The New and Improved NEDA Breed Show
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Posted by: Patty Guarino
Horse Breeders enjoyed being the center stage attraction at the NEDA Fall Festival in Saugerties New York on September 19 and 20. The breed show took place this year at the ring adjacent to the food pavilion. The ring was brightly decorated with fresh blooming mums, bright, painted poles dividing the ring in half, and excellent footing. Announcer Paul Eason could be heard calling the classes, and announcing the winners. Hungry show attendants and participants enjoyed facing ringside to view the young breeds and their handlers go round the floral markers to accentuate their gaits, conformation, and athleticism. The audience applauded for the blue ribbon winners that displayed the best by breed Region 8 has to offer.
The breed show venue move was the mastermind of the NEDA Sport horse committee. Entirely made up of volunteers, they are Kathy Hickerson - Chair, Fie Anderson, Paul Cormier, Rachel Erhlich, Patty Guarino, Beth Jenkins, Cara Kettenbach, Linda Mendenhall, Kate O'Connor, Tammy Papparella, Elizabeth Preston, and Silene White. They took comments of past competitors, owners, horse handlers into consideration and decided to change it. Past competitors had to deal with heavy main thoroughfare traffic of golf carts and horses; the bobbing heads of other horses behind the grassy knoll, and long walks to the stabling facility with young, inexperienced show horses. The plan was to move the breed show to a quieter area, away from the main road of horse show traffic and have an easier route to stabling. Another change was to reschedule the date of the breed show to remain in conjunction with the dressage program and have the Marshal Sterling competition on another date.
NEDA Sport Horse Committee is focused on improving the breed show experience for all breeders. They want to see the quality of the horse breeds in America improve significantly, and having one of the most successful breed shows in the country contributes to that. Breed show winners at this Fall Festival received $11,500 in prize money, which are the biggest cash prizes offered in the country! The prize money comes from the stallion auction, which is generously donated by the stallion owners that participate in the auction. NEDA Sport Horse Committee gives that money right back into the program to benefit breeders, owners and sire owners. It is the best way to provide incentive for sport horse breeding and showing to grow. It is never too early to familiarize young horses to the show environment. The transition for young horses to go from handling at a show to being under saddle is a normal progression of training. An early start on handling has many riders admitting the horse is easier to work with when they have already been shown in hand. The more mileage a young horse has, the more experience he will have had in the show ring as an adult. With the safer venue at NEDA, it is a good venue for horse owners to participate.
The way the competitors approached the show ring, was from stable six, past the pond and around the back of the food kitchen. This is the quiet alley way past the Beval store location. In previous shows, this rear ring was used as a lunging area, and the area by the pavilion was the warm up ring. With the show ring now divided by mums and brightly painted standards and jump poles, there was a quiet "on deck” area as well in which competitors could wait for the announcer to call them into the show ring. With the whole venue located away from most of the horse show traffic, competitors could warm up their steeds in the far side. Then they waited "on deck” in the adjacent ring. This situation allowed horses to become acclimated to the show ring and spectators. Lastly, the competitors entered ring eight, the breed show ring, for judging.
The breed show horses also enjoyed close stabling in barn six. This set up avoided going down the main road next to the general and regional warm up areas. The young horses went around the pond and a short walk took them to the warm up area. This proved to be easy access and many horses arrived to the warm up area fairly calm and ready to work.
It seemed the new set up was well received. Lori Kaminski, of Chesapeake Equestrian Events, the group managing the onsite Breed Show said, "This is a safe venue away from major riding horses. This is better than it has been in previous years. Before it was all together, dressage horses, Marshall Sterling, golf carts; it just wasn’t as safe to have these young horses. Now it seems everybody likes it. Devon does the same amount of horses that Saugerties has with only 10 acres of land. The thing the horses have to get used to is the stadium with the seating all around. I’m not really sure how to get more horses to attend the breed show, but this year’s stabling changes and the flow of the show is good. I feel our show will come back to what it was three or four years ago when the economy gets better. In past years at Devon we had 450 competitors at the breed show. Last year it was 200, this year will be 300. So it is coming back, but the economy is affecting owners.” Asked if she had any advice for the competitors today, she replied, "The advice I would give is for competitors to always check the day sheets on the day they are competing. The information may have changed. Keep in mind the show program is printed about a week before the competition, so it is important to check the day sheets each morning of the competition.” "The quality of the horses here this weekend is very nice. It makes for a nice show.”
Sara Vanecek, Sport Horse Handler: "I appreciate any changes the management does to improve and encourage breeders to spend time and money. The prizes, the money awards mean so much. It encourages shows to get bigger than they are now. The rings, the excellent footing, the nearby stabling, the quiet warm up area are all super improvements that I hope potential breeders will see, and decide to show their horses here.”
Orintha Silva, Sport Horse Handler: "I love that the breed show is not interfering with dressage. The babies used to see bobbing heads, but on the other side the competing horses would see the babies’ heads and it would interfere with their rides. This is so much better.”
Harry Diel from Reindance farm in Hoosick Falls, New York commented, "It’s secluded, quiet, there is space enough, people can sit down. For the owners it is pleasant to watch. You can see the awards be presented in the main ring, it is great opportunity to present the young ones to other people, not just breed show people. It could be a little bit of a catch-22, where when we had the hunter jumper people here, they would say, "Oh young horses!” and be a little interested in them. But overall, these horses are being judged as future dressage horses, so most likely they will go to dressage riders and stables. Many people sat with their chairs facing the breed show, probably contemplating that their next equine partner might be in the ring before them.”
Jen Vanover, owner of Maplewood Warmbloods, LLC mentioned, "It is nice that there are no hunter/jumpers here, because we used to have the Marshall Sterling finals going on at the same time. I think not only is it safer, but the horses have the opportunity to show their best both in breed and in dressage."
Pat Carter, Owner of Hartwood Farms in Rhode Island said, "It’s beautiful. A pretty ring set up, seating in the shade. I love that it is separate from the rest of the stuff. With youngsters it can get crazy. There is improvement all around; especially that waiting has also been resolved. Young horses don’t want to wait too long.”
Awards were given for the offspring of stallions that had participated in the NEDA Stallion auction. The offspring of Dacaprio, Liberty, Quaterback, Rocazino, Royal Prince, Schroeder, Wolkenlos, Sinatra Song, Liberty Gold, Sir Sinclair, Sinatra Song and Landtinus were all awarded and their pedigrees were read by the announcer.
The Breed Show experience for Owners, Competitors and Spectators continued on Thursday night with an elegant wine and cheese party under the pavilion. The party was sponsored by Linda and Jeff Mendenhall, and was the perfect gathering as the final awards were handed out. There were cash awards for NEDA Breeders’ Futurity winner who received $5400. Born in America winner received $2400 and the NEDA Breeders Sweepstakes winner received $2100. There were also High Point Placings for the breeds of Dutch Warmblood, Oldenburg, Hanoverian, and American Warmblood registry. For the spectators, there were generous amounts of hor d'oeuvres and wine, punctuated by the laughter and camaraderie of show participants.
The Sport Horse Committee goal for the change was to invite more breeders and owners to bring their horses to the show for the best experience possible. The new, safer venue at NEDA provides more wonderful reasons to become a part of this show experience. The new venue put the breed show into the thick of the Fall Festival, giving participants, spectators, and horses an enjoyable show experience, which will hopefully result in more competitors next year who will partake in the fun!