Guide to the 68th Annual Germantown Charity Horse Show
No worries if you don’t bring your own supper. Food vendors at the show have barbecue plates with all the trimmings, ice cream, smoothies, funnel cakes, popcorn, cotton candy, special coffees, and more. Shop from the merchandise vendors on the hill for tack, leather goods, jewelry, hats, t-shirts, and every horse-themed item you can imagine.
The Germantown Charity is the area’s only All Breed show, with Hunters and Jumpers, Paso Finos, American Saddlebreds, Gypsy Vanners (our equine feathered friends), Tennessee Walking Horses, Carriage Horses, and Racking Horses. Each night features a particular breed of horse in the SHOWCASE OF THE STARS – first showing what the horse does best in the ring, and then in a ringside stall for a close encounter.
Daytime performances of the hunters start at 7:30 a.m. and include AA-rated divisions, such as the $1750 High Performance Working Hunter; $3,000 Conformation Hunter; $1500 Amateur Owner Working Hunter; $1000 Small and Large Junior Hunter divisions; $1000 Small, Medium, and Large Pony Hunter divisions. There are also the WTHJA Hunter and the Equitation divisions. Medal classes include WTHJA Horse and Pony Medals; ASPCA/Maclay Horsemanship; Marshall & Sterling/U.S. Pony Medal; Pessoa/U.S. Hunter Seat Medal; and more. For a complete list of the hunter classes, check: http://gchs.org/hunter-classes/
Jumper classes range in height from 1.0m to 1.45m, with Children’s Jumper, Adult Amateur Jumper, Modified Jumper, and the 1.30/1.40m Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper. A full list of jumper classes is at: http://gchs.org/jumper-classes/.
Nightly performances start around 4:00-5:00 p.m. and offer a variety of equestrian classes, with riders competing for ribbons, trophies, and championship money. Visit with Charity, the horse show mascot, as he makes his way around the stands to pose for photographs and welcome folks to the show. The beautiful Charity Horse Show Royalty will be at the show every day and evening presenting the ribbons and trophies. Following are some the highlights of the show. A full schedule is available at: http://gchs.org.
Tuesday evening, June 7, begins with the hunter/jumper Versatility Challenge and the presentation of The Keepsake Perpetual Trophy. The winning horse in this class must perform well in both hunter style, and at speed, jumper style. Next is the Costume Class, with kids and horses dressed up in a wide array of imaginative costumes. New this year are the Sidesaddle classes, which begin tonight over fences and continue with pleasure classes.
Wednesday evening, June 8, begins with the $15,000 Welcome Stakes jumper class, followed by the Lead Line class, in which you’ll see some of the cutest future riders anywhere! This is the night of the exciting Media Class, with local TV and radio celebrities riding horses, some for the first time. Carriage Driving begins on Wednesday and continues each night, through Saturday night’s Championship.
Thursday evening, June 9, begins with the exciting $5,000 Gambler’s Choice jumper class, sponsored by the Harold Walker family. Each jump is worth a number of points and riders choose their own line to accumulate the most points in the fastest time. The tone settles a bit for Gypsy Vanner Dressage. Then the pace rockets, as Thursday and Friday nights feature the Speed Racking heats. These fast-paced racking horses are a crowd favorite, as they race around the arena. Be sure to come back on Saturday night, when the best five of the two heats will race for the Championship.
Start your weekend on Friday night, June 10, with the second rounds of the Pony Hunter Classic and the Germantown Hunter Classic. The riders will be dressed formally in “tails;” maybe you will, too! The Memphis Mounted Patrol performs the flag ceremony opening tonight’s performance. The Gypsy Vanners will show At Liberty in the arena. Carriage Driving fun continues with the Scurry Races, as drivers negotiate through a set of obstacles barely wide enough for the carriages.
The exciting grand finale begins early on Saturday evening, June 11, with the $25,000 Grand Prix of Germantown, sponsored by Conway Services. Get there early (by 4:00 p.m.) to get a seat and see all the action. Olympic Gold Medalist and author Melanie Smith Taylor will, again, be on hand to provide commentary and a course preview of the Grand Prix. Melanie will be signing her books at the Saddles N’ Such booth. Don’t go away, because next are the Stick Horse Races and the “Old West Special Trails Grand Entry Team,” performing choreographed movements on horseback. You won’t want to miss tonight’s cutest and Best Carriage Dog class! Afterwards, the Pyramid Vodka Challenge lightens up the evening, as riders on their smoothest moving horses see how long they can ride without spilling a glass of vodka. The competition continues with the $2,000 Speed Racking Finals, and championship classes in most divisions, choosing the week’s best performing horses.
It’s a fun-packed week of equestrian competition and entertainment, food, shopping, and a chance to visit with old friends. Tickets are only $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children – so bring the whole family and enjoy a Germantown tradition with modern day excitement! All proceeds from the show benefit the Exchange Club Family Center, which helps break the cycle of child abuse and neglect.
Meet your friends at 7745 Poplar Pike, Germantown, TN. For more information, call 901-754-0009 and visit: http://gchs.org.
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