Awwwww yeah….the summertime horse shows are back for 2022! I haven’t been this excited to go watch some shows at the Colorado Horse Park for well, about a year! I always get excited to take a short drive over to the horse park and play the role of spectator. Every Saturday morning for about 6 weeks my friend Lynda and I make the horse show our priority. And this year seem s to be focused on the exhibitors at the horse park with lots of large classes that seem to run well into the afternoon.
Small Changes Make Me Wonder
And of course the first class we get there for is the Grand Prix. This week, it was a $35,000 class sponsored by the LEG Group, which I believe is the insurance company that sponsor’s this show? I’m not sure, so if someone knows – please tell me. And the one thing I noticed was a lot of the prior sponsored jumps have been replaced with more generic jumps.
They still had a few of the Adequan standards. But my favorite Voltaire jump with beautiful multi colored rails, well that jump is gone.
Not that the jump is gone, no they still have it. But they painted the tall pillars white and yellow and the Voltaire signage is gone.
This jump was AWESOME! I loved seeing this jump! I loved it so much in fact that I challenged myself to make my own Voltaire inspired horse jump at home.
Probably not a big deal. And it shouldn’t be. But to me, I’m like…. “where are the pretty jumps???” Maybe as the classes get larger, they will get more sponsored jumps. They did have a very cool CWD jump which was pretty. But it just wasn’t the Voltaire jump.
It was a very substantial jump though. And it made for some fantastic photo opportunities. And speaking of photo opportunities, I had many, MANY chances to get photos to work with.
Photo Opportunities Aplenty
We found a great spot near the arena that allowed me to capture some very nice photos of the riders as they made their way to the first jump of the course. And there was some top notch riders entered in the class. Like Chris Fellers
He had several horses entered in the Grand Prix.
And one of my local favorites, Bjorn Ikast. He also had several horses in this class.
And maybe it’s because it’s early in the series, but the big names that have come out here in past years aren’t here. I’m not sure if that’s because the prize money isn’t worth the trip? Or maybe it’s because everything is so expensive now. Whatever the reason now, I hope the big Grand Prix’s will bring out some more show jumpers.
Colorado Horse Park Focus On Exhibitors
The barns seemed pretty full as we walked past them making our way to the International arena. But the highly decorated stall and barn fronts were not as important this year it seems as it had been in past years.
And I am curious if they are stabling horses in the big permanent barns that used to be part of the boarding at the Colorado Horse Park when it was still in business a few years ago? Since they have closed the park to boarding and trainers, things have definitely changed. I can see and feel a difference, but that might just be me. People don’t seem to be as friendly as they once were. And no more freebies at the horse park for spectators. At least, not this year.
In past years, every Saturday morning they offered a nice buffet breakfast for exhibitors, and spectators alike. It was so awesome – go to the horse park, watch a class and sit in a comfy chair and watch the show. THAT was the life!
You could sit under the covered area and be comfy. And they still have that covered seating area – but you have to pay for a table. And if you haven’t bought at least a seat at the table – you can’t come in to the covered area. Sorry.
So for a mere $300 per week, you can have a seat and enjoy the perks of being a VIP. But for the rest of you – keep out! Well, that’s what it seemed like when we were there.
And it was kind of funny – it seemed like the hostess was watching Lynda and I while we sat just outside of the exclusive area, on the dirt. I know she was sitting at her makeshift desk/table to welcome those special VIP’s that had plunked down the money to come inside. But she was definitely a gate keeper, stopping any would be trespassers from coming in and partaking in the exclusive-ness of the horse park. Maybe for the next show we should wear some white breeches with our show coats and tall boots so we blend in.
Summertime Horse Shows 2022
It will be very interesting to go to the shows each week, and gleam little moments, as well as get the ‘feel’ for the horse park again. Because it has definitely changed from what it had been in the past. It is not nearly as inclusive as it has been in the past. I get a lot more VIP vibes from the management, and even those who are showing this year.
Overall the Summer in the Rockies show series doesn’t seem interested in promoting the horse showing sport. But time will tell over the next 5 weeks of showing. Lynda and I will be there – regardless of the turned up noses. And I will be sure to post my findings here. I just hope that as we get into the bigger shows things go back to the way they used to be.