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Twin State Rallies With Strong Turnout

by Bob Funkhouser


DEERFIELD, N.H. - If someone were looking for a show to take potential first time horse buyers to convince them that this is what they would want to spend their family recreational money on, Twin State would be one of the first stops.


Produced by the Twin State American Saddlebred Association, this Deerfield, N.H., show has so many of the ingredients that all of us who have been in the industry for a long time remember growing up with. It has a county fair ambiance with a great show ring that can withstand inclement weather, a great social schedule for all to enjoy and a varied and competitive class list.


Even with all of these factors the show, which just celebrated its 22nd year, had been struggling on the Saddlebred side for the last couple of years. A core group of New Hampshire trainers and the show committee members got together and made a great effort to get the Saddlebred population back to Twin State and it showed as they were up more than 40 horses.


This group sent posters and other materials as well as to different association meetings back in the winter to ask trainers and exhibitors to come to the show and to help with sponsorships. Their cry for help did not go unnoticed.


Barns that hadn’t been in years were on hand and as stable superintendent Ron Boucher said, “It was virtually a sell out. I had a stall here and there, but there were no blocks available.”


A multi-breed show with Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans, Friesians, Arabians and Half Arabians, Twin State still has a ways to go to get the Saddlebred attendance back to full strength, but this was more than a step in the right direction.


Sue Arthur took over as manager for the first time and her excellent staff included show secretary Mary Wahl who was assisted by Skeeter Balch, announcer Christine Balch who in her second year did another great job, familiar ringmasters Larry Wahl and Barry Caisse, Twin State regular steward Jo Hight, organist Nancy Roberts and photographer Terri Washburn who made her first visit to the Deerfield fairgrounds. Anne Judd presided over the Saddlebred, Hackney, Morgan and Friesian classes, while Sue English judged the Arabian, Half Arabian and hunter classes.


Sue Arthur, Larry Wahl and Jo Hight,

part of the official family that enjoyed

a really upbeat Twin State show.


With barns scattered among the tall trees of the Deerfield fairgrounds there is a serene setting which immediately takes you away from some of the tension-filled bigger shows and show grounds. When the weather is nice - which it was for the majority of the time – barn families sit outside with their grills and coolers trading jabs at each other about who is going to win what class. They helped each other with their horses and ponies and yet when it came time to go the show ring it was business as usual.


Adding to the relaxing, fun-filled atmosphere, the show committee kept everyone well fed. Officials enjoyed the show as they have many great home cooked meals prepared for them in the kitchen of the club house/show office. Exhibitors on the other hand are treated to a variety of parties that began the night before the show started with the Moving In Pizza Party.


From pizza before the show began to lobster on opening night, it was a week to remember. For years Marsha Garone has wanted to have a lobster party at one of the New England horse shows and this year she got it done. Spearheaded by Rusty Morrison and Wendy and Tim Good, the Fairfield South Lobster Party was an added touch like no other! Before the start of the Friday evening session exhibitors gathered for a feast that included robust lobster, corn on the cob, rolls and drinks. Except for the cracking of lobster shells there was a strange quiet as picnic table after picnic table were filled with exhibitors extremely focused on the feast in front of them. It was quite a production from the entire Fairfield South family as they prepared and served the dinner, not to mention cleaned up.


“We had so much fun being back here at Twin State,” said Marsha Garone. “It’s a great place for the customers to enjoy.”


As if that weren’t enough, the next day exhibitors gathered at the Northgate Stables barn area for the now annual Belmont Party. What started a few years ago as a couple of barns getting together and cooking in between sessions on Saturday has turned into a full fledge exhibitors’ party with a big screen TV for the race and an opportunity to try your luck on the horses. This year it was sponsored by Phoenix Stables and the Twin State Horse Show.


Organized by Northgate Stables, Rocking Horse Farm, Bob Funkhouser and L.M. Turner Stables, the Belmont Party featured 180 pounds of ribs, steak tips and chicken to go with 150 hamburgers, 150 hot dogs, four deep fried turkeys, 45 pounds of potato salad and all the fixins. For those who have never had Courtney Cahill’s steak tips and chicken, not to mention her Belmont Punch or Bob Funkhouser’s ribs you’ve really missed out. Cooks for the event included Mike Matozzi, Dave Rogers, Paul Simard, Ken Logan, John Lampropoulos and Bob Funkhouser.


Right before the Belmont Race went off, Twin State had a race of its own. On the straightaway right beside where the exhibitors’ party was taking place the first Twin State Chariot Race was held. Junior exhibitors, many in some sort of costume, pulled their trainers in jog carts that were decorated to all degrees. Several hilarious heats were needed to determine the winner that ended up being Tyler Lampropoulos, Dylan Spence and Sam Kenny pulling Becky Fish.


“Everyone had a wonderful spirit coming in and that just continued,” said Twin State first year manager Sue Arthur. “We are really blessed to have a wonderful committee who worked hard. I also can’t thank former manger Helen Fenton enough for all that she did in laying the groundwork for this.


“I think everyone had a great time with the wonderful parties, the Chariot Race and some very competitive classes. It’s really a great family show with everything from beginners to horses and ponies who will be at Louisville and Oklahoma.”


This highlights the Twin State Horse Show. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.



Seen at Twin State:


In her first show out of academy, Kate Green

rode her grandmother’s [Elizabeth McCracken]

Midnight Eclipse to win the Walk Trot Pleasure

Saddle Seat Championship. The week before

Midnight Eclipse won Devon’s Country Pleasure

Driving classes with McCracken driving.


Diane Tambussi and Mystery Guest

swept the Amateur Three-Gaited Park

Championship and qualifier under the

direction of Rob Turner.


Cater Stables had horses showing at both

Twin State and Connecticut Morgan. David

Cater directed Caroline Deshaies and Berry

Garcia to the Twin State Five-Gaited

Pleasure Grand Championship.


Irene York was proud of her Megabucks,

winner of the Hackney Pony Championship

with John Lampropoulos.


Nicholas Villa went to Devon, then

to Twin State to help support the

American Saddlebred and both shows.


Erica Faulkner and her young star,

Charm’s Choice, were the Adult Show Pleasure

Grand Champions in a good class.


Jan Beardsley Blanco debuted Unclaimed
to win the Show Pleasure Driving Championship.

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