Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hearts N Horses 2011

Today I am pleased to share this show report from Dutch hobbyist Anne Van der Weel.  Anne was one of the participants in Erin Corbett's Hearts N Horses live show which was held this past weekend in Leeuwarden, Holland.  Anne is also an accomplished Western tackmaker.  You can see some of her work by visiting her blog.

Hearts N Horses 2011 Show Report
by Anne van der Weel

Last weekend was show time! Hearts n Horses 2011, the first big show with an American format was held here in the Netherlands. It was a fantastic show and I had a blast! There are some big differences between the Dutch and the American format so this show was very exciting for us.
Erin's signature pink and brown rosettes
Let me start by telling you how we used to do things in the Netherlands. The day begins with Performance, seven or eight classes, give or take. Usually Harness, Dressage, Jumping (includes Hunter, Jumper and Cross-Country), Western, Arabian Costume, Spanish Costume and Other Performance. You are allowed to show a horse in no more than one Performance class. After Performance is done Halter begins. Almost everybody shows their Performance horses in Halter too. I’ve never seen a Dutch show with more than two rings and it’s not uncommon to have only one ring.
The Hearts N Horses show hall with all those rings!
So, a show like this one is quite different from what we’re used to over here. For Halter showers the main difference is in the number of rings. However, for Performance showers a whole new world emerges! The number of classes quadrupled and we’re allowed to show a horse in as many classes as we like! How awesome is that? Of course, we’re not used to doing tack changes, let alone speed tacking, as previously we were able to tack up horses at home before the show, put them in their class in the morning and then untack them for halter.
English Division entrants
In December Erin held a small live show to practice with the new format and I used that opportunity to test some set-ups and see how much I could handle without missing classes or holding up the show. I don’t know how I would have survived the big show without it! Now I felt rather well prepared (except of course for the boatload of stuff I still needed to finish, but that happens before every show, haha!) and confident that I understood the format. Which was just as well because it was my job to explain it to the other Dutch showers.
Anne's Roxy winning the Cattle Work class
Now the fun thing about the American Performance format is that it presents you with a choice. You can show models in a specific pose that is great for one or two performance classes (e.g. doing a sliding stop) or you can go with a more versatile model and try to show it in as many classes as you can. I chose to do the latter and Roxy was going to be my girl. Together we went on a quest to win that awesome saddle Erin made. With all those international people showing Performance I had little hope of winning but hey, just do your best and have fun!
Anne's Roxy winning second place in Dressage
Well, it certainly was fun! This is the biggest show I’ve been to so far. It worked out great with six different nationalities and there were lots of super nice people to meet. Everything was extremely well organized and you should have seen the raffle! I did take a picture of the raffle tables but you can’t see half of the items on there. Erin really outdid herself!
The raffle table
Roxy was having fun too and did really well in Performance. I showed her in three divisions and she won Champ in two of them. She then went on to win Overall Champion Performance!! 
Anne's Roxy with her winnings
Showing in more than one division seems to be a good strategy. I think I’ve only seen one other model that was shown in multiple divisions. I don’t know if it still needs to catch on over here or if it’s the same in the US. Anyhow, I like the challenge and I’ll keep doing it. Having this many Performance classes only feeds the addiction, haha!

 In the English division Roxy was wearing my brand new BCS tack set and in the Western division she was wearing two saddles made by me.  
Congratulations, Anne, and thank you so much for the show report.  Look for more of Anne's Hearts N Horses photos tomorrow!


  1. Congratulations on the wins with Roxy! I really like hearing about shows in other countries :-)

  2. I like hearing about overseas shows, too, and I'm always happy to post show reports no matter where they're from.