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The Mad River Riding and Driving Club will host its sixth annual Homecoming Horse Show on Saturday, September 13, at Kenyon's Field in Waitsfield. With classes ranging from the traditional to the slightly absurd, this show truly offers something for everyone.
"Six years ago we set out to put on a show that was accessible to everyone, no matter what discipline they ride, and that was affordable and fun," according to co-coordinator Claire Ewald. Staying true to that vision, classes at the show are inexpensively priced, competitors often help each other through a tough spot and even the judge has been known to step in to 'school' a horse for a competitor who is having a rough time of it.
"It's all about riders enjoying a fun day of competition with their horses. Giggles replace the 'show face' often seen at bigger shows and fancy show clothes give way to comfortable riding gear. Fun and safety are the main concerns, while traditional show garb and braiding take a back seat," says show coordinator Barclay Rappeport.
The day kicks off at 9 a.m. when budding equestrians enter the ring for the Leadline Class. "It's hard not to be swayed by the cute factor in this class and it's always a favorite of the spectators. New this year is a walk-trot leadline class for those riders who are a bit more comfortable but not ready to go it alone in the show ring," Rappeport said.
The day takes off from there with several under saddle and over fences classes before heading into the afternoon of games classes. Sit-A-Buck, where the rider literally sits on a dollar while riding (the winner is the one who keeps their buck the longest), and the Egg & Spoon class challenge even seasoned riders, while the Pairs class, new in 2007, proves to be a lesson in cooperation for horses and riders alike. Capping off the day are the jumper classes with the challenging Gambler's Choice ending the day.
Judged by James Hastie of Cazenovia, New York, the show is staffed completely by volunteers and promises a good time for all. Parking is ample and entertainment ongoing throughout the day. Each class offers prizes, courtesy of Hap's Garage and ribbons for the top six places.