Show Calendars & Sympathetic Magic

The website for the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show is up. No Adult Jumpers. The prizelist isn’t available but none last year AFAIK and the intro blat doesn’t mention it as a new event. That means I will either have to jump higher or the show will have to get bigger.

We will ignore the reality check of my current riding status – at this point, I might as well dream about Grands Prix – and ponder why we salivate over the dream of attending certain Big-Name shows.

Better Judging
At the one registered dressage show Previous Horse attended, I felt he was evaluated fairly as a short-strided, little Thoroughbred. We still nailed down the bottom of the class, but we lost for the right reasons. At a tiny, local dressage show, PH was excused for being too lame to continue. I’m still incensed:
a) Granted he moved like a sewing machine. Give him a 4 on movement and I will not breathe a word. Don’t tell me he’s lame because he doesn’t move like a Warmblood.
b) He was a jumper. He saw no point in a collection of circles. Put a jump in front of him and you will see plenty of “desire to move forward.”
c) This horse would take to a fainting couch with a cold compress if he suffered a hangnail. There was no way, no way at all, that he was bravely soldiering through the pain to finish Training Level Test 3.
But I digress.

Better Facilities
Bigger shows have better footing, better lighting, nicer stalls, fancier jumps, prettier cross-country fences, and so on. But beyond an acceptable level of safety, how much of this is necessary versus how much is bells & whistles? A well-run regional show can have the same amenities but less pizazz.

Just Because
Would I drive 8 hours, past several states to show Baby Novice at the Kentucky Horse Park? In a heartbeat.

The National has been peripatetic since leaving New York. If you replace all the boards in a wooden boat is it still the same boat? Well, the Alltech show still has the NHS orange and black color scheme that makes my Manhattan-raised heart go pitty-patty. So, yes, short of a revival at Madison Square Garden, this is the National.

Where is your dream show?

Categories: Horse Shows, Horses, Riding

4 replies »

  1. I don’t know anything about jumpers, but wouldn’t you qualify for Amateur Owner jumpers? Also… they’re adding Puissance this year–you could always do that! 😉 And since the KHP is 2 miles from my barn, it doesn’t seem exotic at all. I dream of Chattahoochie and other “far-off” venues. But it’s hard to justify the gas money when I can show 5x/year at the KHP!

    • A/O is big jumps. The largest A/O classes can be tougher than some small Grands Prix. Adult jumpers is 3’6″/3’9″. Piece of cake for the horses; brainstrain for the riders. As for Puissance, I think they would object to me doing it blindfolded.

  2. i love the mental image conjured by the phrase “on a fainting couch with a cold compress”

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