This Sunday, The Farmers’ Museum will be hosting its 18th Annual Benefit Horse Show, a competition that raises money for educational programs at the museum.
“It’s evolved into a very big, very beautiful show,” said Meg Preston, horse show secretary and the office manager at The Farmers’ Museum, who has been involved with the show since it first began.
Preston, said that the equestrian tradition of the Clark family helped to inspire the show’s founding. The Clark family helped found The Farmer’s Museum, as well as a number of other Cooperstown institutions, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“It’s such a rich history with the Clark family and their equestrian background,” said Preston.
She also said that Jane Forbes Clark II, an avid horsewoman herself and the current chairman of The Farmers’ Museum, was involved in the show’s founding.
Taking place at Iroquois Farm Showgrounds, 1527 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, the show features 11 different divisions. Each division has three to four classes in it, with entry into each class costing $15 for non-stake classes and $25 in stake classes. For a rider to become grand champion of a division, they typically must compete in all classes in a division.
“Generally they do but not always,” said Preston.
The divisions at the show are divided into hunter divisions, which are judged primarily on jumping form, equitation divisions, which are judged primarily on rider form, a pleasure division, which is judged primarily on how much fun a horse and rider appear to be having, and a walk-trot and a beginner division, which typically attract younger riders. In addition to the divisions, there is a leadline class, which generally features very young children riding on a horse while an assistant holds a leadline.
“They just look really adorable,” said Preston.