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western pa area HJ show folks (and surrounding areas - OH, NY, WV, MD)

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  • western pa area HJ show folks (and surrounding areas - OH, NY, WV, MD)

    looking for opinions... since there is a huge lacking of shows in this area, some friends have been kicking around the idea of planning a show for 2012 season. we looked at harlansburg as a venue. in the recent years there has been tons of money put into that venue in upgrades to footing there, plus the place is very nice to begin with.
    - what are your likes and dislikes of the current shows (or lack thereof now)?
    - would you prefer schooling or rated? or 1 day schooling and 1 day rated?
    - would you like a few fun classes thrown in? egg spoon, dollar bareback, classes for your dog if you broing them, etc?
    - there are camper hook-ups there, would you take advantage of this?
    - we all enjoy having tack shops at shows, what other vendors do you like to see?
    - what else have you seen at other shows that you would like to see at PA shows? feel free to share anything!


  • #2
    sent a pm.


    • #3
      If they have upgraded the footing, Harlansburg would probably be a great venue. WPDA used to do their dressage shows there, the only problem was that when it rained (which it always did) the back two rings turned into a skating rink. It was bad enough trying to do training level tests back there, I can't imagine trying to jump.

      1) I definitely dislike the lack of shows .

      2) Either really, but I have to mention that if going unrated, you should do it as an affiliate of MHJA. None of the other unrateds can get a turnout if they aren't affiliated, and then they disappear the next year.

      3) Probably not. But it might be fun for the kids. Or do a hunt teams class or Gamblers choice.

      4) No camper here. Though i have been known to camp out in the trailer when push comes to shove. I do know some people that used the camper spots at the dressage show.

      5.) Tack Store and I like when the photographer goes digital and has a viewing station right there.

      6.) The old dressage show had some people do the concession stand, but I can't remember their name. Anyhow, they had a fabulous fruit smoothie and grilled veggie wrap. It seems like such a little thing, but I get show nerves and can't eat the usual Burger/fries or I'll puke, so the smoothie was great since they had the option to put a scoop of protein in and it got me through the day. When I was done I had the wrap and it was delicious. I also think Triple M/Horse On Course may have used the same place once.

      Otherwise, I am quite content with a relaxed atmosphere, safe stabling, decent footing, and appropriate courses. Oh, and judges that aren't moonlighting at the HJ shows from their normal QH circuit shows (or God forbid the Arabian Shows )


      • #4
        1) I dislike the lack of schooling shows in the area. Swan Lake has Sunday schooling shows, however they are competitive for a schooling show. Where I ride is just a place where students are looking to show for fun! Also slowness with one judge/ring for schooling shows drives me nuts!

        2) Schooling shows would be nice!

        3) Fun classes are awesome! I've shown at Twin Brooks where they have a "Simon-Says" class. Also "Dollar Bareback" is always fun!

        4) Not really, If they are one-day schooling shows a need for a camper hook-up wouldn't be needed!

        5) Just food vendors

        6) Horse shows are lacking ice cream, which children and adults would take advantage of during the hot summer shows. And it's delish!


        • #5
          Thank you for recognizing that this area is a vast wasteland with regard to equestrian pursuits! I think that Harlansburg hosts some AQHA and Arabian stuff, but I am not aware of any H/J stuff.

          As my horse and I are not ready for the rated show world, I vote unrated H/J, so that we can get mileage.

          There was a small local H/J series that used an arena near me. I stopped by a time or two to get a feel for how they ran their shows. What I did not like was that the classes/ divisions ran so slowly that on one particular occassion, they had to cancel the later classes due to darkness! They never finished that day's classes.

          With regard to vendors, I think trying to get local equine health professionals to set up would be nice. I only know of two vets in the area that offer alternative medicine (by this I mean chiropractic, accupuncture, and massage), and they are both far from where I board my horse. I hear so much on these boards about "bodyworkers", but I don't know of any around here. I would love to be able to meet some locally and possibly use them at a later date. Also, one can never have enough embroidery!!


          • #6
            Good point, seeuatx! Yes, schooling and "fun" shows that do not feature a breed show judge. No matter how hard I try, I am not able to get my OTTB to "jog" or "lope" with with his nose to the ground at a horse show!


            • Original Poster

              great responses so far! thanks all and keep them coming!


              • #8
                If it's going to be close to the Pgh area, I would like to see it well enough advertised that you don't already have to be a particularly horsey person to know about it. (Either that, or let in on the secret mailing list or whatever it is where people find out about these things.)

                I'm looking for a place to take lessons, and it would be really nice to have the option of going to schooling shows and the like to see who's there, what they're like, and just meet people and make contacts.


                • #9
                  A schooling hunter show in the area would be great since there are so few in the WPA area! Harlansburg is not too bad if it doesn't rain but the footing in the back too rings become swimming pools and the main ring not so great either! The show management would need to bring jumps though since the ones they have there are pretty poor.
                  Good food vendors are a must as there are no food places real close.

                  As an aside, when we did have working hunters at the Arab shows, we used USEF hunter judges. You can bet we that show over fences want good judging despite what breed we ride!


                  • #10
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by copper1 View Post

                      As an aside, when we did have working hunters at the Arab shows, we used USEF hunter judges. You can bet we that show over fences want good judging despite what breed we ride!
                      LOL... no doubt. Unfortunately I've known a few local series that did not feel the same way. I've been judged by more than my fair share of WP judges and on one particularly interesting occasion a gaited judge (I found out when I ran into her at the concession stand and judge was complaining about how this series was running compared to her discipline)

                      And then the "managers"/groups running things can't figure out why they can't get a decent turn out and only last 1 season.


                      • Original Poster

                        Harlansburg is now owned by the Western Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association. The president said in recent years they have invested something like $250k into the place and a large chunk of that went into the footing. When we aked about jumps, he did also admit since they never get H/J shows there anymore they have... like none LOL. So yup, that's another something we're going to need to look into... so, her leads to another question... jumps - I personally HATE when they get all tacky-ied up with tree branches just plopped in front of them for "decor". Do you prefer "clean lines" because your horse isn't used to seeing "monsters" around every corner or do you think, hey - this is a show and horses are supposed to be used to things! Now I'm not saying jumps should be thrown together with just anything laying around, but do you like to see interesting looking jumps instead of just plain standards and striped poles?


                        • #13
                          Erie Hunt and Saddle Club has a nice series of "Summer Shows" that are great for schooling. One ring with Open/Games/Pleasure and the other ring is all Hunters with a couple Jumper classes at the end of the day.

                          They also also a weekend long H/J show in July with Hunters going on in both rings all day both days.
                          2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                          • #14
                            I think that another venue would be great! Gets boring going to the same place weekend after weekend.

                            I would love to see what the footing improvements to Harlansburg are like. There is tons of stall and space for parking up there.

                            At HOC in Saxonburg where they hold a lot of H/J shows, the footing leaves a lot to be desired after it rains. We scratched horses from showing after seeing someone AND their horse completely slip and fall during a jumper round, and I heard that they had to cancel classes on the second day of the MHJA show this past year due to rain / footing. We didn't even bother to stay knowing the forecast. No place is perfect I guess, but just pointing out that Harlansburg's footing may be better than that if its been improved with drainage in the recent years.

                            I think that there should be a combination of different types of jumps. . .to me the purpose of a schooling show is to get your horse used to stuff they don't see at home, so some pine boughs, plants, flower boxes etc would be good. If you ever hope to show at larger shows, then people should have the opportunity to see the same types of jumps at a schooling show.

                            On "fun classes", don't know how much I'd take advantage of those since I'm tired when the show day is over, but it would be really nice to have some sort of exhibitor get together at the end of a Saturday show so people can socialize and have fun.


                            • #15
                              Like some of the others have said, I want to go to a horse show that is well run and organized, have good food, and good parking for day shippers. It's very exciting to hear that someone may start a new show that we don't have to travel hours to get to. I would prefer a schooling show simply for the expense. Regarding jumps, I like scary stuff, flowers, pine branches, etc... the purpose of schooling shows is to prepare for bigger shows.

                              My biggest complaint at the local shows in WPA is that I go to show my horses, not stand around at the in gate looking at an empty ring while they are waiting on people. What ever happened to 2 minute gate calls? Not to mention that the rules apply differently depending on if you are with a trainer or just an individual... My daughter went off course and was DQed at HOC as she should have been... another kid in the class went in, did her second trip instead of first trip. The gate people told her they would just count that as a schooling trip since she messed up even though she wasn't signed up for a schooling round. My daughter was upset because she didn't get a re-do! Rules should apply the same to everyone and its disappointing to see these things going on weekend after weekend.

                              We used to show at Harlansburg back in the 90's and the footing did get soupy, but I loved everything else about the facility. Ton's of stalls, permanent bathrooms, lots of parking (some in the trees for shade) and a PA system that you could hear pretty much everywhere. If the footing has been upgraded, I'm game to try it out.

                              Please advertise and be sure the dates are posted well in advance. I've been trying to get HOC's dates for the year, but the site is still not updated.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by VCT View Post
                                Erie Hunt and Saddle Club has a nice series of "Summer Shows" that are great for schooling. One ring with Open/Games/Pleasure and the other ring is all Hunters with a couple Jumper classes at the end of the day.

                                They also also a weekend long H/J show in July with Hunters going on in both rings all day both days.
                                Have to agree! EHSC puts on nice shows with a lot of options no matter what discipline you ride, jumps are well taken care of and their arenas and footing are nice, even in inclement weather.

                                They keep their website up to date with dates and fliers for their shows too. www.ehsc-lhpc.org


                                • #17
                                  I'm interested in only H/J stuff, not an open show type environment with "game" classes. I hate seeing shows running long, and as someone interested in H/J rated shows someday, I really don't want to waste time during the day with fun classes.

                                  A USEF Recorded Hunter Jumper judge is an absolute must, as well as being sanctioned by MHJA and /or WPaPHA
                                  Last edited by Wanna Be Riding; Feb. 22, 2011, 04:53 PM.


                                  • #18
                                    Too late for me, since I moved South this past summer after three years in Ligonier, but YES, the area needs a good schooling show series.

                                    Good footing in the show rings.
                                    Good warm up area with the same footing.
                                    Good course design done by someone knowledgeable so the distances are safe. (Plain jumps for the crossrails - 2' divisions... a bit of decoration for the 2'3" and up).
                                    A schedule that doesn't try to do too much (no "fun" classes, please) so the day doesn't run til dark.
                                    A food vendor is always nice, and a tack shop would be wonderful... but even a series of tables with used items to buy/swap would be fun.
                                    Nice prizes are always a plus at schooling shows, even if it's just a couple carrots for your horse with your ribbon.
                                    Porta potties in the shade.
                                    Patience pays.


                                    • #19
                                      Barngirl...been there done that!! I absolutely agree with you about the gate calls and rules @ HOC...applies to "some" but not "all".
                                      For HOC's dates...go to MHJA and look on their calendar for all the shows. Or pm me and I will help you out!!