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19th Annual Children’s Benefit Horse Show

by Sharon Ellingwood 

 QUENTIN, Pa. - American poet William Carlos Williams wrote, "In summer, the song sings itself." With wonderful weather in the full bloom of summer, the Quentin Riding Club in Quentin, Pa., was a wonderful place for exhibitors, spectators and trainers to enjoy a summer week at the 19th annual Children’s Benefit Horse Show, July 23-26, 2008. Sponsored by United Professional Horsemen’s Association Chapter 15, it is a lovely place to show outdoors at the most beautiful time of the year. The riding club facilities are accommodating to all, particularly with well-lit, spacious warm up areas and covered spectator areas. With all classes placed into an evening program, close access to the thrill rides and shopping in the Hershey, Pa., area and bucolic pace in the countryside to the southeast in Lancaster County, there was something for everybody.

This year, a lingering gentle rain hung around the day before the show opened and potential bad weather only threatened on show days making the days pleasant with the worst of the heat and humidity at bay.

Show Manager Andrew Shupe made everything comfortable from beginning to end. With the help of his wonderful office staff, Shupe kept everything on the extensive grounds running smoothly. Horse show chairperson and announcer Robert Klinefelter wore many hats throughout the week and was always ready to lend a hand. Patti Schooley managed the office along with her capable staff with great attention to detail, and is among the most pleasant in the business to work with. UPHA Chapter 15 representatives Tara Wentz and Nealia McCracken helped to coordinate the show, and as two of the busiest professional horse trainers in the business, they know what horsemen want. They have a hand in making things attractive to everyone involved.

Barbe J. Smith traveled from New Orleans, La., to take the judging responsibilities. Numbers were down a bit, as things have been at many shows this year undoubtedly with the pinch of fuel prices and rising feed, bedding and travel costs but quality was not sacrificed. Some of the smallest classes had the highest caliber of horses, with their eyes on a final preparation for Louisville in August.

The hospitality tent was a hotspot of activity all week. Little Lexington Farm and Skip Shenker welcomed everyone on Wednesday to relax for the tomato and corn roast after the final day of preparations before showing began. Fans of ice cream took a break for a cool treat all week long thanks to the Pennsylvania Saddle Horse Association. The exhibitors’ party on Friday offered a feast of the best Pennsylvania Dutch country had to offer. Everything was straight from the farm and from the ice cream to the shoo fly pie, homemade from scratch. It is a meal exhibitors will boast about all year long. Sam and Katie Miller were again the gracious hosts working many hours on site to make everything perfect for everyone.

Friday night also hosted a pink ribbon night to benefit breast cancer research. Exhibitors in the winner’s circle found themselves awarded with extra pink ribbons prizes generously donated to assist in awareness and fundraising to help stop this deadly disease and encourage people to become educated and find ways to ensure early detection. Show Co-Chairperson Tara Wentz and organizer Kathleen Vervelli launched a campaign for fundraising and awareness that included a silent auction featuring a horseshoe and pink ribbon pin donated by Churchwell’s that brought over $400, along with many other beautiful prizes.

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