Spectators are welcome to come out, grab a meal, shop with our vendors, and enjoy watching the riders!

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. 

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. 

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.  You can request a reservation on the website or email to events@jbarj.org.  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. 

There are other events happening each day, ring schedules are available on https://jbarj.showgroundslive.com, they give an estimated time for events. 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.  Request reservations online, or Contact Pam White for questions about Grand Prix Reservations – events@jbarj.org or 541-410-0033

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 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.