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Future of HITS Balmoral?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Sswor View Post

    I would be shocked if they let you use them. Shocked. But I would be equally shocked if they didn't let you order them now, or ordered as soon as you check in at the show office. To my knowledge there isn't a single horse show facility in Chicagoland that allows outside shavings.
    Scoured the show book, HITS rules, etc. No mention of this, in fact says ordering shavings from show is optional. So we will bring our own. Thanks for the tip though, if anyone says anything at least I will have done my homework.

    Health certs for IL were a bit different too, but we have that under control as well.

    Staying at the Hampton in Munster as that is the show hotel and we got a great rate.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post

      Scoured the show book, HITS rules, etc. No mention of this, in fact says ordering shavings from show is optional. So we will bring our own. Thanks for the tip though, if anyone says anything at least I will have done my homework.

      Health certs for IL were a bit different too, but we have that under control as well.

      Staying at the Hampton in Munster as that is the show hotel and we got a great rate.
      Thanks for the corrected info, that's good to know. Apologies for the false alarm.
      Power to the People

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      • #43
        Originally posted by Sswor View Post

        I would be shocked if they let you use them. Shocked. But I would be equally shocked if they didn't let you order them now, or ordered as soon as you check in at the show office. To my knowledge there isn't a single horse show facility in Chicagoland that allows outside shavings.
        GR1216
        7. Subject to local law and contract requirements, any owner or trainer stabled on the grounds of a competition must be permitted to haul in hay, grain and bedding, meeting management’s specifications as published in the prize list,

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        • #44
          I believe there are places that will not allow outside vendors to deliver onto the property. I don’t think they prevent people from bringing in their own supplies.

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          • #45
            From the prize list for this weekend's NIHJA show:

            "All shavings must be purchased through show management. No outside shavings. "

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            • #46
              Originally posted by JumpingSpots View Post
              From the prize list for this weekend's NIHJA show:

              "All shavings must be purchased through show management. No outside shavings. "
              That is likely the rule of the show managment for that particular show. Seems like the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals doesn't have the same rules.
              ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~

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              • #47
                Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                Staying at the Hampton in Munster as that is the show hotel and we got a great rate.
                The Holiday Inn and the Staybridge Suites in Schererville are both nice and plenty of restaurants. They are about a 25 min drive.

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                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  The exhibitors coming for the Arab show. Enjoy it! The area is basically farm country. The area is not unsafe. I would recommend staying in Schererville In.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by EyesUp View Post
                    The exhibitors coming for the Arab show. Enjoy it! The area is basically farm country. The area is not unsafe. I would recommend staying in Schererville In.


                    I'll be there! Any quirks in the facility that it would be helpful to know that haven't already been mentioned?

                    Is there something in particular that's spooky about the facilities?
                    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by MyssMyst View Post



                      I'll be there! Any quirks in the facility that it would be helpful to know that haven't already been mentioned?

                      Is there something in particular that's spooky about the facilities?
                      If you're stabled in the north barns, you have to walk past a large pond where there are a lot of birds. I've seen many horses get a little goofy going by there. Other than that, I haven't noticed anything particularly spooky or out of the ordinary for the horses.
                      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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                      • #51
                        So far, I think the first arrivals for Arabian Sporthorse Nationals are not pleased.

                        From the (now deleted) FB comments, it looks like stuff wasn't in good condition (some unsafe stuff sticking to hurt horses) or unready (bathrooms, paddocks). Does that lack of preparedness sound usual for Balmoral?

                        I feel bad for folks who had been on the road 24 hours or more who might be arriving to find stalls they don't feel good about putting horses into. But I hope it will get better from here!
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          So far, I think the first arrivals for Arabian Sporthorse Nationals are not pleased.

                          From the (now deleted) FB comments, it looks like stuff wasn't in good condition (some unsafe stuff sticking to hurt horses) or unready (bathrooms, paddocks). Does that lack of preparedness sound usual for Balmoral?

                          I feel bad for folks who had been on the road 24 hours or more who might be arriving to find stalls they don't feel good about putting horses into. But I hope it will get better from here!

                          My stalls personally were ok, but the one next to me? Empty beer bottles in the stall. The toilet in our barn moves 2-3 inches easily. Electrical was out in at least one barn. Broken sharps containers with used syringes, or used syringes that didn't even make it to a sharps container just laying in stalls. That's utterly unacceptable to me.

                          The arenas look great. Love the grandstand. But HITS really dropped the ball on preparing. I will say that the HITS crew was out repairing stuff in our barn, and was great about listening when we pointed out concerns. I was definitely unhappy driving well over 20 hours for this, it was a really nasty shock on arrival. I'm liking it better as I've been here a day though.
                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by mvp View Post
                            So far, I think the first arrivals for Arabian Sporthorse Nationals are not pleased.

                            From the (now deleted) FB comments, it looks like stuff wasn't in good condition (some unsafe stuff sticking to hurt horses) or unready (bathrooms, paddocks). Does that lack of preparedness sound usual for Balmoral?

                            I feel bad for folks who had been on the road 24 hours or more who might be arriving to find stalls they don't feel good about putting horses into. But I hope it will get better from here!
                            Most of the arab people seem super happy. There's no train track next to the dressage rings, and no hurricane! I know the commission was promised some things that did not appear and are upset, and they have addressed it. It's hard to pick the right kind of facility when people don't want their showbills to increase.

                            You have to question if someone has a history of having complaints at shows, if it's the facility or the person. I understand some of the complaints, but others are plain ridiculous. Complaining about being near crime infested Chicago then complaining how the grounds is in the middle of nowhere. Complaining about windmills. About what to call the main ring.

                            One person wanted the commission to wear neon orange shirts and carry burner phones with publicly listed numbers so they could be contacted the moment someone found an issue of "great importance"

                            It's hard enough to get people to run for commission and other volunteer duties, I can't even imagine having their number on blast "hello yes, the water in the wash rack is too cold" "hello again, the water is too warm"
                            http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                            • #54
                              I just got back from Arab Sport Horse Nationals.

                              First of all, MANY thanks to the person on this discussion that mentioned how important it would be to have a golf cart. I don't normally rent one, but I did for this show and boy am I glad I did. I am mature (haha!) and my trainer has bad feet, so having a golf cart made our lives much easier.

                              Our stalls were excellent (barn 7). Nice and big and matted. There was one pile of horse manure in one stall when we arrived, so -.5 for that. Restroom clean. We did not rent a paddock but people were really happy to have that option.

                              Footing good in most places but some areas (warm up rings) could have been better maintained. It got better as week went on.

                              Dressage rings were excellent, really appreciated spectator stands and places to sit.

                              Parking lot and driveways had lots of pot holes. They could take down the race track signs. They could replace the front fence and the place would instantly look better. They could work on the camp ground some more. I like the retro vibe of the place and hope HITS keeps putting money into it. It must have been in awful shape when they bought it but seems like they are slowly whipping it into shape.

                              As for the whiners - there were and no doubt are some legitimate complaints about the facility and the show. The show committee tried to use apps and FB to keep everyone informed - got off to a rocky start with some bad data but it was working well by the time we left. One of the biggest complainers on FB was.not.even.at.the.show!!! She insisted she was entitled to an opinion which is certainly true but don't be a sh*t stirrer when you are even there. That's just unfair to everyone working hard on the show.

                              I'm sure those of you not in the Arab world don't care about the internal workings of deciding the location for this show, but there are several issues that make it difficult. Probably the biggest is that AHA so far has used an east/west rotation on the show and a lot of premium places (WEC, KHP) won't enter into every other year contracts. So the hope I heard expressed at the show is that AHA will soon decide on one location and end the rotation. We'll see.

                              This site has a lot to offer, they just need to keep plugging away at the facilities.

                              Qualifying for a national show was a bucket list item for me, so glad to finally have a horse good enough to get there. I had a really good time.

                              ETA: We went to several places in Crete for meals and had good food at each one.

                              ETAII: no one cared at all that we brought our own shavings. No bedding police!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                oldernewbie Hope you had a wonderful show! The FB page and comments there showed most folks getting happier and even staying happy during that one incredibly stormy day early in the week. After that, I thought the comments were so nice. It reminds me why I wanted to show in Sport Horse world. it seems like a very nice group of people.

                                I think people were most impressed with the way the footing held up after that storm and generally. Would you say that was true? Or only true for the competition rings? Was the footing bad enough in the warm up that if you were a regular competitor in Illinois, you'd try to stay away from Balmoral?
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                  oldernewbie Hope you had a wonderful show! The FB page and comments there showed most folks getting happier and even staying happy during that one incredibly stormy day early in the week. After that, I thought the comments were so nice. It reminds me why I wanted to show in Sport Horse world. it seems like a very nice group of people.

                                  I think people were most impressed with the way the footing held up after that storm and generally. Would you say that was true? Or only true for the competition rings? Was the footing bad enough in the warm up that if you were a regular competitor in Illinois, you'd try to stay away from Balmoral?
                                  I think the footing in all rings held up after the storm. The footing is the same textile stuff that's used at KHP in outdoor rings and I think generally people like it. The only observation I had about the competition rings is that they are not as diligent about picking up the manure as they are at KHP. I understand that this will affect the performance of the footing. Some of the ringmasters were picking the rings after each class, but not the Balmoral staff.

                                  We arrived on Saturday and rode in the main ring, which really hadn't been worked yet. Once they got it dragged, it was fine, but it was pretty bumpy on Saturday.

                                  Realize that there are lunging rings that do not have the textile footing, just sand. Those did not seem to hold water either. People were also lunging on the old race track - which is just race track footing. The only problem with that is that there was some erosion across the track so you had to pick your spot. Also, the track is inclined, so you were kind of lunging up and down hill.

                                  The only thing I couldn't figure out was the holding ring for the sport horse ring - the one with the big tent. It looked like it never had the textile footing or that it had mostly washed away.

                                  I would not want to speak for regular hunter/jumper people and how they would regard the footing. I only ride on the flat and don't have any insight into what their requirements might be. I didn't hear any complaints about the warm up or actual jumping ring this week, but I don't hang out with any h/j folks, so take that with a grain of salt.

                                  As I said above, the site has a lot of potential. It certainly worked for SHN as we need a lot of rings for everything that's going on. It might have been nice to have a covered ring (not indoor, just covered) available, but there was a lot of lightening Tuesday, so the show would have been delayed regardless.

                                  Finally, yes, sport horse people are really nice. We had a lot of friendly conversations with everyone we met. Good times!

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    HITS deliberately left the toteboard, quarter poles and finish line poles. They wanted to maintain a sense of the long racing history. The finish line pole was used for many winner photographs, and jumping in the grand prix ring with the toteboard was picturesque as well. It may be the decision that showed the most foresight, as I have heard some discussion that because gambling laws have changed in Illinois, now allowing slots at racetracks, that HITS will sell and it will revert to a racetrack. Of course, the future of racing in Illinois is in doubt after the change in the law. Churchill Downs bought Rivers Casino in Rosemont by O'Hare and obtained the license for a potential casino in Waukegan. Say what you will about thoroughbred racing (and I am not starting that discussion), but these trends will put a lot of horses out of a job.

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                                    • #58
                                      So was Hits actually involved in running the Arab show at Balmoral? Or did the Arab group just rent the facility and run the show themselves?

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                        So was Hits actually involved in running the Arab show at Balmoral? Or did the Arab group just rent the facility and run the show themselves?
                                        The Arabian Horse Association runs the show. As far as I could tell, HITS' involvement was to do all the facility work.

                                        I loved all the old racing stuff around the main ring - really lent a neat atmosphere. However, it made for a lot of distractions around and in the ring. My horse is a sweetheart, so none of it bothered him. Some horses, however, weren't so thrilled with the retro stuff. And there were some issues with the sound system and the added lights that caused some tricky moments in some classes.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Reported several places on FB this morning that AHA has signed a contract for Balmoral in 2021.

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