Boutique Event Returns to Harmon Field in Tryon, NC
RELEASE: April 21, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
Last Spring Bob Bell, President of Classic Company, debuted the first Boutique Horse Show at the historical Harmon Field in Tryon, NC, to rave reviews and numerous requests to repeat the event. He’s happily obliging on May 28-30.
Bell created a new “definition” for this event that has not only become catchy among exhibitors, but with local residents as well. Boutique (boo teek) Horse Show -noun- A horse show that is fashionable and unique. Always held at wonderful venues with excellent accommodations for special horses, owners, and riders. Always includes parties, trendy classes, and fun events. Always has stylish trophies and rewards for Grand Champions. Always has Mimosas on Sunday mornings. 2010 will be no exception in standards with the awarding of silver trophies to division winners and the naming of three Grand Champions, the Best Young Horse, a Grand Junior rider, and Grand Amateur rider all to be presented very special trophies courtesy of The Farm House.
With a solid reputation for producing quality events that are not only well run, but also very family fun oriented, Bell is expanding the class offerings for the 2010 Boutique event. The popular Opportunity Classes are now included on the schedule, for those unfamiliar; these classes do not require either rider or horse to be a member or registered with USEF or USHJA.
Opportunity classes premiered at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics in 2009 and quickly became of staple of Classic Company events. “These classes are the perfect way for beginners to experience all the trappings of an A-rated horse show without all the expense or worry about performance of the upper levels,” Bell explained. There are four divisions of the Opportunity classes; “Freshman” Horsemanship with its Walk-Trot class, Walk-Trot–Pole, and Walk-Trot-XRail for those just learning about jumping. Next step up are the “Sophomore” Horsemanship classes comprised of Walk-Trot-Canter, Walk-Trot-Canter-Poles, and Walk-Trot-Canter-XRails. Following are the “Junior” Opportunity Horsemanship classes of Walk-Trot-Canter, and two sections of Walk-Trot-Canter-XRails designed for riders moving towards show levels. And finally the “Senior” section for riders who are ready for the big show, but would like a test run. This section offers Walk-Trot-Canter and two classes of walk-Trot-Canter-XRails with fences set slightly higher.
Returning for the May event are rider favorites Betty and Ernest Oare as judges extraordinaire. “One of my first horse shows as a steward was at Harmon Field. The Oares [Betty and Ernest] were the judges. All the show officials stayed in a B & B near the show grounds and after the first day we all went back and watched 'Mame' on TV together,” Bell shared. “All the exhibitors were asking for the Oares to come back before the event even ended last year, so deciding on judges was a no brainer.”
Bell still recalls the finer details of Tryon’s glory show days from 25 years ago and wishes to restore that grandeur at the Boutique event—creating a smaller more intimate gathering, polished silver trophies, and champagne served ringside as spectators, riders, and show officials alike picnic under the trees. “My emphasis is stepping backwards to give horse shows a more personal feel, an atmosphere of being unique, not having folks feel like just another back number to us. I enjoy being ringside with riders, serving the champagne on Sunday mornings, and seeing everyone have a good time,” Bell said. And what better place than the renovated Harmon Field, which until 2009 hadn’t hosted an A show in more than 20 years. Bell saw the charm and memories of Harmon Field as the perfect spot for this revitalized fun horse showing experience for adults and children. “Fun is a renewable energy!” Bell quotes as his motto.
Harmon Field’s renovations include building 144 new stalls, three new rings with proper footing, a sound system, and even a measuring block. Bell envisions the Boutique show as a win-win for everyone. “On the economic side of this, we can all contribute to a lovely town via the hotels, B & B’s, and wonderful dining options. Exhibitors will experience a more personal and affordable show.
Another highlight of the Boutique show will be double judged-double points in the Hunter Breeding classes and the presentation of the Arthur Reynolds Best Young Horse Silver Trophy. Reynolds was a great National Show Hunter Hall of Fame horsemen and father of Betty Reynolds Oare.
For more information on the Boutique event, please visit www.classiccompany.com
or call the office at 843-768-5503. Prize Lists are available online or at The Farm House. Entries will be limited and early reservations are recommended.