Charity Horse Show returns July 26

Article Published: Jul. 14, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
Charity Horse Show returns July 26

There is something for every equine lover to enjoy during a horse show - whether it's the grace and beauty of the hunter classes or the power and speed of the show jumpers.

Area residents and visitors will again see horses displaying their best poise, and riders will be challenging each other during the 88th Blowing Rock Hunter Jumper Charity Horse Show from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, from July 26 to 31, and from Aug. 2 to 7 at the L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve.

Visitors will see ponies and thoroughbreds, as well as a variety of European warm bloods competing daily.

The competition will occur in two arenas for most of the show, ensuring plenty to see. Visitors are allowed to walk the grounds during the show and can watch horses being exercised; riders and horses practicing in the multiple practice rings; and horses getting washed, groomed and their manes and tails braided.

Wandering through the 17 barns is a unique experience, as each competing barn recreates a "home away from home," bringing potted plants, flowers, furniture and tents with their barn colors. The show gives visitors a better look at the individual horses and the inner workings of a top-rated horse show.

The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the oldest continuous show in the United States. The first week of the nationally ranked hunter-jumper show has been selected as a world champion hunter-rider event, drawing top competitors from different parts of the country.

Highlighting the competition is the Kathryn G. Clark Challenge of Champions; horses have to earn the right to compete in the prestigious hunter classic by being champion or reserve in their division.

Headlining the second week are the L.P. Tate Jumper Classic, where the horses jump over huge fences in the least amount of time, and the International Hunter Derby, a qualifying event for the $100,000 International Hunter Derby Finals held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Melanie Smith-Taylor, a gold medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics, will serve as one of the judges.
The Blowing Rock Charity horse show has become a significant annual generator of economic activity for both Blowing Rock and the High Country. According to an independent economic impact study conducted by Appalachian State University in 1999, the annual event brought in more than $6.7 million in revenue to the area every summer.

Admission is $5 per person, admission is free for children younger than 12. A variety of vendors and food are available on the grounds, and the grandstand provides ample seating to watch the lineup of classes.

For more information, visit

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