Saratoga Springs – The Capital Fund of Saratoga County, Inc. operators of the Saratoga Springs Horse Show, has begun to make preparations to the show grounds for the 2015 season. As weather starts to warm up and the ice and snow slowly melts away, volunteers with the horse show have started their annual clean-up of the show grounds removing the past winter’s deposit of leaves, branches, and other items that have blown in with the wind. “It’s a big job to clean up the almost 10 acers of competition rings and then repair the damage done over the year to the fences and other structure on the property, says Tom Fueston, President of the Capital Fund of Saratoga County. “It’s a task that some of the long time volunteers (some with more than 40 years of service) look forward to each year; to them it is the true beginning of spring.”
Each spring from 500 -700 horses gather in Saratoga to begin their northeast outdoor season at this long running “Premier” (AA) rated show. Some come for just one week of competition, while others come for two or all three weeks. Each horse brings with it their riders, trainers, grooms, and of course other family members and friends. Depending on the number of horses coming in a given week, this number would typically range from 1000 to 2000 people per week. At one time it was one of the largest equestrian events held in New York State. Today there are a number of large equestrian shows spread out over the year. In the early years when St. Clements’ Church and School was operating the show, many of the most talented horse and rider came to compete “at Saratoga”. This has included many Olympic riders and horses and winners of other notable equestrian events both here in the United States and abroad.
“Entries are coming in and it looks like it will be another good year for the show” says Fueston. “With the addition of a third week of competition this year, the exhibitors are sharing their joy at being able to spend more time in Saratoga, one of their favorite stops on their equestrian circuit.”
This year’s show will include something new, we plan to highlight different organizations in the Saratoga area offering an informational day to help our spectators keep informed about what is available to them . . ., on, the Mohawk Humane Society will be on site to share their experiences in helping provide support in finding forever homes for unwanted pets; on , will be breast cancer awareness day, anyone wearing pink will get into the show for free. On Saturday May 16th we will have a wine tasting event with five local wine establishments taking part. And as always, we will be celebrating the Kentucky Derby on , with a gathering of the exhibitors and sponsors to watch the Derby on a “jumbo-tron” set up specifically for viewing the race. This will repeat itself on as we watch and celebrate the running of the Preakness. And let’s not forget Mother’s Day, when on we will thank all the moms that help make this show possible by helping their sons and daughters enjoy the thrill of competing in the sport of competitive equestrian riding. We are also working on a veteran’s appreciation day some time during the competition and hope to have the details worked out soon.
This year the featured events will be the $30,000 Saratoga Cup Grand Prix (National Standard) on, the David B. Wood Cup Grand Prix (National Standard) on , and $15,000 Steve and Yvonne Sullivan Cup (Regional Standard) on . Each of these events will begin around .
In addition to all the activities mentioned above, there will also be vendors providing merchandise of both equestrian and non-equestrian styles, and of course food and refreshments prepared fresh daily on the show grounds by our food service professionals and volunteers. Daily admission is $4.00 per person 12 and older. Competition startsand goes through each week with the competition starting on and running through . Warm up and first competitions usually begin between each morning. Most competitions are over by . We hope the community will come and join us for three weeks of top notch equestrian competition, and help us help others in need.
This year our major sponsors include: Hannaford, New York Thoroughbred Breeder Development Fund, Hudson Solar, Purina, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, DePaula Chevrolet, Nutrena, Thorobred Feed, Rood and Riddle Equestrian Hospital – Saratoga, The Plaid Horse, Yaddo, and the New York Racing Association.
The Capital Fund of Saratoga County, Inc. was formed in late 2011 as a 501(c)3 charity to operate the Saratoga Springs Horse Show and later the Saratoga Horse Expo and through its efforts to date have provided over $158,000 in assistance to local charities (over $66,000 to local charities in 2014). Our charities include over 25 food banks, Saratoga Center for Family, Shelters of Saratoga, EOC Soup Kitchen, Rebuilding Together Saratoga, local hospice groups, Saratoga County Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center (Wellspring), Franklin Community Center, B.E.S.T, Community Outreach programs, Veteran support programs, and several others. “Our motto ‘helping others help others’ is what we are all about”, says Fueston. “We hope that as more individuals, businesses and organizations realize what we are doing for our community, they will step up and support the Capital Fund and through our combined efforts we can expand these contributions.”