Skip to content

Twin State Finishes Better Than Big Brown



by Bob Funkhouser

DEERFIELD, N.H. - The first weekend in June is welcomed by many of the New England exhibitors as they get to spend an enjoyable few days on the picturesque Deerfield Fairgrounds of New Hampshire. The site of several shows throughout the year, Deerfield again played host to the 23rd annual Twin State American Saddlebred Association Horse Show.

In many ways it’s a step back into yesteryear as the atmosphere is that of a grass roots county fair, yet the quality of horse and rider - especially this year - in many cases is up there with anything you’ll find on the upper East Coast. The spacious facility along with its towering trees and grandstands makes for a most beautiful setting. Deerfield is also one of the few outdoor facilities that could have withstood the amount of rain that fell over two days and still have a horse show.

What makes this show so different than the others held there are the show committee and the attitude of the exhibitors. It’s a show where you can let your hair down and enjoy it, but still be very competitive. Show Manager Sue Arthur and her crew, starting with the ladies in the office, always have a smile on their faces and are always asking what they can do for the exhibitor.

Arthur has a veteran crew that includes Show Secretary Mary Wahl and her assistants Skeeter Balch and Christine Balch, along with ringmasters Larry Wahl and Barry Caisse, organist Nancy Roberts, stable superintendent Ron Boucher, photographer Ted Douglass, videographer Blue Ribbon Video and new announcer Andy Bailey who added a lot to the weekend’s festivities. Jay Wood from Plato, Minn., made his first visit to New England and did a good job in the Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney divisions.

Socializing is right up there with showing horses when it comes to Twin State. In addition to the many individual gatherings across the grounds throughout the weekend there was a move-in pizza party, a "Have Your Cake And Eat It Too" party, and the now famous Saturday afternoon Belmont Race Cookout. Hosted by Northgate Stables, Rocking Horse Farm, Miscoe Meadow and friends, the annual party has grown from a few barns getting together and cooking out for the Belmont race to a full fledge exhibitors’ party. Hundreds of pounds of ribs, steak tips, chicken, deep fried turkey, hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked and served prior to the oh-so-disappointing Belmont Race where Big Brown reminded us all what horses are capable of doing… or in this case, not doing.

With great food and a couple betting pools for the race, several hundred exhibitors gathered around to celebrate the weekend, watch the horse race and then cheer on their own barns in the "Battle Of The Jog Carts" chariot race. These hearty exhibitors had endured a day and half of solid rain followed by two days of unseasonably hot temperatures, yet were still having a great time.

From academy riders to world’s champion performers, there was a good mix of horses and riders in the ring representing the Saddlebred, Morgan, Hackney and Friesian breeds. Judge Wood had his work cut out for him in many instances and when all was said and done, Twin State ’08 went down in the record books as another success.

More Stories

  • Dayton Horse Show Update

    After speculation that 2017 would be the final Dayton Horse Show, officials have announced that there would indeed be a 2018 show. Held at the historic Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Dayton, Ohio for many years, the does have to change locations for its 151st edition due to the Fairgrounds being sold. Read More
  • Obituary - Dr. Ronald A. Hendricks

    Dr. Ronald A. Hendricks, age 66 of Lenoir City, formerly of Clinton, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from complications following a stroke in November. Ronnie had degrees in engineering and dentistry. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Memphis, Memphis State and Cleveland State Community College... Read More
  • Did You Know?

    Our interactive website offers a variety of useful and unique tools for our readers. We aim to help our readers learn to navigate our new website, as well as gain a firm understanding of all the comprehensive features that it offers. Check in weekly with our Did You Know news series, as we show you the ins and outs of www.saddlehorsereport.com. Read More
  • ASHA Announces Partnership with US Equestrian in the new USEF Competition Lite Program

    ASHA is pleased to announce the partnership between United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) and ASHA to offer the new USEF Competition Lite category... Read More
  • Schedule Set For 33rd Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Auction

    The 33rd annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Service Auction will be held Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Thunder Bay Restaurant in Milwaukee Wisc. The event begins at 11:00 AM with a buffet brunch followed by the annual meeting at 12:30 PM. The live stallion service auction will begin at 1:00 PM, featuring the nation's top producing stallions... Read More
  • Beamer Helps Rescue Horses from Lilac Fire

    Barbara Beamer joined scores of neighbors, friends, volunteers and community members to help transport and shelter horses and pets displaced in the Lilac Fire which decimated the San Luis Rey Training Center and is still burning in San Diego County. Read More
  • Latest Issue Dec 11 17

    Read More
  • Morgan Weanling Gala 2018

    Plans are underway for the 10th edition of the Morgan Weanling Gala to be held in 2018. In the years since the Morgan Weanling Gala (MWG) was launched, it has become a much-anticipated event each year. The program individually promotes each of the Nominated Stallions on both the MWG Facebook Page and website... Read More
  • Selection Trials at William Woods University

    After impressive showings at the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, 12 riders were chosen to represent the United States at the 2018 Saddle Seat World Cup. Thirty-two aspiring athletes from 18 states tried out at William Woods University on Saturday... Read More
  • American Saddlebreds to Light Up Kannapolis Parade of Lights This Weekend

    The Carolinas American Saddlebred parade unit will be leading this year’s Kannapolis Parade of Lights Grand Marshal, Mrs. Martha Earnhardt during the event on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 6 PM at the intersection of Main St. and Dale Earnhardt Blvd in Kannapolis, NC. Read More