Long-time horse show sponsors have seen it all when it comes competition successes or the overall health of their shows. Rare is the absolute unexpected outcome. Rare … but certainly not unknown.
Central States Pony Association has been hosting pony shows for well more than 30 years in different venues, at alternate times and with a myriad of outcomes. When it comes to horse shows, those involved with the CSPA event have pretty much seen it all.
Still, CSPA’s 2012 Four Star Event show for society ponies and small equine held June 16-17 at Gordyville Arena blew away expectations.
After years hosting shows that traditionally draw 100-130 small equine, CSPA saw its 2012 show participation jump dramatically, especially in its pony divisions. This year, the show had 180-plus entries, up more than 50% from last year. Exhibitors were on hand for 11 different states according to club treasurer Nedra Baraks. With the economy impacting so many shows negatively, any increase in participation is often welcome but an increase of 50% is rare indeed. The increases helped this event turn a welcome profit this year, after CSPA took a loss on the 2011 show when it hosted the ASPC National Area IV competition last year.
As usual, the 2012 CSPA Four Star Event was sanctioned for all divisions of the American Shetland Pony Club, Inc. This year’s show offered competition for Modern Shetlands, Modern Pleasure Shetlands, Classic Shetlands, Foundation Shetlands and American Show Ponies as well as classes for AMHR registered Miniatures.
As a long-time pony-focused club, CSPA’s show also includes a variety of Hackney and Welsh pony classes since competitions for those ponies are not as numerous as they used to be.
In addition to being a sanctioned show for the ASPC/AMHR/ASPR, the 2012 CSPA event was also recognized as a points show for the American Hackney Horse Association. As a result, Hackney entries were up noticeably from previous years. The 50” roadster pony open class was one of the largest and most exciting classes of the show. There was a small but quality contingent of Miniature Horse exhibitors from the near south who supported this year’s show.
This event was also a recognized show for the Illinois Horse and Pony Breeders Association.
The CSPA competition included several fun and non-rated classes to stimulate youth and family participation as well. The additions and the fun fit well in this long-running show’s penchant for old-time society show camaraderie and activities.