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NEDA News: President's Message

Welcome to the first electronic version of the Tip!

Thursday, June 5, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tammy Paparella
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By Kathy McHugh

Amazingly, only a very few you asked to continue to receive it in paper form. Please bear with us as we experiment with the best way to format and deliver it, and let us know what you think. We believe that it has the potential to offer you a great deal more than paper form, but we need to learn how to realize that potential. It’s a work in progress.  If you missed the chance to ask for it in paper form, you can make that happen by writing me at or at 64 Pearl Street in Charlestown, MA 02129.

Finally . . . Summer and the show season are upon us. I don’t know about you but I lost a LOT of flowers, plants and shrubs to winter kill this year, and it nearly killed me too. I have no doubt it was hard on your horses too, and a very slow start getting them back into shape with a spring that was no less forgiving June 2014 than the winter. But all that is behind us now, the sun is shining as I write, and I’m told that la Nina will bring us a sweltering summer. I say “bring it on!” . . . Famous last words.

Our members have been asking us for years to bring back a summer show, and, finally, we have identified a great team to make this a reality. Veteran show secretary Sue McKeown will be working with new manager Helen Cast and Twisdenwood Farm for a one-day show on July 13. Entries close on July 1. It’s a beautiful facility and a great new opportunity to show off what you’re working on. 

Longtime NEDA board members and Fall Show manager remembers the genesis of the summer show back in the late 1970’s as a show for the novice rider – a What-U-Canner, for riders to do What You Can – as an alternative to the larger recognized shows that were all that was available at the time. Her idea was sparked, as she was riding an off-the-track Standardbred and wanted a show for people like her. She started as show secretary with a friend as manager, in a big open field in Medfield, where EVERYTHING had to be brought in, from porta-potties to rings and bleachers. She enlisted her teenage children and Sally Swift to help (before she became a national figure). The first show consisted of three rings and a tent, expanding quickly to five rings and about 300 entries as a popular event in the Boston area. She recalls “Every year we gave out a nice prize (like a hand crafted tack box) as a Mystery Award, which changed from year to year. One year it was for the neatest entry. Another year it was for the competing horse with the longest tail. We decorated the port a potties with nice flowers. And we fed the volunteers a yummy hot crab casserole for lunch, topped off with strawberry shortcake from the local Sunshine Farm. I remember competitors sneaking into the volunteer lunch to partake of the crab casserole.”

When Beth moved over to manage the Fall Show in 1990, Angela Prenosil and Ann Villani took over the summer show and moved it to Stoneleigh Burnham School where it stayed and continued until the early 2000’s when Ann Villani fell ill and died. Without a management team, the show could not go on. We’ve been looking for the right combination ever since and are thrilled that we have found it in Helen Cast and Sue McKeown.

Speaking of requests for return engagements, our incredibly popular symposium with Ingrid Klimke some years ago prompted many to request a return visit, and we are delighted to report that we will be hosting Ingrid and Veterinarian Dr. Ina Goesmeier for a two-day clinic at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis MA on November 1 and 2. Klimke rarely travels for clinics, so this is a unique opportunity to benefit from her deep knowledge of classical dressage riding and training techniques for all horses.  Her symposium was a runaway success when she was last here, so stay tuned to the NEDA website for full details as they unfold.  Dr. Goesmeier will be lecturing about her renowned combinations of traditional and alternative treatment methods for the best possible outcomes for horses of all ages in all disciplines.

I wish all a great summer of competition, learning, making progress towards your equestrian goals, and simply enjoying the outdoors and the company of your horses and barn mates!

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