Skip to content

Blue Ribbon Fun!

The 2004 North Carolina State Fair Horse Show was a large success and offered exhibitors and spectators alike, loads of “blue ribbon fun", which was the motto for this year's show.

A gloomy forecast early in the week gave way to pleasant temperatures and sunny skies. The show’s autumn timing set up a friendly seasonal decor rivalry between several barns. Forever Farm sported a larger-than-life inflatable witch and owner Liz McBride Jones was spotted ringside wearing a witch’s hat herself on several occasions. Joining in the fun, the Heads Up family lit up their barn with pumpkin shaped torches, a flamingo in witch’s guise, and various birthday decorations for trainer Myra Williams. Many other barns added bales of straw, dried corn stalks, pumpkins, and seasonal flowers to their usual displays, giving the show a festive fall atmosphere, perfect for a state fair.

Show manager Glenn Petty and show secretary Scarlett Matson, along with their staff, made the State Fair Horse Show a success despite several obstacles. This year, the fair’s nightly fireworks were moved to a venue directly across from the show arena. This could have been disastrous, but smart planning allowed most of the classes to be completed before the sky show began. Classes not completed were postponed to ensure everyone’s safety. This gave riders and horses the chance to watch as the night sky was lit up with color. The show staff was also very accommodating to exhibitors struggling with the infamous fair traffic. The office even sent utility vehicles to pick up lead liners stranded in the Saturday night sea of cars.

The diverse schedule of horse show classes provides all show goers the opportunity to enjoy many different breeds and disciplines. This year, the Saddlebreds, Morgans, Hackney Ponies, and Roadsters shared the expansive barn area with Arabians, Carriage Horses, Miniature Horses, Mules and Donkeys. In addition to quality competition, show goers also had the chance to enjoy interesting fair exhibits, exciting midway games and rides, and of course, tantalizing fair food. Vendors set up right outside the competition arena fed exhibitors everything from polish sausage and roasted corn to deep fried candy and frozen cheesecake. Many exhibitors succumbed to the temptation and many belts were loosened through the week.

As belts were being loosened, competition tightened. Overall, the division entries were slightly down, but the show certainly didn't decline in quality. Exhibitors came from across North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and several other states to join in the fun. Overall, the show was a great success, and much credit goes to the show staff and volunteers that made it possible. If you missed the fair this year, you missed a great time!

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • A Blast From The Past

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you a series of past feature stories on some of the greats of our sport. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Diamond Jubilee

    Let’s take a trip back to 2010 and remember some of the highlights of the Diamond Jubilee at the famed Del Mar Fairgrounds. Read More
  • UPHA Maria Knight Memorial Scholarship; Up to $10,000 Offered

    The UPHA Maria Knight Scholarship was established to honor UPHA Professional, Maria Knight and her commitment to providing a college education for her daughter... Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Acts of Courage

    I was never prouder to be a member of our association than when I saw the statement that was signed by so many of our members. Clearly, these are difficult times. Tough decisions have to be made. What is reassuring to me is that people are making those decisions and are acting with courage. Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Launches Educational Resources & Movie Club

    The American Saddlebred Museum has added online resources and educational offerings to its website. These resources include reading lists, activity sheets, coloring pages and writing prompts. Resources range from fun activities to true educational resources for educators. New activities will be added regularly to keep the page fresh and young minds active!   Read More
  • A Letter To UPHA Membership

    I hope this email finds you healthy and safe. These are frightening times for all. Our membership is unique: We are not just working to keep our families and staff safe; we are also tasked with providing the highest level of care for our horses and ponies. Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum – April 2020

    The Museum's first Movie Club meeting was a big success! Don't miss our next installment on April 11 at 3:00 p.m. EST when we will discuss Secretariat! Wondering how it works? The concept is similar to a book club, but you watch a movie instead of reading a book. Read More
  • JLC Launches Horsemen’s Relief Fund and

    The Joint Leadership Council (JLC) is taking an active role in assisting the trotting breed community during the COVID-19 pandemic by launching a Horsemen’s Relief Fund through the UPHA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. The JLC also has launched a website to help horsemen find federal assistance as well.  Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Pro-Am

    We won’t be heading to Pro-Am this week, so let’s reminisce about some of the memories. Here are some highlights from 2010 and you can share your memories... Read More