Now in the 28th year, the annual Oregon High Desert Classics Show is scheduled to kick off in Central Oregon on July 18 through July 30. Designated a Heritage Site by the prestigious United States Equestrian Federation, the two-week show is presented by the Oxford Inns, Suites & Hotels and takes place at J Bar J Youth Ranch on Hamby Road east of Bend. The community is invited to come and watch this special event.
The popular Hunter/ Jumper competition showcases top riders from the Western United States and Canada, including junior athletes and Olympic competitors. Over $150,000 in prize money is at stake as horse and riders of all ages and levels compete in classes such as United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International & National Hunter Derby events. Each week concludes on Saturday evening with Grand Prix events. In 2016 and again in 2017, J Bar J was selected to be the host of the USHJA Children/ Adult Amateur Hunter West Regional Championships, only four of which are held in the nation.
Sponsors and 600 rider entrance fees are instrumental to the success of the Oregon High Desert Classics as well as to the success of the J Bar J Youth Services organization. A nonprofit organization offering options for at-risk youth who are working toward self-sufficiency, J Bar J Youth Services offers seven programs including the J Bar J Boys Ranch, The Academy at Sisters, The Learning Center, Cascade Youth & Family Center, Big Brother Big Sisters, Safe Families and most recently, Grandma’s House.
“The Oregon High Desert Classics is the highlight of our summer. It is a pleasure to host sponsors, riders and coaches for this event, and to have spectators join in festivities at the Ranch,” says Stephanie Alvstad, executive director.“We invite the community out to see the beautiful horses, watch young riders gain confidence and experienced riders compete for a cash purse. There is no charge for spectating. The proceeds from the event support the many programs offered to kids and families under the J Bar J Youth Services umbrella.”