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Plans Underway for Greenville/J.D. Massey Horse Show History Museum

In April of 2008, the Greenville Horse Show and Fair, Inc will hold its Seventy-Fifth annual horse show event in Clemson, SC to benefit the JD Massey Classic Charities. To commemorate this special rendition of one of the longest consecutively running horse shows in the country, the Board of Directors and Friends of the Show are planning a Greenville/J.D. Massey Horse Show History Museum.  The Museum will be on the grounds of the T. Ed Garrison Arena and open to all who attend the show.


A few interesting tidbits we’ve come across in researching shows from the past:


  • In 1945, the show was only a one-day affair.  The permanent barns in Cleveland Park had burned and were not yet rebuilt.  “Invitations were issued” for only 100 horses to take part due to stabling restrictions, however, there were FIVE THOUSAND spectators in attendance at the one-day show!


  • In 1951 Miss Jolie Richardson showed her mare, Autumn Dawn, in both the Ladies Five-Gaited class and the Fine Harness Championship!


  • In 1952, horse folk from the town of Knoxville, TN accounted for over 50 horses at the show. There was a record-breaking number of 212 horses that year.


  • In 1955, the exhibitors were treated to an early morning breakfast on the rooftop of the Poinsett Hotel in Downtown Greenville.


  • In 1956, Mrs. H.H. Hanna and her sister Eloise Cason held a breakfast of hot biscuits, ham, grits, apples and other Southern delicacies AFTER THE SHOW ON STAKE NIGHT!

The idea for The Museum came about when some horsey friends were sitting around dinner talking about “back in the day.”  The hope is that this will create an atmosphere of fun and sharing in an educational venue that showcases the fine horses, owners, and trainers that have graced the Greenville/JD Massey ring over the last 75 years.


In preparing for The Museum to become a reality, we would like to issue an invitation to everyone - trainers, owners, and exhibitors - who has been involved with the show in any fashion at any time to contribute memorabilia pertaining to the history of the event.  If you have pictures, trophies, ribbons, videos, newspaper clippings, old show programs, etc. that you would like to contribute or questions you’d like to ask, please contact either Cynthia Farris-Kelly at 864-918-4393 ( or Juliet McDonald at 864-325-1275 (mcstonefield@aol). We would like to have items collected and catalogued by mid-February. 

There are two more things we want to ask of our horse show friends, past, present, and future who would like to participate in this fun and educational project: 

First, we encourage you to write down your favorite Greenville Horse Show story.  It can be about a particular horse, a trainer or exhibitor, a class that you remember, a funny story…anything that you remember about the Greenville Horse Show (or a JD Massey for the “younger” ones amongst us!)  We want to collect as many stories or memories as we can and combine them into a book.  We will then have this book available for each and every person who is at the 75th anniversary show. Just jot down your thoughts and fax, email, snail mail, or carrier pigeon to the address or fax number below.


Second, we are planning an insert into the program to “HONOR YOUR CHAMPION”.  We want to get as many pictures as possible of horses that have shown at the Greenville Horse Show since its beginning in 1933.  It could be a championship winner or just your own special champion that you would like honored in this keepsake issue of the program.  There will be a nominal charge to cover printing and any profits will go to the JD Massey Charities. 


Thanks for your interest and participation!  We’re looking forward to an exciting walk through Greenville Horse Show History!


Cynthia Farris-Kelly

Secretary, JD Massey Board of Directors   

PO Box 915

Travelers Rest, SC  29690

864 834-4227 (Fax)

864 918-4393(Voice)

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