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The Paso Robles Horse Park B Series

April 29, 2021
The Paso Robles Horse Park B Series

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hay Photography

Hunter/Jumper competitions are hosted frequently throughout the United States year-round, from local shows to the prestigious Indoor Finals. While these horse shows are commonly divided as “unrated” or “rated” horse shows based on their affiliation with the United States Equestrian Federation, the categorization is actually more specific based on each show’s offerings. USEF rated horse shows can be broken down further into categories from ‘C’ rating to ‘A’/’AA’ ratings, but the ‘B’ rating is often overlooked. The Paso Robles Horse Park, located on the California Central Coast, has been a pioneer in the offering of ‘B Shows’ with their highly attended “B Series” that offers quality competition with a more affordable price point. Learn more about what makes this show series so special and why you should be adding the Paso Robles Horse Park to your 2021 show schedule!

What is a ‘B Show’?

USEF affiliated shows are divided into different ratings from ‘AA’ all the way down to ‘C’ generally based on the prize money awarded at each show and the points they provide to USEF members towards year-end awards. A ‘B Show’ falls in the middle of these categories and, until now, has been frequently omitted from show management companies.

Unlike schooling shows, ‘B Shows’ are governed by the USEF but offer a lower-stakes competition atmosphere than ‘A/AA’ rated shows. From the perspective of the Paso Robles Horse Park there are many benefits to hosting and attending B rated horse shows including the high quality of rated shows within a more inviting environment. B shows offer a stepping stone to riders looking to enter the rated show circuit without breaking the bank at an ‘AA’ rated show with intense competition.

B shows are frequently run on a modified schedule that begins competition on Thursday rather than Tuesday or Wednesday. Judges at B shows require a lower qualification rating as well, and commonly braiding of hunters is optional and less likely to impact hunter placings. These are a few apparent characteristics that save competitors money when attending a B rated show over an A/AA rated show.

As ‘B Shows’ rise in popularity amongst competitors and show management companies, it is evident that the Paso Robles Horse Park successful B Series that began in 2019 has played a key role in this rating’s growth on the West Coast specifically.

Paso Robles Horse Park B Series


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hay Photography

The great experiential and financial leap from schooling shows to rated shows inspired the Paso Horse Park to bridge this gap with their inaugural Rosé in May B Show in 2019. The Park’s main goal was to offer the quality of their A-rated shows that was more environmentally and financially inviting to their schooling show attendees looking to gain rated horse show experience.

With this initial event being a success, the Park has since expanded their B Series to three competitions each year: Rosé in May, Paso Pumpkins & Ponies, and Turkey Trot & Jump. These shows each host unique classes and programs to support riders stepping up into the rated circuit, setting the Park B Series apart from other management companies beginning to host B Shows. These programs include the 2EX Young Horse Program, unique classes, and the Outreach Program. The Park B Series also offers discounted stalls to all Pony Club, IEA, IEL, and collegiate riding team members.

“I look forward to this series! It is absolutely beautiful and well ran. It’s a pleasure to compete at this facility, and equally as pleasant to deal with the office and ring staff.”

2EX Young Horse Program

The Park 2EX Young Horse Program differs from the traditional USEF Young Jumper and Young Hunter Classes offered at the Park’s Classic Series Shows (A-rated). While those classes offer a pathway to top-level hunters and jumpers, the Park recognizes that these classes are very exclusive as not every young horse is ready to compete at the designated heights. The 2EX Program offers a unique opportunity for young horses, seven-years-old or younger, to gain horse show Experience and Exposure. The greatly reduced stall prices offer an affordable way to gain show ring Experience, coupled with complimentary video services of each young horse’s rounds that are promoted online to provide them with Exposure.


Photo courtesy of Stories Told By Film

“We bring all of our youngsters and the 2EX Program has really been a great learning experience for them.”

Unique Classes

  • $2500 Pick-Your-Line Hunter Classic: This open hunter classic is run on the field and is set at 2’6” with 2’9” options. The first round is a typical hunter course and for the second round, riders create their own course that best showcases their horses’ abilities and handiness.

  • $2500 Rock-n-Roll Speed Stakes: This 1.15m open speed stakes runs on Saturday evening. As each rider waits for their buzzer, a bio about them and their horse is read and their chosen pump-up song is played. The trick is, don’t get too pumped up before the buzzer!

  • Seasonal Fun Classes presented by Equivont: At their B Series, they want everyone to be a part of the fun! At each show, the Park offers a fun class that is free and open to everyone to participate:

    • Rosé Hack & Splash – Riders are given a plastic wine cup with lemonade. They are then asked to hack around the ring and then jump two jumps set at 2’. The rider with the most lemonade left in their cup wins!
    • Pumpkin Power Plop & Speed – Riders are asked to jump a course of 4 fences set at 0.70m. In between each fence, the rider must plop a piece of candy into our Jack-o-Lanterns without dropping the candy or bucket. Any fallen rails, candies, or buckets are 4 faults converted to time. The fastest time wins!
    • Turkey Trot Your Own Line – This class is run like a Gambler’s Choice, with the “joker” fence being our Turkey fence. The turkey fence must be trotted and the rider with the most points wins!

Outreach Program

The Paso Robles Horse Park is proud to offer the Outreach Program through the United States Hunter Jumper Association at all of their B Shows. With an entire arena dedicated to this program, beginner riders can compete in hunter and jumper classes without any association fees or microchipping requirements which can save each rider over $100 on their show bill! Equivont is excited to sponsor the Outreach Hunter Derby featuring the infamous Park Log Jump at each B Series show this year!

New this year, the judge of the Outreach classes, James Waldman, will be making himself available for “office hours” on Saturday at the completion of the show. This will allow riders the opportunity to chat with James and gain valuable insights on how to improve their performance as they prepare to compete the following day.

The Outreach Program is offered at all three of the Park B Series shows! Any rider can enter by filling out the specific Outreach entry form but must only compete in Outreach classes to receive the fee waivers.


Photo courtesy of Stories Told By Film

“My daughter rode in the Outreach classes. It’s the only way she could compete at the B show as her ponies don’t do flying lead changes. She was thrilled to be able to compete at the same show as me.”

The first show of the Paso Robles Horse Park B Series is right around the corner! Rosé in May runs May 27 through May 30 and is already sold out! Learn more about the Park’s upcoming shows on their Equivont Profile!