The Gallop in the Glen Returns to Tennessee for Fall 2009
RELEASE: August 14, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
Once voted one of the five best horse shows, the original Gallop in the Glen is returning to the New Market, TN, area for two weeks of USEF A rated hunter/jumper action. Show dates for 2009 are September 23-27 and September 30-October 4.
The show debuted in 2004 under the guidance of Kim Burnett Mitchell along with great assistance from her husband, Dennis, and show manager Patrick Rodes of Argyle, TX. Set at the picturesque River Glen Equestrian facility in New Market, TN, at the base of the Smokey Mountains, the show gained accolades for its aesthetic appeal as well as being a glamorous throwback to horse shows of yesteryear with its sumptuous parties and charitable giving. “We raised thousands of dollars for the Baptist Hospital and several East Tennessee charities. Thanks in large part to the support of the community. Our first year the title sponsor, Pilot Corp. really got the ball rolling and the event took on a life of its own,” Mitchell shared some of the history. “Sadly changes occurred at the hospital, sponsor dollars, and the worsening economy that had a trickle down effect to the show. But I have never been able to walk away from the idea of bringing it back to life,” she continued. She admits that even after giving the dates away, she attended the new show as a competitor each year, but always left, longing to recreate the magic of the Gallop events.
As the saying goes, careful what you wish for. Mitchell, teamed again with Rodes, managed to re-acquire the dates and USEF rating back under The Gallop in the Glen name just in time to dub 2009 the “rebuilding year.” Mitchell explained, “We didn’t quite get the agreement sealed in time to go back to a lot of our past community sponsors or to target a local charity, but so many of the local farms—Icon Sporthorses, Paige Farms, and GK Performance Horses have rallied around us and been more than generous to give us a wonderful start back.” Mitchell went on to explain the huge success of The Gallop in the Glen was always “folks working together for the betterment of the industry and the community.”
Could be the laid back demeanor of everyone connected to the show or the effects of living under the majestic Smokey Mountains, but whatever the cause of the “good vibes” (as Mitchell describes), people have never forgotten The Gallop in the Glen event. Mitchell said for years she’s encountered exhibitors across the country who still asked about the show and remembered it fondly. “If that’s not a sign to return, I’m not sure what is,” she added.
Along with a $25,000 Show Jumping Grand Prix each week, several new and old traditions are planned for this years’ revival event, from increasing prize money awarded to several more social gatherings each week. “I’m so excited about the improvements we have been able to accomplish at the facility, and we have a lot of fun activities planned for everyone! Oh, and the Annual Kimberden Shrimp Boil is on again, with great food and music,” Mitchell shared.
Something special for the younger set will be the Judy’s Tack Shop-sponsored dinner and Horseless Horse Show. “The list just goes on and on. And we have a couple of surprises up our sleeve too!” Mitchell added. Plans are under way for the return of the “Unrated Ring” as well. “We’re going to enlarge the class offerings here and with no USEF membership or fees required, this is a great opportunity for beginner riders to enjoy the experience of an A-rated show,” she added.
New this season will be the $25,000 Icon Sporthorse Challenge Cup, a rider bonus comprised of four classes held through the two-week series for children and adult riders—the top eight horse-and-rider combinations will take a cut of the big prize money. Rhonda Goble and Icon Sporthorses are sponsoring this new venture. “We [Goble and Mitchell] really want to reward our competitors who give it their all," said Mitchell.