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Take Your Pick Of The Seasons At The Vermont Spring Classic

by Diana Davidson

Posted May 30, 2002

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Spring showers and even downpours are nothing new; and it has been said that April showers bring May flowers. However, it is unexpected even in New England when the liquid precipitation on May 18 comes in the form of snow! It is not the first time that the Vermont Spring Classic has been burdened by inclement weather. However, it may be the first time that the weather included snow.

Weather is the friend and/or foe of every horse show manager and no amount of hard work and preparation by manager Hayes Sogoloff and his show committee can control the weather. The Vermont Spring Classic began on a cool Wednesday and continued on with warmer weather on Thursday and Friday, however it was the bitterly cold and wet Saturday that many will most remember. Through fairgrounds improvements, a majority of the stables did enjoy indoor stabling enabling the horses and exhibitors to remain largely warmer and drier.

While numbers were on the light side at the show, the weather really did not seem to deter those in attendance from showing back on Saturday. After all, when you team up America's first breed and it's New England exhibitors, what would expect other than for the show to go on.

There were many show ring highlights at the Three County Fairgrounds on May 15-18 of top returning champions, new team debuting and emerging young stars. The show also featured a number of other highlights including the Vermont Select Yearling Sale (see separate story), Thursday and Friday evening exhibitors parties, and the Youth Of The Year Contest. The youth contest sponsored in memory of Claudia Sargent featured Sarah Richards earning an opportunity to represent Vermont in Oklahoma as Senior Youth Of The Year while Kelli-Ann Monroe earned the Junior Youth Of The Year honors.

Show manager Hayes Sogoloff had this to say about the show, "We had hoped to return to 300 horses this year by holding the Vermont Select Yearling Sale. We fell short, due in part to the recent retirements of a couple trainers who had been staunch supporters of the show plus the absences of a few of the regions top stables who had been longtime participants. We truly miss them! In addition, Massachusetts holds mandatory achievement tests during our week, which affects many Junior Exhibitors."

Sogoloff went on to say, "Although we can offer over 245 indoor stalls, we may need to rethink our location and dates in order to attract more exhibitors."

Sogoloff was once again assisted in his managerial role by Lewis Springer while John Raymond included on his list of duties, bursar and stable manager. Jewel Marsh and husband Bob kept the show office in smooth running order. Bill Carrington made the trip back up north to make all of the winning calls again this year. Helen Fenton was ringside as USAE Steward while Col. James Marsh and Eric Tasker shared the ringmaster duties. Tim Keller served as the farrier with Dr. Kris Koss returning as show veterinarian. Casey McBride snapped up all of the winning photos while World Champion Video taped all of the memories.

This year's judging panel included, Kathleen Peeples (Mares in Hand, Western Pleasure, Pleasure Driving, Park Harness, Classic Pleasure Saddle, Hunter Pleasure, and Equitation); Gerry Rushton (Stallions and Geldings in Hand, Park Saddle, English Pleasure, Classic Pleasure Driving, Road Hack and Roadster); Janet Briggs (Dressage); Billie Hill (Carriage Driving) and Pam Hunt (Working Hunter).

For complete show coverage see the May 27th issue of Saddle Horse Report

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