It’s already been a hot, dry summer for so many in this country. Rain would be welcome in many locations. What’s a great way to encourage rain? Well, in addition to doing a rain dance or leaving your car windows rolled down, just hold the largest outdoor society horse show going.
This week, the Red Mile track in Lexington, KY, plays host to the 76th Lexington Jr. League Charity Horse Show. Seventy-six years ... outdoors. I wonder how many exhibitors and spectators lament the lack of air conditioned ring? Spectators were out in force ring-side Monday night as the show got underway - even without air conditioning ... and despite the entrance fee required to attend. The Jr League, one leg of the Saddlebred world’s triple crown of shows, is a big deal and a bigger tradition. No one seemed to mind paying to sit in the heat ... outside ... to watch a horse show.
July is Lexington’s hottest month. High temperatures average 86 degrees, which means it can often be much, much warmer. Temps as the show kicked off were in the low 80s. Although spectators were in summer garb, judges, the show photographer and the ring steward were all in jackets. Exhibitors were all turned out as well. I wonder if the concept of relaxed dress code exists in these parts of the horse show world? I bet it doesn’t.
A cool down is expected a little later in the week. Of course, that weather change means one thing ... the chance of precipitation increases! Rain at the Jr. League show will be possible yet again. Rain ... at an outdoor show ... just yet another factor participants deal with in order to show at such a prestigious event.
I also wonder what folks are saying about the stalling. Debate about Jr. League stalling has occurred among some for years. Held at a race track, the Jr. League offers some of its stalling is in shed row barns. Of course, for many years there was stalling at Tattersall’s barn, but with the closing of that institution, stalling there .... in floored barns ... is now gone. Even this stalling matter is addressed in a letter from the show chair in the premium book. Temporary stalling is being used for 2012 so it will be interesting to hear and see how this turns out. Old-timers will probably just roll with the punches and deal with the stalling they are dealt. After all, many of these folks did the old shed-row barns in Louisville for years before the convention center around Freedom Hall expanded. From past online discussions about the Jr. League show, the stalling is more often a concern for first timers or newer exhibitors .... just like stalling often is at other association’s shows, too.