Horse Show Class Descriptions

Val and her boys

Considering that the Spectacular will be the first horse show for some folks, we’d like to get as much information out as possible about the events and classes.  Here are brief descriptions of each class; we hope this helps!  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact Bonnie McCutcheon at 540-605-6311  or halfdraft100@gmail.com – or send us your questions via the contact page on this site.

Horse Pull Classes:  Class 30 and class 29 are both horse pull classes.  In each class the horse / horses will be hooked to a loaded sled.  After each entry has pulled the same load, additional weight will be added to the sled.  Specifics, rules and regulations relative to the pull will be given at the drivers meeting preceding the event.  Winner is the horse or team pulling the most weight the longest distance.

Halter Classes:

Young Handler #1.  This class is open to children.  It is divided into two divisions.  In each class the handler is being judged, not the horse.  The “a” division must have an adult in the ring with them but the adult may not do the setting up, etc. for them.  The “b” division does not need to have an adult but an adult may go into the ring with them.  Horses will work as directed by the judge.

Classes 2 through 16.  Each horse will be presented in the ring by a handler on the line.  At the discretion of the judge the horses will move in a pattern designated by the judge.  Walk toward, trot away, stop at cone, etc.  This is not a pattern class but the pattern is necessary to judge the movement of the horse.  Each horse will be presented in either a halter or a bridle.  Horses do not have to be braided.  Presentation requires that horse, handler and attire be clean, neat and workman-like.  Fancy is not necessary.

Classes 12, 13 and 14 – Champion Stallions, Mares and Geldings.  The winner and second-place horse in each of the halter classes 2 through 8 will compete in their respective Champion class.  Champion classes have NO ENTRY FEE.

Class 17 – Best Foot.  The hooves of the horse will be judged on the basis of substance to size of the horse, condition, trim and overall appearance.  The hooves may be shod or unshod.  If shod, consideration will be given to the shoeing job done.

Class 18 – Lead Line.  Open to youngsters 12 years of age and younger.  Horse will be led by parent or handler.  Horse will be ridden bareback, English or Western.

Classes 19 and 24 – Ridden Suffolk, Hunter and Ridden Suffolk, Western.  Horses will move both ways of the ring.  Horses will be asked to walk and trot both ways of the ring at the discretion of the judge.  Will be asked to back.

Classes 20 and 23 – Farm Team Class and Single Farm Horse.  Horses will be presented in full harness.  They will be ground driven by the driver and perform as requested by the judge.  They will be judged on responsiveness, suitability and appearance.

Class 21 – Single Horse to Vehicle.  Horses will be presented to either a forecart, cart or a 4 wheeled vehicle.  Will work as directed by the judge both ways of the ring.

Class 23 – Youth Driver.  Driver must be 17 years of age or younger.  All drivers 12 years old or younger MUST have an adult on the vehicle with them.  Drivers over 12 years of age may have an adult with them.  They will be asked to perform both ways of the ring and at the discretion of the judge.

Classes may be combined if deemed necessary.

Sign up, let’s go to the Horse Show!

Hello everyone!  All the required forms you will need for attending the Spectacular – with or without horses – are ready to use and posted as .pdf files on the Forms page on this website.  Just a few things to mention; we need these mailed by 18 September so we can finalize logistics once we know how many people and horses to expect.

Also, children 12 and under will not be charged admission, they come for free.

Lastly, if you experience any difficulties opening these files, have questions, or if you find errors that should be corrected, please send a short email to northamericansuffolkpunch@gmail.com, we’re happy to help and want this process to work smoothly for everyone.

Thanks, hope to hear from all of you soon!

Show Business!

By guest blogger Leah Haney

Foxie standing square.jpg

I’ve been showing draft horses and ponies in New England for almost 15 years. In the state of Maine we are very blessed with a big system of agricultural fairs.  I believe we have 24 fairs total with just over half of them supporting a draft horse and pony show.  There is plenty of opportunity here to get your horse out and about.

Showing drafts at halter is one of my favorite activities.  I remember sitting on the sidelines as a kid in awe of these big beautiful horses trotting into the ring.  I’ve never lost my appreciation for a well fitted horse!  When my Suffolk filly ‘Cornish King’s Lightning’ (We call her Foxy) turned three this year and we felt she was ready to have some off the farm experiences I immediately lined us up some trips out to show at halter!

Leah and Foxie tail

To be ready for the show ring, I would spend just five minutes before or after each workout asking Foxy to walk and trot on the lead.  This helped me find out her most comfortable speed at the trot ( we don’t spend much time trotting pulling the drag in the pasture or twitching logs ) and once I knew where her comfort zone was, always encouraging her to maintain  that speed, not falling behind or taking off with silly three year old leaps.   It didn’t take my little red filly very long to understand the program.

The other important piece of showing at halter is standing square in front of the judge for the inspection. Anytime my husband and I have Foxy out on the lead we ask her to “stand square” when she stops.  If she whoa’s with one leg in front of the other we always adjust until she’s square.  She’s now beginning to adjust herself automatically every time she stops!

Foxie at the trot

The week before there is a show we clip her her bridle path, whiskers, and hair under chin up nice and clean.  The night before the show she gets a good scrub down with shampoo, we rinse her well, and then brush some show sheen into her coat so anything she rolls in overnight won’t stick!  That way she only needs a good brush down in the morning before we leave.

We’ve attended two shows so far this year and I’m so happy to say those little five minute lessons were well worth the time invested.  Foxy has handled the show ring like a veteran horse.  Though we haven’t placed well under the judge, we have received compliments from many of our competitors on her excellent feet, bone, and the copper shine in her coat.  The fact that many of these compliments are coming from people who are mainly in the hitch horse business, makes me even more proud.

I am so excited to see the ring full of nothing but big red horses on the line at the Spectacular in October.  Present your horses to the judge to the best of your ability and to quote Ms. Val Barnica, be “Proud As Punch” of all your hard work!