Mercer Horse Show will begin Wednesday

July 25, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - Brad Noel got the chance to sit back and enjoy a horse show last week, but there's no time to sit around now.

Noel and the others responsible for staging the Mercer County Horse Show will be hard at work during the show's four-night run that starts Wednesday.

The show will have over 100 classes to be contested Wednesday through Saturday, including the Saturday morning academy classes.

Noel, the show manager, said the program is full enough that fair officials have discussed returning the show to five nights. And though he said that wasn't done this year, he said the discussions are getting more serious.

"We'd love to add one more night for next year," he said. "The show's getting big, and there's a lot of interest.


"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.

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