New England Anyone??

I am probably opening a can of worms here…but here it goes.  So many of us where vocal about the 2008 show, whether it be the judging system, the weather, the facilities, etc…..  I am curious as to how many of us have it on our schedule for 2009.  I will say it is in our plans. In so many ways it is such a fun show and the quality of competition is there……any thoughts?

33 Responses to New England Anyone??

  1. GoodLookinGal says:

    NO WAY I am going back to that show this year. Until they can prevent the horses from being underwater, I will find another show to attend. Although I do have to say that the judging panel looks very promising this year.

  2. getmorganizedkc says:

    I personally have never been to the New England regionals but have seen pictures of how the horses were under water… I really dont understand why the regional isnt held at the Big E, from pictures ive seen of the regional and having been to the Big E grounds I would say its a lot nicer there.

    I dont think I will ever be willing to take the chance my horse will be under water, thats a lot of money to show in conditions like that and the NY regional is closer to home any way. Unfortunately the New England one does offer many more classes, I guess Ill just have to miss out or hope NY expands in the future.

  3. morgan_4_me says:

    I was thinking of making my first trip out there this year. Does anyone have photos of the problems?

  4. GoodLookinGal says:

    To Morgan 4 Me: Before you spend the money to send your horse, I think it might be smart to actually go see the show first. The animals are unbelievable, but when you find out how much it costs to have your horse in a run down stall that is flooded firsthand, you might want to see it with someone else poor horse in the stall. Just a suggestion.

  5. leslie says:

    If they move it I hope they don’t move it to the Big E. That would put the entire NE Morgan show circuit in all of two venues, assuming Maine Morgan stays in Deerfield. I feel like that would get boring (not that this affects me).

    I thought they were doing big time renovations to the three county fairgrounds this year.

  6. bella92290 says:

    I will say we have been lucky, our horses have not been underwater or I probably would not feel the way I do. I do not see the problem going away of judging with 25 horses in a class and one person trying to see it all. But I think we are all hoping for each judge to call it like they see it, not by who the horse, rider or barn is. I cannot speak for everyone though, just my little old self.

  7. Beth says:

    I think you have to consider the level of competition above all else. That trumps everything. This is (I beleive, correct me if I’m wrong)the largest show second only to worlds. I am not going to let a little rain stop me from competing against the best of the best. That said If I find out that I do not think I can get a fair shake from the judging panel, I may have cause to reconsider. The panel does look promising this year, I agree.
    Big E can not possibly accomodate the volume of horses, and the ring is smaller, plus showing outside is fun…the show won’t move.
    I think you have to appreciate the venue for what it is, the history, nostalgia, and the competition. I plan to be there. Look me up!


  8. parksaddle1024 says:

    Beth said it all right on point. There are not enough stalls or camper areas at the Big E, and the arena can hold 8 harness horses safely at best – any class bigger than that is normally reversed one at a time; saddle classes would have to be split in 2-3 sections – NE would need to be 2 weeks long! And going to Springfield 4 times/year is more than enough! Northhampton has some issues – no doubt (My horse and I trudged through 2 feet of water to get to the indoor two years in a row and you can go fishing in the puddles no lie!) – there are plans to renovate, but I wouldn’t bank on that happening any time soon, especially given today’s economy.
    I am on the fence about going to NE this year, and my family has shown there every year for over 25 years. The fees have gotten out of hand, and although most of the judging panel looks far more competent this year, last year’s panel was so bad I am going to think long and hard before I take a chance on wasting my time and money as I did last year! NE is, however, a wonderful experience to show or even to just go to watch! The management does an incredible job with what they have to work with, and most years mother nature doesn’t do them any favors. IMO it is one of the best managed shows on the circuit, and the history and atmosphere can not be matched.

  9. Scottfield03 says:

    So it is no secret that I was VERY unhappy with the judging of last year’s show. I don’t need to rehash my discontent. I think we all basically agreed that it stunk.

    So this year, my plan was to not commit my barn and client’s money to the show until I saw the judging panel. Good news! I think it is a very strong one this year. In regards to the water, Fred Nava really does do everything he possibly can to keep everyone happy and alleviate the water induced issues we all face there.

    There is nothing like showing there. The ring is amazing, and the history there is palpable. You can’t match the nostalgia of those grounds, and the horses are a different league. Often times, the classes are more fun to watch there than they are at OKC. The competition is that good!

    Given the great judging panel for 2009, you can count Scottfield Stables in!

  10. amahill says:

    Someone else said it, The Big E could not hold the number of horses and exhibitors that Northampton holds, Nor would it be New England Morgan. I personally have shown @ the big E with 14 driving horses in one class, and it was very difficult.

    The renovations on the grounds are I believe a 10 year project and will be done in sections. The weather is an issue every year, but we make the best of it. I can honestly say I look forward to this year more than I do OKC. It something about showing outside, on those grounds… Its just special. I for one won’t miss it.

  11. GoodLookinGal says:

    I am surprised at how many people are continuing to support this show. Good Luck!

  12. IED says:

    My barn is planning to attend the show, but I don’t think my own horse will go. Even though he had a great NE last year, I was not a fan of the grounds, parking, cancellations, flooding stalls and barn areas, or much of anything else. It does have a lot of amazing horses that attend, though, which is its only saving grace!

  13. markmhf says:

    I am sorry that a few of you have such a bad experience with New England.

    My family’s farm travels 1000 miles to the show each year and it is many of the clients’ favorite shows.

    It started about 15 years ago as a family vacation with two horses (we werent going to take any client horses, just show our own and have fun).

    It was so much fun, and the people out there were, and continue to be, so nice, we have always felt welcome and felt that they were happy to have us there.

    Now we take between 9-12 any given year and we love it. The camper is right there by our tent, which does flood most years. (we have figured out a somewhat efficient way of keeping our stalls dry and we work with our neighbors in the tent to keep them dry as well. As much as it does suck when it rains, we end up getting through it. It is all a part of being at New England (somewhere last year a picture of me keeping the drain flowing was floating around (pun intented), but thats another story).

    To me New England represents a special kind of atmosphere. A show and a ring where almost all of the great ones before us have shown, both horses and trainers. You often see once in a lifetime shows out of horses that lead to stories saying “remember when so and so made that show at New England. . . ” I personally have many that I will never forget.

    It is a show where the crowd will cheer for a horse that makes a great show, whether it was 1st or 6th and regardless of who’s barn it came out of. They simply love and appreciate a nice show horse.

    I think back to some of the grand old champion evenings I have seen there, just seeing the great older horses come back into the ring and the atmosphere surrounding it brings tears to your eyes.

    I think of all the friendships that are made at that show, (you really bond with people when you are digging trenches together :))

    Is the show expensive . .. yes. Is the judging often questioned . . . yes (however I do think that ring and how it is constructed is probably the hardest ring to judge in our breed with horses coming in from both sides and such long straightaways with one of them extremely narrow)

    New England represents such a link to our breed’s show history that just the chance to show where so many great ones have put on so many memorable performances gives you goosebumps (at least it did me).

    So for me personally, I will take the rain, the mud, the high prices which keep the fairgrounds together, and the often questioned judging . . . To me it is our breed’s Old Boston Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Madison Square Garden all rolled into one. It creates memories and experiences which last a lifetime.

    Mark Bodnar

    p.s. this ad was not paid for by the New England Show Committee :)

  14. GoodLookinGal says:

    Even though I disagree, I think you put it very well, Mark. This horse show does well because of the people and the horses that support it. I guess I just feel like for all of the people who pay good money to attend this important horse show, can’t they find the money to hire a team of judges, maybe even just for championships? And there has to be a solution to the water. Has to be! This is an important, expensive, prestigious show. And it takes place on the most dilapidated, beaten down grounds I’ve even been to. The grounds don’t seem to match the quality of the horses and people it houses. But as long as people go just because of the show being what it is, I guess the show committee has no real reason to change anything.

  15. Black Eye Beth says:

    I have only attended New England once and it was several years ago. I know I could probably sit down and figure this out (truth be told I can be sort of lazy sometimes), but for those of you who go, why, exactly, is it so expensive? Is it shipping or just the cost of living in that area causes the daily keep of the horses to be higher? Just wondered.

  16. StacyGRS says:

    for one, it’s a 7 day show…more day fees, more nights in a hotel, more meals out, etc. I agree with Mark on some points…it’s a great show, the atmosphere is incomparable, and I think the managment does the best they can with it. We’ve been a couple of times…California exhibitors don’t really show in the rain. SO…showing in the POURING rain and tromping thru puddles is quite a shock for them. We had a great time going and if it were closer would every year, but I’ll take the weather at Medallion thanks:):)

  17. morganrider says:

    Good thought Beth.
    I would be interested in understanding why the costs are so high especially given the state of the grounds. It may be the initial investment in making the grounds presentable and able to sustain a show of that size.
    We brought 2 horses last year but given the economy I might be less willing to take the good with the bad.
    The horses are spectacular and the people wonderful but is it where I want to spend the majority of my reduced pot of show money? I’m just not sure.

  18. nightmusicfarms says:

    If Mark isn’t on the Show Committee, he should be, as he summed it up perfectly. This show really is the Mecca of Morgan history and nothing else compares, in my opinion.

    If I lived on the East Coast, I would never miss it. It is an incredible, unforgettable experience.


  19. jdenzel says:

    By the grace of Dawn Fire my daughter got to go to New England last year. Beyond the rain and everything else she says it is the best show ever. And, she is willing to give up all other shows (other than Worlds, of course) to go again this year! Needless to say we will do everything we can as parents to make that possible! I got the impression from everything she has said that it is a combination of atmosphere and competition! She loved the large classes and the fact that everyone appeared to have fun in spite of the conditions. It is the epitome of horse shows!

  20. Beth says:

    Just a couple thoughts. I agree the show is more expensive because it is longer, it is REALLY hard not to end up being there all week. Hotels seem to be more expensive to me, I don’t know if they jack up the price or what, but I seem to spend a thousand and I don’t for other shows. As far as the water goes, I was told the grounds sit in a basin, so it’s the drainage that’s terrible. for those that haven’t been there, it rains and then the water sits there. All that said, I LOVED Marks thoughts. I missed last year because of injury and was heartbroken, bad judging and all!!!!


  21. GoodLookinGal says:

    There seems to be hesitation to put up real numbers here, but I don’t mind. My trainer is on the inexpensive end, and I know there are many people who pay a lot more to go to the show. My horse, who stables within 7 hours of the show grounds, cost about $2,800.00 including shipping, entries, and trainer’s fees. I spent about $1,200.00 on Hotel, $400 on food, and $300 on the farrier when I got home to replace the wet pads on his poor feet. So this show totals around $4,700.00. Same horse, same trainer, and a significant increase in shipping, and the World Championships cost be about $7,200. I am happy to spend more money to go to OKC and show out of those amazing stalls!

  22. Showgirl says:

    Personally, New England is my favorite show! The stalls where we stable rarely get flooded. It has been a tradition. The fairgrounds are huge, all the vendors, from sunday-sat it is a blast! As long as you come prepared for the rain!I know that I will be going this year and for many years to come!

  23. PlayMorBill says:

    Sammi & I have always loved New England.

    Mark Bodner said it all for us, so I won’t repeat all he said, but I’ll second his love of the history behind the horses that show there.

    On the other hand, My family (my mom, sister & her kids) do not like the show because it’s to hot/wet/long/expensive. Whiners all. :)

  24. PlayMorBill says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the StacyGRS is wheeny. That California sun has spoiled you rotten, girl!


  25. StacyGRS says:

    it has:):)I never knew that getting dressed for your class could happen without sweat and sticky clothes before I moved here! I thought sweating thru your shirt and vest in your class was part of it…but not here:) Occasionally we’ll have a day at Diamond Jubilee (first show of the year) that has some sprinkles or a particularly warm day at Santa Barbara, but in general our shows are in beach towns with cool temps, little humidity, no mud,and sunshine:) You’re just jealous Bill…lol! Perhaps this year you guys should take a fam vacation and watch SB…we’d love to see you out here and you can’t beat the town for a destination. Then you’ll see why I’m OK with being spoiled by it! In the meantime, I’ll watch for the pics of Mark trenching to be put up on this site and think of you guys in July:)
    btw..I do love NE and all it stands for and I think that moving it would be hard to do. When I think of NE I think of some of the cool pics that have been taken and painted of early morning works and evening classes warming up on the track.

  26. jns767 says:

    Well, IMO, I think you are all very fortunate to have the option of attending. Some, like myself, can only dream of going to such a prestigious show. I live vicariously through the “Morgan Connection” and “The Morgan Horse” magazines, and this website, wathing and reading every account of these shows where the best of the best compete. It stings a little to know that though I work hard, the day may never come where I have $4,000.00 and 7 days off to attend a horse show (though I would in a heart beat if I could). I’m not complaining though, I feel blessed to even have the opp. to show at all :). I can’t wait to hear about this years event – the weather just makes it more memorable right? lol

  27. empressive says:

    JNS you and I are in the same pot!

    I have 2 beautiful Morgan mares that if I ever get a sunny day in Cali again will get some good pics. SO Stacy please stop teasing Bill. These mares will probably never see the showring again with college and life’s little tolls. I do though ride very well and a ranch down the way enjoys the blues I bring to their barn.

    Still I will remember you JNS each time I make it to Starbucks to watch my fav’s show online whether streaming or on you-tube. No doubt the workers at Starbucks will remember me too. (I can hear myself, “YEAH GO MAN GO!” or “YOU CANT TOUCH THIS!” blah blah blah to my embarresment.) If any of you read this and smile great. Maybe I am not the horse crazy lunatic many make me out to be… Oh and thanks a billion to Black Eyed Beth for creating this site it is a saving grace.

  28. StacyGRS says:

    I assure you that Bill and I have teased each other plenty and both know we’re having fun (I believe he actually started it on another thread last year:). And don’t feel too sorry for him…he’s on one of the prettiest farms in the lush bluegrass of Ky with a barn full of superstars…he needs something to be jealous of:):)Weather is the best I can do:)
    BTW…I believe I met you at Equine Affaire…you went there and rode some Pasos and were dressed for your demo when you came over to the Morgan booth and chatted with me.
    The very facts that you are stating, JNS, are what make people start to rethink where and when they spend their money. The harder it is to come by, the more people want to enjoy every aspect of where they spend it. If someone is cutting down their shows this year to 1 or 2 they are going to start to really have to weigh the options of where to go and shows are going to have to vie for those dollars. NE, like all shows, will have to make sure the good outweighs the bad. It appears to some it does and to some it doesn’t right now. For me, if it were a reasonable distance from us, we’d go yearly. I like numbers…competition…the more the better and NE provides that better than any other show throughout the regular year. That’s the upside to NE to me. The aura and the sentimentality is icing on the cake, but the pure numbers are what made us haul our horses 3000 miles 2 years in a row to show there when we did.

  29. PlayMorBill says:

    Very funny, Stacy, funny but true!

    I’m not really jealous of you living out there in Ca- EARTHQUAKES -li- WILD FIRES -forn- MUD SLIDES -ia.

    I like four seasons, so I can FREEZE MY BUTT OFF for a few months a year.


  30. PlayMorBill says:

    Sammi & I waited 22 years to make it to New England, most of which was spent working twords that very goal.

    It was well worth the wait.

  31. amahill says:

    One of my favorite memories from NE last year was walking out of the end of our barn to see Mizrahi bouncing around with Sammi on the end of the lines on the track. Besides OKC, where can you see the best of the best.

    I love getting up early mornings to watch horses work.

    I can not imagine missing this show for anything. It is tradition that I will fight tooth and nail to keep on our show string.

  32. StacyGRS says:

    I’m not really jealous of you living out there in Ca- EARTHQUAKES -li- WILD FIRES -forn- MUD SLIDES -ia.

    hahaha…says the guy that just got to move back home after a week of no electricity:)
    The fires bother me…concerning when you are responsible for this many animals. The rest we take as the cost of not having ice and snow. So far, I like the trade off, but some do need more definate seasons…I just don’t happen to be one of them:)

  33. empressive says:

    Yeah that was me Stacy deep in thought. I had some people to show up. Actually my trainer. He has rarely EVER seen me ride and then after his brother had riden the mare I was riding and lost a money class at another show, I would ride.

    Still New England in the rain! Someday I will get to go and watch. Maybe not take my horses but, I will get watch! I personally love the rain I have been sitting outside the past week watching my horses kick up their heels.

    Still it is wonderful that this show has such a family friendly feeling. After watching youths and adults toss blue ribbons and shun others because of getting 2cd place in a class of 5. I am very happy to that besides the weather the atmosphere is so nice. Keep it up!

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