The Botetourt County Horseman’s Association held its 19th annual horse show at Green Hill Park in Salem, Virginia, last Saturday. With a variety of classes including model, over fences, pleasure, ranch and games, there was something for everyone to enjoy. And if you really prefer a trail ride, it had that as well by using the whole park and offering a hunter pace from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Many of the classes were also sanctioned for points by Blue Ridge Horse Force and Franklin County Equestrian Club.
Although Saturday’s weather was warm for October, it felt like fall as the show held a taste of early Halloween with the costume class. Three entries made it very difficult on the judge to choose a winner. With two unicorns and a football, the football came out on top after the judge called a pow-wow of the BCHA board to come to a decision.
The hunter classes appeared to be especially popular with several classes having entries in the double digits. However, entries for the Western classes and games were light. Even the showmanship classes were empty. Ranch pleasure was one of the stronger Western classes, with 5 entries.
This show has a special class just for Arabians — the Susan Bradley Memorial Trophy Arabian Pleasure. While in 2017, there were just two entered in this class, this year saw eight entries. Chloe Thomas riding DLA DreamsAmastar took home the perpetual trophy for the year.
The Jackpot pleasure included $100-added, and the winner took home $70 of the pot. Meanwhile, even an entry picked at random after the class was judged won $25, paying for their price to enter the class. Lillian Cunningham, riding Faircourt First Blush, won the jackpot with Audrey Ann Mosby, on Pastel Moonbeamz, took reserve.
The association also holds a class just for its members. This year the giant perpetual trophy added Clair Humphrey’s name to the list of winners. She rode her palomino gelding, Red Badge of Trouble, for the win.
The participants seemed to greatly enjoy the day. One review posted on Facebook showed the appreciation that was had by those that attended. Katie Gardner of Otteridge Farm, LLC, said of the show: “This sweet little fun show needs more attention. All of us at Otteridge Farm sincerely appreciate the effort that was made to provide a nice day!”
Today we attended the 19th Annual BCHA Horse Show & Hunter Pace put on by the Botetourt County Horseman’s Association and held at Green Hill Park in Salem. They had the clever idea to fully utilize the grounds by having a hunter pace in conjunction with their show. I had absolutely NO idea what to expect, having had no previous experience with this group, but Lynda McGarry was judging, and I like and respect her and know her to be fair, sporting and professional and with a real desire for kids to be successful, and I know the facility and what jumps they have to work with, so I figured we’d go.
It was terribly inexpensive ($9/class, $25 for juniors to hunter pace, no other fees) and just under an hour from home, so it needed to be put to good use by at least some of my group. I wound up with Casey and Hana hunter pacing Bandit and Lacey, and Lillian and Cuppie showing Ingrid and Split. I will say the hunter ring could use a couple of adjustments in terms of translating the show from what is printed in the prize list to what is happening in reality (and I’m not griping, I’ll be happy to help if asked), but we all wound up on the same page eventually and had a very good day. (This has nothing to do with the management of this show, but as an aside, Green Hill Park really needs to step it up and repair their jumps or get some new ones. I’ve course designed out there multiple times this year and it’s a challenge to provide a good hunter course.)
I appreciate the level of classes offered and think the class offerings are exactly what they should be for this show, without having too many classes, which was SMART. What I really want to address is the effort that was made by this Association to produce a really, really fun day for these kids. The ribbons and prizes were just absolutely outstanding, and the grunt work done by management to secure the sponsorships necessary to give NICE prizes at a horse show this inexpensive absolutely should be applauded. Every first place ribbon got a prize bag — we brought home all manner of useful stuff that kids love to win. Champions got trophies. There was a money class — my Lillian won it and brought home $70, which more than covered her total show bill! We were greeted at check-in with baggies of horse treats. They had a photographer, who was personable and handed out business cards. The office process was seamless. My older girls tell me the hunter pace course was really enjoyable, well thought out, had jumps of enough size to be fun, and proved to be an outstanding outing for our seasoned field hunter to educate our green horse. They needed a hand down the steep drop to the first water crossing and I was tied up ringside with my little one, whereupon the announcer handed off her microphone, left the booth and saw to it that they had the leading assist they needed, then was so kind to them in our conversation later when they found out they had won.
Also, I saw many/most horses and ponies prepared with obvious care for the show, clean and happy-looking with riders dressed in their best. The two Saddleseat Arabs I saw in particular were just lovely in their presentation — there was a special Arabian trophy so the contingent vying for that had taken extra pains to look nice and it was very clear and most refreshing. And y’all know I’m not an Arab person — but I sure did see a group of well-behaved and well-presented ones today.
In short, this sweet little fun show needs more attention. All of us at Otteridge Farm sincerely appreciate the effort that was made to provide a nice day!!
— Katie Gardner, Otteridge Farm LLC via Facebook
What makes this show stand out among the shows often held at Green Hill Park are the prizes. First place winners got a package of loot along with their ribbon. A $100-added pleasure class is nothing to sneeze at. And the hunter pace winners got their own gift packages donated by Saddles n’ Stuff. Everyone got something. All participants got a welcome goody bag filled with horse treats and other items just for registering.