HENDERSON TOWNSHIP – On the rolling acreage that comprises the Beaver Run Farm in Henderson Township, one can find the usual signs of a farming operation – barns, fences, equipment and animals, among other vestiges of its heritage.
The grounds are also home to the joint veterinary practice of Dr. Bill Wise and his nephew, Dr. Ben Wise.
For the last two years, the land and “Beaver Run Arena” have also become home to the “Magical World of Dancing Horses”, and its founder, Dianne (Olds) Rossi.
Dianne Olds was once, by her own admission, a fourth grade girl getting into trouble in school in California. Her parents chose to place her in an all-girl school. The move proved to be a life-long benefit to her.
At school, Dianne’s natural love of horses, which she described as “horse crazy” was nurtured in learning how to show horses. The skills she developed led to her being able to pay for tuition by being in charge of the riding section of the school.
In 1970, Dianne married the late Rex Rossi. He was a world champion trick rider and roper as well as a Hollywood stunt man who doubled for Roy Rogers, knew Gene Autry, was close to Tom Mix and appeared in some 300 films.
An “incredible” horseman, Rex taught his wife how to train liberty horses. Together, they travelled the country with Dianne exhibiting her “dancing” horses while Rex performed rope tricks.
Settling in Western Pennsylvania might not have been a thought for Dianne, at least not until she met Pam Buterbaugh of Beaver Run Arena about two years ago. Dianne was losing her barn lease in California and needed a home for her horses.
Buterbaugh, an equestrienne who also has a passion for the art, movement, music and equine talent which comprises the presentation of dancing horse shows, had offered some programs in this area under a different show name.
The two businesswomen have combined their programs under Dianne’s well-known “Magical World of Dancing Horses”
Relocating from California to Pennsylvania was a challenge for Dianne, but transporting three of her horses at the same time was a somewhat daunting task she was willing to undertake on her own.
However, Buterbaugh, armed with a one-way plane ticket to California, joined Dianne and the two women brought the three horses and a fully loaded trailer to their new home at Beaver Run.
While offering dancing horse shows, and combined dinner shows, is a “showpiece” of the offerings at Beaver Run Arena, teaching others about horses, helping riders become comfortable with their animals, nurturing the skills of all who are interested, from children to senior citizens, is part of the fabric of the facility.
Riders can take clinics and classes to learn about choreography and showmanship, for example, with basics offered to all beginners.
Participants can be solo riders, duets, or even a foursome of performers wishing to develop their skills together, Clubs are welcome, as well.
Working to expand the interest of “The Magical World of Dancing Horses”, Dianne and Pam recently journeyed to Canada to present one of the performances.
Travelling with horses, especially across a national border, means health certificates for the animals and pre-arranging stops along the route to allow the animals to be exercised and rested outside their trailers.
Asked how high summer heat and humidity affects the horses, Dianne explained that they sweat easier and handling them must be done “smartly”. Sometimes a daytime show might be delayed until evening if conditions warrant.
Shows at Beaver Run Arena take place in the vast expanse of the indoor space which can accommodate about 170 guests on both chair and stadium-style bleachers. A 30 foot wide video screen, sound system and lighting require a crew of twelve working behind the scenes as another twelve perform with the horses.
Attention to detail, caring for and maintaining, equipment and costumes is part of Dianne’s very being. She still wears the hand-made sequin costumes her mother made for her when she was a teenager. Each is carefully stored away after every show.
She is grateful to have those as sadly, some of her family mementos were lost a few years ago in a fire.
On Friday, September 9, patrons will be able to enjoy an evening performance of the Magical World of Dancing Horses.
Guests with reservations for the Saturday, September 10 presentation will enjoy a catered dinner under two large party tents prior to the evening performance.
Those wishing to purchase tickets for either show, or the dinner show, may contact Buterbaugh, who is events manager, at 814-246-8221 or by e-mail to her at email@example.com. They also maintain a presence at Facebook/Pam Buterbaugh and at www.worldofdancinghorses.com .
Clinics, shows, competitions and challenges began at Beaver Run Arena in April of this year and will continue through this season which ends in October.