I've decided that this is going to be my year, and as such I want to qualify for as many finals as possible. Last year I qualified for M&S but couldn't go and I want to do the same this year in addition go for zone 2 finals. My horse doesn't have the joints for the Juniors so we're staying in the children's, but what do people think about THIS finals (are they fun/ worth going for) How do you qualify for THIS finals or zone 2 finals? Any other ideas?
If I had to choose, the one I would choose is the New England Equitation Championships.... the junior final is a maximum of 3'3" --- many people from NY do this final. Its offered at most shows in NE and you have to win a class as a junior to qualify. Hands down the best final ever!
I second NEEC - very fun! There is also a costume class called Challenge of the States; if you are one of the top scores from the state in the warmup, you and others from your state dress up for another round.
THIS Finals is very hard to qualify for, but if you can get the points it's a great final. You have to be top 30 in the nation to qualify.
Also, not sure where you are in NY, but if you show at all in Connecticut, look into CHJA finals. They have a 3' junior medal final (12 points to qualify) and a 3' hunter classic (top 25-30 are invited). The ribbons and prizes there are awesome!
An obviously biased opinion :-), but look into the Mid-Atlantic EQ Festival Finals. Go the th FB page and see what exhibitors and trainers said about the show. Saddle and bridle prizes, scholarships, thoroughbred award, trainer award, team awards, and lots of other goodies. Also visit the website at which is below. Sign in to be eligible for the latest halter giveaway and get all the latest news of awards, new sponsors, new classes, etc. I can promise you would not be disappointed.
And I also agree that the NEEC is a fantastic show full of fun and comaraderie. We have modeled the MAEF after their wonderful show for riders in the Mid-Atlantic region.
I also like CHJA finals. They are much smaller, but are held in conjunction with a regular A show (or least used to be a few years ago) so if you blow your finals trip you still have a chance to come home with a ribbon or points in other classes.
Or, if you're like me and doing the equitation on a jumper, it means you get to blow off some steam at subjective judging by galloping around a jumper course.
I went to THIS Finals this year and had an amazing time! It was hard to qualify for, but well worth it! I have not been to M&S Finals, but I have heard that it is a really fun final and you can make a small mistake and still get a ribbon, so it is a good first final. NEEC is supposed to be really fun, and CHJA Finals has been a favorite of some of my friends for as long as I can remember! I live in Florida, so no CHJA or NEEC for me, but I hope you qualify and get to go!! Good luck!
I went to M&S finals and MAEF. M&S finals was really fun and M&S the company does a lot over the weekend holding events which was appreciated too. Getting to show in that big ring with all of those Grand Prix jumper jumps for the first time on the hardest course of my life (15 jumping efforts - 2 combinations, a skinny, a triple bar, etc, etc)!
I also did Mid Atlantic Eq Festival which I would also really recommend. Its held at the same place as THIS but you get to hack in the ring Fri night, Sat morning, show in it Sat (THIS, M&S, Flat - Championship), then hack again Sun morning and participate in a great competitive final on Sunday (Olympic caliber judges, skinny, triple bar, sweedish, combination, neck ribbons, victory gallop, great prizes etc). Personally - I think its the great warm up (year 1) for THIS finals (year 2). That big indoor is quite the ring and it was great to get comfortable with it as Capital Challenge definitely doesn't offer that opportunity.
I'd love to do M&S and Ariat finals this year, but if I don't make the Ariat, we'll do MAEF again (I can't afford to do all 3) and try again for the Ariat next year.
For years thater used to be a class at WEF which was open to anyone that had ever won a national finals. It was so much fun. We have actually thought of having a pro class. It could happen in the future but as we just finished our first year we are still pretty much in the building stage. If somebody wants to step up and sponsor a class like this perhaps we can talk about adding something like this sooner than later. Scheduling could also be a bit of an issue as we are trying to keep the show to just two days.
Thank you all for your great reviews of the Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival. We are blushing :-) If any of you may be interested in volunteering or sponsoring an event, trophy or class we would love to hear from you! Creating this type of event takes a village! We hope to see you all in November.