, “It’s a good location for people on the Atlantic seaboard, and now is a great time of year here.”
Team ropers could enter the competition up to 20 times each. The 55 fastest teams competed again, and the final two teams returned a third time for a tie-breaking round. “We then go through and take each person and, depending on how many times they rode and where they placed, we total up their points,” explained Johnson. “The two people with the most points win the truck and the trailer.”
The Jacksonville Equestrian Center takes pleasure in announcing that Mervin Beachy of Washington, Pennsylvania, won the handsome trailer, and Abdiel Zamora of Okeechobee, Florida, won the coveted truck. Congratulations also go to the following winning teams: Mervin Beachy and Ty Norris, Ryan Pope and Spunk Sasser, Dustin Combs and Mike Hall, Caleb Smith and Mike Maddox, Jesse Mayhew and John Schnebly, Logan Taylor and Guy Graden, Daren Sims and Bradley Massey, Mervin Beachy and Lance Arviso, and Zack Kilgus and Tom Clark.
The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has developed an outstanding reputation for hosting family-friendly, exciting events all year long, which are open to the public. Events range from team roping to dressage to dog agility competitions and more. Up next in the month of May is a dressage competition on May 13-14.
After that, the popular Extreme Mustang Makeover competition will be back at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center from May 18-20. This spectacular event showcases horse trainers who have taken on the challenge of transforming a wild Mustang into a well-trained horse in just 100 days. The event is designed to test both human and horse for their ability to learn quickly and make the most out of a small period of training time. The winner of the Extreme Mustang Makeover wins a $25,000 grand prize. Every Mustang trained by adult trainers will be available for adoption after the Top Ten Freestyle Finals on Saturday night, May 20. Preliminary classes (all day Friday and Saturday until late afternoon) are free to watch. Tickets are needed ($15.00 plus tax) for the amazing Top Ten Freestyle Finals on Saturday evening.
Also on May 20, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will be hosting a free family fun day. Free events open to the public will include – in addition to meeting horses from the Extreme Mustang Makeover and watching the competition’s preliminary events –a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, a magic show, a vintage mustang car show, pony rides, a petting zoo, and Gator Country 99.9 FM live on site giving out prizes. Some festivities begin as early as 8:00 am, and the day will wrap up at 5:00 pm.
The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a favorite destination for equestrian competitions, recreational events, and social events for the community. The 80-acre facility, which is easily accessible from major highways in Jacksonville, Florida, also features miles of hiking and riding trails and a picnic pavilion. For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904) 255-4215.
Lucky winners at the National Team Roping League’s (NTRL) Truck Roping/World Series Qualifier at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center earned a new truck and a new horse trailer (Photo courtesy of JX2 Productions/NTRL)