Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:47

55th Annual Saratoga Horse Show Underway

By Brian Cremo | Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The first week of the 55th consecutive Saratoga Springs Horse Show kicked off the outdoor season, beginning Wednesday with 500 stalls booked.

Last year, that number was 435.

Week one will continue through Sunday, May 4, while the second, which has over 500 stalls booked, runs from May 7-11.

As the first United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Premier Hunter and Level 4 Jumper outdoor show in the Northeast each year, the volunteer run charity event attracts horses from all along the east coast of the United States and Canada.

Held on a portion of the property of the newly named National Landmark and artist retreat Yaddo, and portions of the historic NYRA Saratoga Race Course, the Saratoga Springs Horse Show provides an up-close view of competing horses and equestrians competing in hunter, equitation and jumper selections.

With the events in three show rings, exhibitors range in age from around 4 years old through senior citizens.

“It’s a substantial difference from what goes on across the street (at the race course),” said Saratoga Springs Horse Show Sponsorship Coordinator Peggy Lynch. “The sport of horses just enjoyed in different capacities.”

Competition is set to start at 8 a.m. each day, as riders look to accumulate points for future championships, with the biggest special events for the opening show being the Saratoga Cup Grand Prix on Saturday, May 3 and the David B. Wood Cup Grand Prix on Saturday, May 10.

Both are set to start at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon featured the qualifying class for the Saratoga Cup Grand Prix, during the Welcome Stake.

“We have a large number of horses, though, so we might start some days a little earlier depending on the number of entries in each class,” Lynch said.

Non-profit vendors will be on both the NYRA and Yaddo grounds for viewers who have to pay just $4 to get in. Children under 12 are admitted free.

For Lynch, the 55-year tradition is helped most by volunteers and viewers who go to the show and end up speaking highly of it.

“We love to have spectators come,” Lynch said. “We have bleachers set up right at the ring so they can watch closely and see what is going on. Our food booth is fabulous. It’s all home-cooked food, so come out and shop at our vendors and enjoy the afternoon.”

Gaining the reputation of looking out for the riders has also helped the event remain successful.

“Word of mouth is the biggest thing that gets out there,” Lynch said. “Management really takes care of its riders. It is a rider horse show and that is the most important thing that we can do.”

An addition to last year’s event, the Thoroughbred Hunter Division, led the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, made a return this year. Thoroughbreds in a second career after retiring from the track competed on Wednesday and Thursday.

“That is a big thing—second chances for these animals,” Lynch said.

An addition to this year’s event is the webcast and telethon.

In conjunction with Productions East Media, The Capital Fund of Saratoga County, Inc. has helped get the Saratoga Springs Horse Show webcasted and cable casted as a telethon benefiting the almost 30 charities it has helped over the past two years.

Each of the show rings will be webcasted through the Saratoga Springs Horse Show website. The webcasting is “pay-to-donate,” so proceeds from the fee ($6 per hour after the first hour or $30 for the week) will go toward supporting the charities. In addition, a fourth channel will televise the telethon, which will feature interviews from the charities being supported and from the competitors and trainers at the show.

“I would like to thank all of our local sponsors and everyone who has helped with the horse show,” Lynch said. “We really appreciate all the sponsors who donate to the cause. We are a charity horse show and our proceeds are given out to as many charities as we can possibly manage.”

In addition, the telethon will be televised by Time-Warner cable on their public access channel. It will be a mixture of the three show rings and the telethon for free. There will still be the opportunity to donate.

“We are excited to bring this technology to our horse show and to be able to reach so many in our efforts to help others in need” said Tom Fueston, President of the Capital Fund.

For more information, contact Tom Fueston at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (518) 490-1214 or visit www.saratogaspringshorseshow.com. You can also write to Capital Fund of Saratoga County, Inc., P.O. Box 1310, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

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