Spectators

The Oregon High Desert Classics is a USEF and USHJA approved Hunter-Jumper horse show taking place the last two weeks of July at the J Bar J Boys Ranch. The Oregon High Desert Classics is the premier fundraiser for J Bar J Youth Services, a nonprofit organization that offers programs specializing in prevention, intervention, treatment and education. Our show attracts over 600 horses and 3,000 professionals and amateur competitors from all over the United States and Canada. Competitors enjoy a USA Equestrian A-Rated show on one of the few grass footing rings left while spectators enjoy viewing the athletic skill of the horses and riders and a variety of food and shopping at the vendor booths. To learn more about the history of the OHDC, click here. Shows for 2023 are July 19 – 23 and 26 – 30.

Spectators are welcome to come out, grab a meal, shop with our vendors, and enjoy watching the riders! The show starts daily at about 8AM, and runs into the afternoon. The schedule is not based on time, but rather order of competition classes in each ring and number of competitors in each class, called ‘order of go.”

If you would like to visit the Oregon High Desert Classics as a spectator, there are some things that are helpful to know. Foremost is that we are a competition and our focus is on the experience of the riders and trainers. Be mindful to give them room as they move about the grounds. When watching them compete, avoid loud noises or movements that may distract a horse, as this can impact their score.

Lay of the land

When you arrive on the grounds, likely the first place you’ll end up is the vendor village, a space with food trucks, vendors, etc. It is directly in front of the Grand Prix ring. To your right (north) as you look at the GP ring, beyond the judges booth, is jumper ring 1.

From the GP ring looking to your left (south) you’ll see the patrons’ tent which sits between the Grand Prix ring and the ring for the higher levels of hunters (hunter ring 1). Farther that direction are hunter rings 2 & 3.

To the east of the hunter rings and jumper 1 are practice arenas where trainers work with the riders. (sand footing, not grass). Feel free to wander a little and take it in, just remember to give the horses space and pay attention to your surroundings. 

Click on the following link to see a map of the grounds or an aerial shot here.

Choose when to visit

The most popular event for the community to come out and watch is the Grand Prix. It’s the highest level of jumpers, and takes place late afternoon on both Saturdays. We suggest bringing lawn chairs and coming early, as it gets crowded. We have limited seating in our covered bleachers, but plenty of room around the ring. The pre-show is fun, with an entertaining competition for dogs and the little kids on lead lines. 

There are other events happening each day, ring schedules are available on https://jbarj.showgroundslive.com, they give an estimated time for events.

Special Events in the Patron’s Tent

Reservations for both the Hunter Derby and Grand Prix events for 2023 have closed.

The International Hunter Derby is early Sunday morning of the second week. A catered Hunt Brunch is available both Sundays in the patron’s tent. If you come on Sunday to see it, you could stay around for the Mini Prix in the afternoon, which features many of the Grand Prix riders as well. Sunday’s Hunt Brunches buffet opens at 8:00AM and closes at 11AM. We suggest you arrive by 10:30 to allow time to visit the buffet.

There is some limited availability for tables and tickets to the Grand Prix event in the patrons tent. The Grand Prix dinners will be buffet style. We will greet you with a glass of champagne and wine will await on the table. The Patrons’ Tent doors open at 3:45, dinner buffet at 4:30, and the Grand Prix begins at 5:30.

Seating Information

Limited shade and seating available at each ring.  You are more than welcome to bring a picnic blanket, low rise chairs. Please do not bring pop-up tents.

Dogs Allowed

Dogs are allowed on grounds but must be on leash at all times for the safety of the riders and horses. The only places dogs are not allowed is in the vendor area, patrons tent and in the irrigation ponds.

Vendors

A variety of vendors are open every day of the show. Come enjoy some food and shopping from our array of vendors. A list of this years vendors can be found here.

What’s the difference between watching the hunters and jumpers?

Hunters and jumpers are two primary types of horse show competition. Think of hunters as the dancers – they focus on style and grace. The horses’ manes and tails are braided, the riders always wear jackets and look polished. Judges rate them and their score depends on clearing the jumps smoothly and consistently. 

The hunter divisions find their roots in the foxhunting tradition. Foxhunters are bred to clear large obstacles, travel efficiently, endure long distances, and remain well mannered in the midst of activity. Foxhunters in the field often are large and bulky to support the weight of the rider over a several hour period. The hunters of the show ring …Read More

The jumpers, by comparison are the jocks. Think track and field: speed and agility – much like running hurdles. Whoever is fastest without knocking rails down wins. Judges make sure they make a clean round and add time for any rails down. All horses who have a clear first round in which they didn’t have any rails down go on to the jump off – one more round. 

Show jumping constitutes the second most popular spectator sport in Europe, after soccer. France is credited for holding the world’s first grand prix in Paris in 1866. Jumper events in America are quickly gaining popularity thanks to the ease in understanding the rules, the display of sheer athleticism of both horse and rider, and the …Read More