JUMP! is Last Frontier Farm’s annual derby-cross style fundraiser held in Summit Point, WV. We just completed our 7th JUMP! event, after being pioneered in 2009 by Sharon’s best friend Dawn Haney-West, who died suddenly later that year.
JUMP! was Dawn’s vision, and we have been thrilled to continue hosting this successful event each summer in her honor. With an emphasis on fun and good spirits, the event showcases lots and lots of orange! The funds raised support Sharon’s high performance horses, including trips overseas, which are incredible — but very expensive!
In the months leading up to the event, we start by creating save-the-date emails and announcements, fliers, and entry forms; secure donations from sponsors and private donors for the popular raffle and silent auction; order everything from ribbons to port-o-johns; and most importantly, secure a date!
We have been fortunate to have the inimitable Brian O’Connor as our announcer year after year, and love having his familiar and encouraging voice lead us through the day.
In the weeks closer to the event, we set the courses, put up flags, decorate the jumps, set up tents and tables, make a big trip to Costco for drinks, food, and supplies, and do lots and lots of mowing and weed whacking!
Before you know it, the day has come, and we start at the crack of dawn doing our normal daily chores of getting horses in and fed and settled for the day. We were thrilled to add the services of Blue Horse Entries this year,which made entering and check in a very smooth process for both us and the competitors!
We start the day with the elementary division, which has cross rails for the show jumping and logs on the ground for the cross country, and make our way up through Preliminary.
Competitors range from kids on ponies, to adult amateurs on seasoned mounts, to green horses gaining experience in a busy environment. This year was no disappointment, and we saw lots of fun and positive rounds in all levels!
One of our favorite features is our lead horse and rider – we have a few trusty residents at LFF that rotate through the levels, ready to step in and provide an encouraging lead if needed.
Sharon does course walks for each level and spends the day running back and forth across the course cheering on the riders. Another favorite aspect is the “Orange Spirit Award”, and we love to see what fans and competitors come up with!
We’ve had orange tutus, orange pinwheels attached to cross country whips, orange body suits, and the list goes on… This year, we awarded Orange Spirit Awards for each level, and since our event fell on the Fourth of July, added “Most Patriotic Awards” as well.
Though we had a few raindrops throughout the day, we were extremely fortunate to miss the nearby storms and have a great day of competition with more than one hundred rides.
A popular new feature this year was the Horse Quencher Corner, where horses could try out all the great Horse Quencher flavors and take home samples of their favorite! We also added fabulous custom Last Frontier Farm, Team Orange, and JUMP!
C4 Belts to our merchandise tent this year and they were very popular! GRC Photo graciously agreed to come photograph all the riders, and our Tiki Hut was – as usual – a huge hit, with drinks and smoothies for everyone at no charge.
We appreciate everyone who came and supported us — we couldn’t do it without you and your cheering, orange spirit, and incredible enthusiasm!
Also a special shout out to our volunteers who come year after year, helping in the pre-event prep and keeping everything running smoothly the day of. You all are so fabulous! Thank you to all of our sponsors who always generously support us, and of course to all of the riders who make this event so memorable!