PQHA's 2016 Mid-Summer Madness Show Is a Wrap
The Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association saw more than 6,700 entries at the event held July 14-17.
By Rita McMullen | July 16, 2016
Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal
The six-judge show, which was held July 14-17, had more than 6700 entries in a variety of classes, including Rookie, Level 1 Youth, Amateur, Walk-Trot and Equestrians with Disabilities. The event kicked off on Wednesday with the all-novice show, which had more than 525 entries.
“The show entries increased over 10 percent from 2015," said Brenda Campbell, PQHA Novice Show Chairman. "Exhibitors appreciated an earlier finish time, thanks to adding two judges and two arenas this year.”
During the four days, more than $36,000 was awarded to exhibitors in cash and prizes, thanks to the generosity of many sponsors. Circuit awards were given in each class, as well as eight high-point awards.
AQHA’s Director of Shows Patti Carter was in attendance and greeted exhibitors and answered questions during a free pizza party.
“I am very impressed by the fact that this show is run very smoothly by our affiliate, PQHA.” Carter stated. “It is wonderful to see the participation of the exhibitors in the classes and we are encouraged by the numbers in the Rookie and Level 1 classes. This show was #11 in the nation with over 6,500 entries in 2015 by AQHA.”
“We do our best to make this show exhibitor-friendly,” Ed Campbell, PQHA Show Manager, stated. “We reconfigured the entrance to the outdoor arena, which worked out very well to get exhibitors in and out of the arena. Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers for helping to keep things moving smoothly. Thanks also to Patti Carter, who was very impressed with the quality of horses and the well-run show.”
PQHA was also proud to host Lauren Harrington, All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen from Fairview, Pennsylvania. She actively greeted exhibitors and assisted with awards.
“PQHA was honored to have Lauren join us at our show. Her enthusiastic attitude and love of horses was a great example to all of our exhibitors and she was a great help with all of our awards,” stated Carla Weaver, PQHA President.
Lauren was also assisted by the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association Queen, Aubrey Braham from Grove City, Pennsylvania, who will compete and represent PQHA at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio this October.
Pennsylvania state and Centre County officials were also given a tour of the facility and show on Thursday. Centre County Grange Equine Park is looking at future expansion, including plans to cover the outdoor arenas and possibly build more barns.
“It all computes to economic development for Centre County and equine growth in Pennsylvania,” states Darlene Confer, General Manager of Centre County Grange Park. “Our equine facility is booked almost every weekend April through October and we want to be able to grow and offer a quality facility.”
One of the youngest spectators in attendance was Charlotte Rose Miller from Reidsville, North Carolina. Charlotte is six weeks old and this was the third horse show she’s attended. She is the daughter of Keith and Sydney Miller. This was Sydney’s first time exhibiting since Charlotte’s birth.
“We love coming back home to this show and Pennsylvania. We brought nine horses [to] show this week. The facility, management and class numbers are a draw to this show,” Keith stated.
PQHA believes in giving to horse show families in need and has named a Family of Hope for the past several years. This year’s Family of Hope recipient was Connor Rider, son of Randy and Amanda Rider of Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. Exhibitors were encouraged to make donations at the show office, and PQHA also contributes to the fund.
A very touching donation was made to the Riders by the Marschand family of Atlanta, Indiana in memory of their daughter, Kiley Marschand. Kiley and her sister, Emily, were avid horse show exhibitors and attended the PQHA shows with their family and trainer, Brian Craig. Kiley’s final wish was to help other families in need.
PQHA and the Rider family were overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of everyone who donated to the Family of Hope fund.
In addition to the many classes, a variety of fun activities took place, including fundraisers for youth, free treats and even a birthday celebration for the “gate guru,” John Ackerman. John was serenaded and treated to cake ringside where he spends many hours for PQHA.
Exhibitors were very impressed with the quality of the show. Many compliments were given on the huge turnout and excellent management, as well as the helpfulness and friendliness of staff.
“PQHA always looks for ways to improve their shows,” commented one exhibitor.
Complete show results can be found on PQHA’s website, www.pqha.org.
Exhibitors are encouraged to attend the upcoming PQHA Nittany Classic & Futurities September 2-4 at the Centre County Grange Equine Park. PQHA series champions will be named at this show for the ranch riding, junior western pleasure and junior hunter under saddle classes from three show circuits. Stall reservations, details and show bills can be found at www.pqha.org.