"We're just getting so many classes on each night, it makes the horse show last a little longer."
A new class added to the program this year is a single hackney horse class that will be shown in the Friday night program. Noel said that when horsemen ask to add a class, show officials ask that they line up sponsorships for the prize money and the trophy, and he said those who wanted to add the hackney class came to them with those things in place.
Noel spent time two weeks ago at the Junior League Horse Show in Lexington, where he said he was primarily just a spectator. But he said he also took handouts from the Mercer show and talked it up among horsemen as often as he could, and he said he even takes a few barn reservations while he's there.
"I try to talk to all the clients that will be there," he said.
The show ring will feature a new center ring platform this year and this year's show will have a new official photographer, as Doug Shiflet of Asheboro, N.C., replaces Jamie Donaldson of Georgetown, who has retired. Noel said Shiflet is also the official photographer for the World's Championship Horse Show in Louisville.
"We brought in the best," Noel said.
The judge will be Terry Stephenson of Jeffersontown, who previously served as a judge when the show used a three-man panel.
On Saturday night, two inductees will join the Mercer County Horse Show Hall of Fame (their names have not yet been released), which was established last year.
The show's nightly programs begin at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is $4.