Dates Of Event: July 26-30, 2016
Location: Three County Fairgrounds, 54 Fair St, Northampton, MA
Hours: The day I went there was an all day event, climaxing in a celebratory event in the evening at he fairgrounds. The events began at 10.
Parking: There is a free parking lot across the way from the fairgrounds which holds about 40-50 cars.
Dog Friendly: Yes
Fun For One: Not so much, unless you really love horses
Highlights: horses, competitions, skilled riders of all ages
Lowlights: lack of concession stands, seating for most spectators is not close to the riding area (you can stand at the fence to watch though)
Every year, the New England Morgan Horse Association holds a special event to display the best riders in their organization (some come as far as Idaho and even farther away). The 5 day event displays riders of every age group and skill set. While the youngest riders stick to walking and a light trot, some of the more experienced riders showed off their advanced skill sets like this harness rider.
The poise and skills of all of the riders in every age group was remarkable. Just watching children smiling and having a fun time while riding such powerful and majestic animals was impressive. I felt a surge of pride for these kids I didn’t even know!
One class of riders was as young as 11 and under. But, they were great. At their ages, I was riding the coin operated horses outside of the department stores at the mall. Something I was not aware of is the riders will often make “clicking” or “kissing”sounds to communicate with the horse.
We could not stay for the all day event. But, the two hours we spent was jam packed with competitions, shows and riders trotting with their horses.
I didn’t see much along the lines of concession stands, except for a lemonade truck. But, since it is a free event, you could leave to get lunch at one of the many fine dining establishments in the Northampton area (try Jake’s or Sylvester’s) and re-enter at your leisure.
One of the great things about the event was the attire of the riders. From the glitzy too the more traditional, they all looked great.
And yes, they even let dogs into the event. In fact, I saw quite a few dogs at the horse show like Rylee, a 5 year old flat coated retriever.
And Annie, a Jack Russell mix. Annie’s mom saved her at a rescue shelter.
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