My son Dane has ridden horses for years, but only recently decided to start showing and get a little more serious. This past Sunday, we took him to his first show at Gardnertown Farms across the Hudson in Newburgh, NY. I don’t know who was more nervous, him or me! He looked very dashing in his show coat and tie. I told him it would look better with a sparkle unicorn t-shirt (like the ones you can buy in my store) but he disagreed <wink>.
Dane has been training for showing with Angelo Danza at Three Phase Equestrian Center / AD Sporthorses, and it’s been amazing to watch him improve and ready himself for this level of intensity. I’ve always been proud of his ability to bond with horses, especially the very forward and sweet thoroughbred Greta (show name “Game Face”), he was riding today.
The first class out of three, was a crazy course with 14 jumps. I looked at the map and realized that this event was almost more about memory than equitation. The rain was varying from light to medium and was probably a blessing as it would have been very hot in the afternoon sun. The small crowd of watchers gathered under the trees by the event ring as the riders strenuously repeated the course in their heads, “red, red, outside, diagonal, oxer – no, brown!”
The first rider rode and cleared, though her horse was an unwilling participant, shying and fighting the whole way. I hoped Dane was paying close attention but I’m sure the first event butterflies were not helping him concentrate. After a couple more riders, it was his turn.
The whistle blew and he was off. One jump and then another went smoothly but Greta was excited and running super fast. Angelo was calling out instructions from ringside, mostly to “slow down!” but Dane was struggling to steady the pace.
Eventually around the twelfth jump he made a wrong turn and the beep-beep of the “rider off course” ended his first run. But for a first run it was great – fast (too fast!) and he had almost finished. To add to the excitement he knocked over a standard on the way out (still going fast) and Angelo went to pick it up for him.
Dane was clearly frustrated but we told him it was an amazing first run. The rain drizzled on and the riders cycled through the second round until it was Dane’s turn again. They had changed the jump order and he nearly got it except for a wrong turn right at the end. Beep-beep! So close, but Greta was feeling more confident, as was Dane.
As the last round got going my husband worked with Dane to memorize the jump order as they watched the other riders. Then it was time to run again. Dane made one jump after another . I heard Greta hit a pole in the middle but I didn’t see if it fell. A tight turn into the final jump (“let her see it!” called Angelo) and he had finished his first successful run! Great Father’s Day Gift!
The riders went to put the horses back in the trailer while we waited for the results. We knew he wouldn’t be placing in the first two incomplete rounds but then I heard them announce the third, “First Place, Dane Beels and Gameface”. A blue ribbon on his first competition! The other kids cleaned up as well! He makes me one proud horse Mom!
Now that the weather has started to turn colder, we’re all starting to pull our musty horse blankets out from deep storage. If you’re looking to purchase a new blanket, or even searching through used blankets, getting the best available size is very important. If a blanket doesn’t fit correctly, it can cause discomfort (even rubs or sores), get stuck on a fence or tree branch, or even completely fall off and to get trampled.
When I purchased my first blanket (after adopting Chance), I got it on super sale from eBay, and prayed that it would fit my horse. It didn’t, and I couldn’t return it. Good money thrown down the drain. After that, I decided to actually measure my sweet boy and find something in his size range.
Use the following tips to get the best size for your steeds and for a final fitting, please see the guide below from Your Horse Magazine. They posted a very comprehensive and easy-to-follow tutorial on YouTube.
Make sure your horse is standing square.
Have a soft tape measure or a long string available (having a friend to help is always nice!)
Start measuring at the center of the chest (between the two chest muscles).
Stretch out the tape measure or string up the broad side of the horse and all the way around to where the hair starts to hit the buttock.
Keep the tape measure tight and level for the best measurement.
This measurement will be your horse’s blanket size, in inches. (If you used a string, mark on the string where you started and ended and then measure the string between these marks.)
If you are between sizes, order a size up for the best fit.
Remember that size varies between brands, so do a little research on the brand’s sizing for best results.
Now the shopping fun begins!! Look at all the cute blanket choices that are available these days:
I’ve only been riding for 4 years now, but I’ve tried just about every breech out there, and loved none. Each pair had their limitations. I heard about the equestrian riding apparel company Asmar Equestrian from one of my favorite sites DappeledGrey.com. I was in love with the brand at first glance. Soft colors, warm and quality materials, I wanted everything on the site. Alas, they are rather expensive, so I had to wait. Finally, Asmar had a sale, including my size in their Signature Knee Patch Breech. Still not cheap at $152.00, I took the plunge and bought a pair.
I love them. The nylon/spandex material is comfortable, breathable and still holds up to hours in the saddle. They are the only breeches which aren’t too low in the waist or too high; like baby bear they were “just right”. I love that they can be dressed up or down.They looked great with a simple t-shirt and amazing with a show jacket. I also love the fact that the bottom of the legs are comfortable. I have other breeches that irritate my calf because of velcro, or because the bottom elastics are too tight. Before I had these breeches, I tended to wear mostly the pull up riding tights; I can finally wear a belt and have roomy pockets for my phone.
While you are looking at their breeches, check out their amazing Boyfriend Sweater. Cashmere (oh joy) and comfy, with reinforced contrasting elbow patches, I would wear this sweater every day when the fall chill starts to blow. Some sweater colors (like my favorite grey) are also on sale, so perhaps for my anniversary, my husband will surprise me – psst: size large please (I like my sweaters over-sized and cozy). I’m so excited that Asmar has a new blog called “Horses and Lipstick”; right up my alley! I look forward to reading their posts.
I know these breeches are a pretty penny, but trust me, invest in one great pair and you won’t have to shop for any others for a long time. It’s time to donate my other breeches :).
I’m excited for this year’s Hampton Classic (August 24-31 in Bridgehampton, NY). I feel like I know the drill this time, no longer such a greeny. I’ll be taking my son this year, he’s really getting into riding and horses; it will be great for him to see that many of the top riders are men.
This year, I’m skipping the Grand Prix Sunday and will attend the opening day of the show. It certainly was exciting photo-bombing celebrities, but I’m taking a different focus. According to the press release below, this year the classic will feature a more diverse food scene, with a focus on gourmet food and local farmers with the inclusion of a farmer’s market right on the grounds.
Haute cuisine with haute jumping? RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. I’ll bring my appetite this year and instead of worrying about what I’ll wear, I’ll just throw on a bib and dig in while I watch those amazing athletes. Get ready for my report on food, fillies and fun!
I can’t wait!!
Hampton Classic June, 26, 2014:
Hampton Classic Horse Show Cooking Something Great
Equestrians and Foodies Unite at This Year’s Show
Bridgehampton, NY – June 26, 2014 – The Hampton Classic Horse Show is pleased to announce new and varied food options for horse show attendees this summer. In addition to the veteran food vendors from previous years, the Classic is adding a number of new vendors, and a fresh twist on a New York tradition: a Farmers Market located right on the showgrounds.
The Hampton Classic returns to Bridgehampton, NY, August 24-31, 2014 for its 39th year of world-class equestrian competition. The Hampton Classic features more than 100 classes of competition including jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
This year’s Classic will feature over 15 gourmet food choices scattered throughout the show grounds for attendees. “We are thrilled with the new additions to our food court and around the grounds,” said Shanette Cohen, Executive Director of the Hampton Classic. “There is truly something for everyone, and we hope nobody will be disappointed.”
Mister Softee at the Hampton Classic
The food court will feature the likes of sweet and savory waffles from Wafel & Dinges, a New York City favorite, as well as Noodle Lane, who will offer a unique twist on noodle bowls and dumplings. RSA Catering, LLC will be crafting a wide array of culinary creations ranging from breakfast sandwiches, to vegetable hibachi and fried chicken. All three vendors are new to the food court for 2014.
Traditional favorites like Harry’s Fresh Squeezed Juices, and gourmet coffees and smoothies from Hampton Coffee Co. are also returning to this year’s show in the Food Court, as well as Magdalena’s Mexican Food, providing authentic Mexican fare, and Luke’s Lobster will be back at their old post.
On Stable Row by the entrance to the Hunter Rings will sit Burgess & Clark Coffee, offering gourmet and frozen coffee drinks. Further down on Stable Row, Pizza Luca will be offering classic Napoletana pizzas from their mobile wood burning oven, and Whole Le Crepe, Inc. will be crafting handmade sweet and savory crepes for a midday snack. And, for a Greek specialty, G & L Gyro Concessions will be next to the horse show office.
By the Kids’ Area, Crabman will have crab cakes and a variety of shrimp items, and Hampton Classic newcomer Kona Ice of Long Island will have flavored shaved ice for a refreshing summer afternoon treat.
Between the hunter rings will be a new satellite location of Harry’s Fresh Squeezed Juices, as well as Mr. Softee ice cream. “We are thrilled to be returning to the Hampton Classic again this year,” said Marco Floro owner of the classic ice cream truck. “This show is one of our favorites!” David’s World Famous will also be offering a satellite location on the walkway between the hunter fields, and will be offering gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. David’s World Famous primary location will continue to cater the Grooms Kitchen with classic American and Mexican dishes.
Headlining the food options at the Classic this year will be the daily Farmer’s Market, located at the main Food Court. “We were inspired by Taste of NY, the New York state program that showcases New York’s farms and produce,” said Cohen. “Taste of NY came to the Classic last year, and it was a huge success.”
The Farmers Market will feature six different vendors each day, including offerings from Hampton Classic sponsors Wölffer Estate and the Milk Pail. “The new Farmers Market is a great idea,” said Max Rohn, general manager of Wölffer Estate Vineyard, which will be a part of the inaugural market, featuring Wölffer wines and ciders. “The market will allow exhibitors, riders and spectators at the Classic to literally taste another dimension of the Hamptons.”
In addition to Wölffer Estate, the following vendors will also be included at the Farmers Market:
A Taste of the North Fork, jarred pickled products, dips and spreads
Captain Neck & Co., low-calorie flavored sodas
Dolce & Gelato Catering, gelato
Hampton Chocolate Factory, gourmet chocolates
Milk Pail, fresh produce
Monty Breads, handmade stuffed breads
Next Generation Cookie, energy bars, cookies, and granola
Tanya Tracy, LLC, baked goods and chutneys
Victoria Amory & Co. condiments
Toasted Chicks, original S’mores kits
Salt Crafts, pink Himalayan salt licks for horses
Snacks 5th Avenchew, horse and dog treats
The Hampton Classic Horse Show features 6 show rings, a Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, on its 60-acre show grounds. The Classic’s world-class equestrian competition attracts many of the nation’s top professional and amateur riders including Olympic medalists.
The Hampton Classic’s world-class field of Grand Prix riders competes daily in the open jumper competition, which features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, August 29-31 – the $50,000 Grand Prix Qualifier Presented by Longines on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday, and Sunday’s $250,000 Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Land Rover, a qualifying competition for the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April. The rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show’s Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.
The Hampton Classic also features ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day on Monday, August 25, an event that helps find permanent homes for rescued, horses, dogs, cats, and pigs.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.”
It was an amazing day at the Hamptons Classic yesterday. It was a little crazy to go as a show virgin on Grand Prix day, but it was so worth it. The weather held out and last year’s winner, Kent Farrington, won again. This time, his mount was Zafira. It was so amazing to see such steeds soar. I was happy just getting over a low jump last week; it surely was inspirational.
I have so many pictures and stories I’m weeding through, but I thought I would get some of the more fun pictures up for everyone to see. Please forgive my celebrity pictures – I’m not exactly paparazzi, being on the shy side, so I just took silly pictures from behind the pros. I was more interested in what people were wearing and what they were eating and the HORSES, of course!
My attempt at shooting the fashionable and famous:
Les Enfants: the Fashionable Small-Set at the show:
Oh, and thank you guys for voting on what I should wear! I have to give props to Haute Hippie for sending me my size in the Paprika Onesie in time for the classic. It was perfect: comfortable, chic and got noticed. They rock!!