The Horse Circus: 5.9.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Old Salem Show Banner

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows

On now through May 18th in North Salem, New York, is two weeks of horse showing that is one classy affair. From the lush 120-acre equestrian facility that hosts the event to the photo opportunities with no less than a McLaren, Aston Martin, Maserati, or Rolls Royce, courtesy of Miller Motor Car, The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows offer up the finest in high-class entertainment. Not to mention the two-story, tented VIP seating area, groomed grand prix show jumping field, and top vendors on Boutique Row.

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden and Via Volo

And then there is of course the competition. The 32nd Old Salem Farm show features over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, nearly $500,000 in prize money, and big name competitors like Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Leslie Howard, Georgina Bloomberg, and Nick Dello Joio. The most anticipated events are the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix on Sunday, May 11th, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, May 17th, and the $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix on Sunday, May 18th, all of which will be live broadcast by the USET Network here.


But among all this luxury, the most impressive thing about the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows just may be the commitment to unique events that give back to a variety of communities. Welcome Day, on May 4th, kicked off the event with The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) $2,000 Low Thoroughbred Hunter division. T.I.P. offers sponsorship for Thoroughbred-only classes and divisions intended to encourage the use of Thoroughbreds in other disciplines after their racing careers have ended. We’re all for that, and say congratulations to the winner Debbie McCarthy and her trusty Thoroughbred, Scottsdale!

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Debby McCarthy and Scottsdale

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show is also the site of the pop up “Year of the Horse” Art Gallery, where local artists are exhibiting their equine art, some from collections, and others for sale. If you are lucky enough to be at the show, you can visit the gallery, located at the VIP tent, Wednesday-Saturday each week from 9-4 p.m. Here’s a sneak peak from the Old Salem Horse Show’s Instagram page.

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Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and the Wolf Conservation Center will also each be hosting an ice cream party with ice cream donated by the local Ben & Jerry’s to get people involved in their cause.

Last, but certainly not least, The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows are welcoming local charities to give them a platform to get their word out to the public. This year’s featured charities for week one are Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, a non-profit organization that provides equine-assisted activities to people with special needs, veterans and at-risk individuals, and Pegasus’s partner, The Rider’s Closet, a program started by show jumper Georgina Bloomberg to make riding clothes more accessible to therapeutic riding programs, pony clubs, intercollegiate riding programs and individual riders who are in need.

On week two, the Wolf Conservation Center will be on hand to teach people about wolves, their relationship to the environment and the human role in protecting their future. Also on Sunday, May 18th, the ASPCA will be visiting the show with their Adoption Van from 12-4 p.m.

So head on out to Old Salem Farm if you can in the next two weeks to pamper yourself and perhaps even do a little good!

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