The Oregon High Desert Classics, Central Oregon’s most prolific and longest running horse shows, are International Class AA Hunter/Jumper Competitions that showcase world class equestrian talent.
Proceeds from the events benefit J Bar J Youth Services and its many programs that support Central Oregon youth and their families. Over the past 10 years, more than $2.5 million has been raised to facilitate positive change for youth.
The programs of J Bar J Youth Services include the J Bar J Boys Ranch, Cascade Youth and Family Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon and The Academy at Sisters. The boys from the J Bar J Ranch help maintain the ranch before and during the show, the girls from the Academy at Sisters do all of the serving at the catered events, the youth from Cascade Youth & Family Center assist in running the booth that sells polo shirts and other gear and Big Brothers Big Sisters assist in putting up posters around town, as well as host the anniversaryparty.
Toni Ryan, development coordinator – J Bar J Youth Services explained that in the early 1990s the horse show was much smaller and generated $50,000 to $60,000. “Over the years, J Bar J has invested in the grounds, creating an equestrian facility with great footing for the warm up rings as well as the grass show rings and generated a market of exhibitors that enjoy the show, enjoy the facility and enjoy visiting and vacationing in Central Oregon, to the point where it now generates up to $250,000.”
J Bar J Youth Services will welcome over 600 of the West Coast and Canada’s most gracious and exciting professional and amateur equestrians for two weekends of competition. Participants will be coming from Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Arizona, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
In addition nearly 3,000 spectators will be on hand to watch the competition. Based on a Bend Chamber of Commerce study participants of the show spend an estimated $3 million locally on food, lodging, recreation, goods and services over the two week period.
The Classics run on a Wednesday through Sunday basis with Classic I scheduled July 16-20 and Classic II running July 23-27.
If you enjoy a pure sense of speed, elegance and beauty, come out to the J Bar J Boys Ranch to watch these equestrians make their way around a variety of courses that feature jumps ranging from two to five feet in height. An event such as the Oregon High Desert Classics gives the Central Oregon community an opportunity to experience, first hand, the unique world of hunter/jumper competition.
Classes for all ages and abilities start at 8am and run consecutively in six rings until approximately 5pm each day. Vendors selling food, equestrian supplies, clothing and gifts will be open throughout the week. The public is welcome; admission is free.
Each Saturday the Grand Prix Competition, with purses of $25,000, are held beginning at 5pm. The winner of the purse will be the competitor that displays the best sense of time, speed and accuracy in completing the course.
The ideal place to view this event is from under the Patrons Tent ringside for the Grand Prix Dinner catered by Tate & Tate. Exclusive seating for individuals and groups of up to eight people are available for purchase.
The Hunter Derby takes place both Sundays with a brunch catered by Tate & Tate, reservations required. Guests are invited to break out their favorite Derby style hats for the Sunday events, prizes will be awarded for the most elegant, most extravagant and most eccentric.
For a more casual taste of the Oregon High Desert Classics, there will be a 25th anniversary celebration on Friday, July 25 at the Beer, Wine, & Equine Night at the Classics. Tickets are $15 to participate in the beer and/or wine tasting with 25 different beers to choose from. There will be a Pro Am Relay at the beginning of the evening, followed with music by Rukus.
Oregon High Desert Classics
July 16-20 and July 23-27
40 acre ranch at 62895 Hamby Rd., Bend
Saturday, July 19
The Oxford Hotel Grand Prix dinner
Sunday, July 20
Break out your finest Derby hat and attire for the J Bar J International Hunter Derby Hat Breakfast
Saturday, July 26
The Sheri Allis Memorial Grand Prix dinner
Sunday, July 27
Break out your finest Derby hat and attire for the Oxford Hotel International Hunter Derby Hat Breakfast. A prize for the best hat will be awarded at this event.