Thursday, September 29, 2016

TJS novice performance champions

One of my goals for the Jennifer Show was to encourage new people to try their hand at performance showing. To that end, I offered some really good prizes for the Champion...
and Reserve Champion Novice Performance Showers.
Mackenzie Purdy accepted the challenge.
This is her showing off her first ever performance entry. Woot!
Now I know a lot of people are thinking, "Nothing about this says novice. That's an expensive Purdy horse with a top notch tack set and a really good doll. Where's the Breyer tack?"
I get understand those feelings, sort of, but I also think that in an ideal world, this is how everyone should get their start. Well made tack doesn't just look better. It's so much easier to use. Restricting novices to Breyer and homemade tack makes no sense to me. I want to encourage people to show performance. Bad tack sends people away in tears of frustration.

And, you know, no matter how good your tack, props and dolls are, you still have to get them on the horse properly. Mackenzie did a bang up job of that.
Mackenzie was the only novice to show in the English division...
but she was joined by a couple other, most notably Mary Berry, with the start of the Western division. That's Mary's Roxy running poles behind Peaches Dun Purdy.
Here are the two Novices going head to head again, this time in the Reining class.
It was really great seeing them compete on the big stage of the Jennifer Show!
In the end, Mackenzie was named Overall Novice Performance Champion. For her efforts, she was awarded Laura Skillern's Wade saddle and bosal.
Mary Berry was Reserve and won a custom Western Pleasure doll by Anne Field. It's also possible, that she will be receiving a small Braymere tack item in the mail sometime this week. 
Congratulations, ladies! You both did really well, and I hope you will be inspired to continue showing performance!


  1. I am so proud of these guys. Mackenzie did such a great job getting her horse tacked up *with* the dolls - Showing performance is hard, but showing it your first time with dolls is a pretty big challenge. It took me years to warm up to using dolls in my setups! It's so great to see the next generation of performance nuts getting their start. Congratulations, ladies! <3

  2. Here's what impressed me the most: I was up at the show table helping Mary with her Games entry. Mackenzie asked me to look at hers, and I suggested that she change the angle at which the horse was entering the obstacle. She thought about it, shook her head and told me why she thought that was a bad idea. I thought about it and realized she was totally right. The nice doll and tack helped, but she won that saddle on her own.

  3. I wish everyone got a start like Mackenzie, and one day I will make that possible. I am just starting showing performance and have one decent bridle, and no saddles. At least not a lot of people enter the bareback classes...

  4. First off- Congratulations to all the winners and champions! Next - I hope I won't come across wrong -but I guess I'm one of those who would disagree with Mackenzie's status! When you say "Novice" then yeah--I think you *should* start off with Breyer tack (or your own) if that's the *best* you can afford! What if you're a young girl of 8-12 years old and you're just getting into the hobby? Where do you fit it in?? Do you think the parents are going to put out nearly $1,000.00 or more for something that might just be a passing "fad" to some of them?? How are they going to learn from their mistakes, gain good sportsmanship and feel that sense of accomplishment when their horse finally does *really* well if the model is already "made" for them?? This is how I learned when I first got started! Granted -I'm an "older" shower and I'm still in the hobby -but I've since given up trying to compete with today's performance "junkies"! I'm *not* jealous --many of my friends are performance junkies as well! I just can't (at the moment) afford the beautiful resins/handlers/dolls that are kicking the other shower's butt! But I READ and I learn and I check out what's winning -so one day I'll have the courage to *try* to take on ERIN CORBETT or TIFFANY PURDY!
    Like I said, congrats to Mackenzie (her horse is *gorgeous*!) but please *don't* forget those of us who are really NOVICE in every sense of the word!

  5. We're probably going to have to agree to disagree, but I do think there's room for both of our definitions. The Jennifer Show had ZERO child entrants in any division. Our younger shower was eighteen, and she's a long time hobbyist with a nice resin collection and more Breyerfest trips under her belt than most adults, including me! By your definition, we'd have had no novices at all.

    This really wasn't a beginner show. We didn't have any OF divisions, and the competition in the halter ring was just as stiff as it was in performance. Trust me, there wasn't a single person at this show who views model horses as a passing fad. This was a show for "lifers."

    My hope with the novice division was to get some of these dedicated hobbyists to try performance, even just a little. By that measure, I feel like the Jennifer Show Novice Performance division was a big success.

    It's totally different for events like Breyerfest and BreyerWest. These do attract a lot of newbies and kids, so it makes sense to even the playing field with tack requirements.

    Two totally different situations, so two totally different sets of rules.