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Changes to Penn. Nat. Horse Show

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    Originally posted by Addison View Post
    I for one will miss seeing Carson Kressley show his gorgeous horses.
    I'm fortunate enough to own one of his former horses.

    In regards to the show dropping the ASB classes - I am not from the area so I have no vested interest in the show, or the ability to bring a horse, but it's very disappointing to me. The disappointment is twofold - first, that the ASB exhibitors aren't going, and second, that show management isn't making it more attractive for them.

    We had several shows in my area over the years that faced declining attendance. With a change in management, and their subsequent alterations to the show (classes offered, scheduling, judges, social activities, etc) the shows began to grow again, and now are some of the most popular in the area.

    Devon and Penn could see the same resurgence in popularity IF the management put in the effort to make the shows more attractive to ASB exhibitors, and IF the exhibitors were interested. But if there are other shows the same weekend that are cheaper, closer, better attended, have a more valuable point structure and are more fun, you can bet that's where the horses will be.

    My favorite shows to attend are the multi-breed shows. Unfortunately, the ones that incorporate ASB classes (much less Saddle Seat at all!) are becoming harder to find.


      Ditto Wings & caffeinated -

      I took SS lessons to show my Ap in that division.

      I think each discipline has something to teach the others.

      Tiffani's point is further illustrated by Quarter Horse Congress, the largest show in the world. It developed (I may not be 100% on details here, but the gist is there) when the state regional association was about to go under - their annual show was dying. A couple of parents (NOT horse-folks, but parents of kids who loved to show their QHs) decided to do something about it. They took over (business background) and turned the thing around to be, as I said, the largest show in the world - AND the longest, running MOST of the month of October. I know in the past there have been upwards of 4000 horses competing. Simply AMAZING. Non-competing (and I include family with competitors) spectators? I don't know. I think Walnut Hill has the handle on that.

      I certainly have no answers. I just think it's sad - and bad for the industry - for the disciplines to drift further and further apart. There are those who will make use (to the disadvantage of ALL in the industry) of that separation.

      Equine Photography in the Northeast


        I grew up in Harrisburg and got "bronchitis" or "strep throat" every year for the week of Penn National.

        I respect all disciplines of the sport, but I will not miss this aspect of the show. From my point of view (and I am 37 -- started skipping school at 9) there have never been robust entries in these divisions. Why offer it if no one's there? In the rated divisions, for which the show is invitational, it's a view of among the best in the country and hotly contested. For these divisions, it was always 3 or 4 -- maybe 5 tops in a class as long as I can remember. Frankly I'm surprised it lasted this long.
        * * *
        Ch. G, 2000
        Stalwars x Theydonittoknight


          It is sad that tradition is changing just for possibly a finacial aspect. What are they replacing these classes with, other than the Low Juniors? I know they have a national 3'3 A/O Division but is that going in seperately from the 3'6 A/Os? and one division will not fill in the gap. They should suggest a few classes still remain available and move them around to make them when the most people will be there for exhibitions and such, they are so cool and exciting to watch!


            I can understand the declining entries. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that although great horses, the ASB and what they stand for seem to be a lost art at least here in PA as well as many other area's? I often wondered, when I did see enties where the people that were showing were from. I have have to admit I know of 1 person in my area that used to be really big into ASB but hasn't done anything with them for at least 10 years...and hers are wonderfully well bred. Thoughts?

            I second what War Amiral had mentioned about points. I am not a H/J rider, and like the ASB group, I could care less about the USEF stuff. I am more focused on the USDF. I see a parallel there.


              Well, being me, I'm actually cooking up a notion... of suggesting to ASHA that certain big, multidisciplinary shows like Devon and the Royal be designated "Classic" shows or something like that for ASHA points purposes, and people would get the SAME points for winning at those that they do for winning at the World Championships.

              I'm thinking THAT'd get 'em in the doors. And the beauty is that it doesn't cost the show managements or the organization anything....

              Anyone care to poke holes in this?
              "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                The WC has MUCH steeper competition. I don't think a show such as this, no matter how nice it would be to see numbers increase, deserves the same recognition.

                Maybe instead, make the rating system (A, B or C) more friendly towards these types of shows. Currently it's based on the number of classes offered in specific divisions along with prize money. Maybe for a multi-disclipinary show, alter the requirements to get an A designation or something. That might draw more exhibitors, since a lot of people like to show at A rated shows.