Equestrian vaulting is the featured topic for the Thursday Aug. 11 Empire Farm Days Equine Center presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls,. Laura Bagley of Sunshine Meadows Farm and Stables in Penn Yan, will provide an introduction and demonstrate the sport that combines dance and gymnastics on horseback.

Laura, 15, first explored vaulting in a workshop with World Equestrian Games gold medalist vaulter Megan Benjamin Guimarin of Zemi Farms in Cooperstown. Laura researched vaulting, developed her vaulting skills, and created a public speaking presentation on vaulting for the New York State 4-H competition in May 2016.

Her programs at Empire Farm Days will include her presentation and demonstration on barrel and horseback. Vaulters use padded barrels that resemble the back of a horse to choreograph and practice their routines. Laura will demonstrate the compulsory moves required to show balance and strength as well as a freestyle and technical routine.

Laura keeps one horse and three ponies with which she has competed in English, Western, dressage, jumping, and gaming competitions at local shows and the New York State Fair. She is active in Horse Bowl, Hippology, Horse Judging and Public Speaking with 4-H, and has placed in the top 10 in all of the state competitions.

Laura takes weekly lessons in ballet and modern dance at the Family Life Center for the Arts in Hammondsport. She is the past publisher, editor and webmaster for Strive, a quarterly magazine featuring articles by other young authors involved in 4-H. She visits the Penn Yan Nursing Home weekly with her Dutch rabbits, and has offered pony rides at charity events.

The Empire Farm Days Equine Center Round Pen Seminars are a popular twice-daily feature at the event that is the largest outdoor agricultural expo in the Northeastern U.S. The Tuesday, Aug. 9 seminars will feature miniature horses with trainer Jessica Gulvin of Heart O’Gold Equine; the Wednesday, Aug.10 seminars will feature American Mustang horses with Rose Hill Ranch trainers Emma and Jack Minteer.

Tiny Horses

Tiny horses will share a big message at the 2016 Empire Farm Days. Jessica Gulvin of Heart O’Gold Equine, Geneva, will bring her miniature horses, standing no more than 36 inches tall, to the largest outdoor agricultural expo in the northeastern U.S. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls.

The Empire Farm Days Equine Center, sponsored by Layden Fence and Livestock Systems, will host Gulvin and national champion Emerald Acres Clownfactor, also known as Chloe, standing 36 inches tall. Gulvin will present 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. demonstrations on competing with miniature horses and training them to visit nursing homes, daycare sites, veteran hospitals, schools and other venues to provide an equine brand of unconditional love and therapy on Tuesday only.

Gulvin and Chloe have earned six Pinto Horse Association State Champion awards and one National Championship, and are in the process of earning National Therapy Animal Certification that will allow them to visit more locations.

“I am thrilled to show visitors to Empire Farm Days what miniature horses can do and how they help people,’”says Gulvin, a Wells College graduate now a second-year veterinary student at Ohio State University.

The pair has made therapy visits to sites in the Penn Yan, Canandaigua, Seneca Falls and Aurora areas since 2008. In 2011, Jessica, with Chloe, was the first youth keynote speaker at the Cornell University 4-H Animal Crackers event with more than 350 people in Ithaca.

While at Wells College in Aurora, Gulvin founded only the second collegiate 4-H program in New York state. Her idea for a nonprofit business that became Heart O’Gold Equine to provide equine therapy to senior citizens, children, and others won a business development award. She is a graduate of the Marcus Whitman FFA Chapter.

The Equine Center Round Pen Seminars are a popular feature at Empire Farm Days with 300 acres with exhibits, demonstrations, seminars, and activities. The 2016 event will take place Aug. 9, 10 and 11 with different Equine Center presenters each day. Learn more at www.empirefarmdays.com.

Experience Empire is the theme of the 2016 Empire Farm Days. Parking is $10 per vehicle. Learn more at www.empirefarmdays.com <http://www.empirefarmdays.com> .