This last February, I had the opportunity to do to something I’ve never done before. While visiting my parents in Arizona, I spent the day at a horse show as just a spectator, not a coach, not an exhibitor. I just got to sit back and watch for a whole day at a horse show without worrying about what class they were on, or what I needed to do next. And it wasn’t just any horse show. It was the greatest horse show on Earth. Scottsdale.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the glam, the sparkle, the beauty of what I was surrounded by. Some of the absolute best horses, riders and trainers in the world were circulating around me as I took it all in. But my absolute favorite part of the whole spectator experience was watching the ending of one class, it was a JOTR Hunt Seat Pleasure class. Placings were announced, ribbons were handed out, as well as congratulations and praise. And as all the junior exhibitors were exiting the ring, there was one kid that really stuck out to me. She was not leaving with a placing or a ribbon. She was riding a very nondescript chestnut, small bodied gelding with nothing remarkable about him. This horse was not heavily shod, not greased in the face. The rider wore well fitted and clean attire, but it was nothing flashy. To be honest, they looked more appropriately turned out for a local open show or county fair, rather than this prestigious event.
But this rider was grinning from ear to ear, she continuously praised her little gelding and reminded him of what a big boy he was. And at the gate she was not met by a groom or trainer, but her father, carrying a giant camera and what we in my barn would refer to as a “mom bag” filled with all those last minute rescue necessities. Dad was beside himself with pride, exclaiming how amazing his daughter looked and assuring her that she and the horse did their absolute best, despite not placing in the class. He asked her to stop and pose many times for “just one more picture!!” Snap snap snapping away with his mega-sized camera.
I watched this scene, surrounded by the bustle of the next class trying to load the pen. Hundreds of voices and neighs, the sound of horseshoes on concrete and the entire cacophony of horse show sounds. But this one moment between a father and his daughter almost made me tear up. Because that’s what horse showing is about, members. That is what it was about for me growing up with my dad hauling me to shows, and that’s what it’s about when I take my students to shows. The moments of pride we can find in ourselves and our horse regardless of what a judge thinks. Whether its a local show, or the greatest horse show on Earth, we must take a moment and be proud just to be there. With the people we love and cherish who are on this journey with us.
That is what I wish for each of you, members, in your upcoming season.
Eastern Michigan Arabian Association
2023 SHOW DATES!
Spring Meeting Review
On a not so Springy Day, we held our annual Spring meeting at DoubleStar Equestrian in Mason to discuss the upcoming season and everything our members need to know to be prepared. With our judges and venue contracts secured, we are springing into this season in full force. All judges have been updated on the homepage of our website. EMAA’s fee structure will remain the same for the 2023 season, with one adjustment to our office fee. Each horse will now have a $10 office fee at each show.
Director at Large, Zara, continues to refine our camping reservation process to make it easy and stress free for everyone. Please see her message below on the most efficient way to reserve your camping spots for all four of our shows. Please note: CAMPING RESERVATIONS ARE MANDATORY and will be treated just as stall reservations. The closing date for each will be the same, the Saturday before the show.
The Ingham County Fairgrounds Management has added more parking restrictions on the grounds for this year. Everything you need to know about parking can be found below.
Our banquet date has been set for November 4th and will continue to be held at the Gateway Hotel and Convention Center in Flint, Mi. We hope that all of our members will join us for the final celebration of the 2023 season. If you are a winning member and unable to attend, please make arrangements for your awards to be picked up. EMAA is no longer able to hold or ship out awards. We are hoping to mix up the awarding process a little this year to ensure members get the kinds of awards they’ll enjoy the most, you won’t want to miss it!
EMAA continues to be a part of the TRIBUTE PARTNERS PROGRAM, through Kalmbach Feeds. If you are feeding any Tribute grain, please collect the Proof of Purchases and hand them in at the show office, or give directly to Kelly Beaubien. EMAA will earn money for all Proofs submitted, and that money goes right back to supporting our members!
If you were unable to attend our spring meeting and have any questions regarding the information above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our board members. Ideas, questions, and suggestions can be submitted by emailing your President directly at Kel.email@example.com.
NEW INFORMATION FROM INGHAM COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
If you are planning to attend one of our three shows held at Ingham County Fairgrounds, please note that new parking restrictions have been put in place this year and will be strongly enforced.
General parking throughout the weekend should be done in the gravel lots to the east of the main arena and barns. Two vehicles are permitted at each campsite, but no other parking is allowed near the barns on in the midway (grassy area near dressage ring). There will be absolutely no trailer parking within the fenced area of the grounds unless camping. Please understand that these are guidelines we are being asked to follow directly from the fairgrounds. Failure to follow these parking guidelines will result in fines or your vehicle being towed.
Message from the Fairgrounds:
In an effort to minimize the impact of events on the grounds, please understand the parking lots are available for use during your event. Two cars are permitted to park in the campground during your event. All other vehicles and trailers should be parked in the designated parking lots on the east side of the grounds on the outside of the fenced in perimeter of the Fairgrounds. All vehicles that are parked in no parking zones will be subject to $25 fines. No parking zones include but are not limited to: areas surrounding the barns, the midway road or midway grass, around or in front of pavilions.
ORDERING SHAVINGS THROUGH CRESTVIEW TACK SHOP
Please plan ahead and save yourself money!! Remember to pay for your shavings prior to Sunday of the show or the cost per bag will increase. Please see the chart below for pricing on shavings. If you have any questions about ordering shavings, please contact Crestview Tack Shop!
What’s New with Camping?
Although much is the exact same as previous years, there a couple of changes I want to go over in regards to Camping.
First and foremost, I think it would be good to clarify a couple of things. Camping Reservations are mandatory, just as stall reservations are. Camping Reservations will close the Saturday before the show. If you need a camping spot after this, you will be assigned a site in the Non- Reserved Designated Camping Area. This will be sites 91-98 at Ingham County Fairgrounds. If you do not submit a reservation form ahead of time and are assigned a non-reserved spot at the show, there will be an additional $10 fee.
You should also notice that the Reservation Forms have been updated on the website as well. Specifically, the ICF Form has a much easier to understand map that I put together for the ease of our Exhibitors. At the shows, there will be a map posted at the office as well as all of the assigned spots of our exhibitors. I will be posting the assigned spots on the Facebook page before the start of the show, as well. In previous years I have emailed every exhibitor/camper individually, but I will no longer be sending individual emails. I believe having the maps posted makes it easier on all of us.
Finally, EMAA asks that the name on the reservation must be the person responsible for the cost of that site of the given weekend. You may still reserve in groups as you have, but it must be given the paying party’s information.
I am so excited to get this show season started!! As always, I am here via text, call or email if you ever have any questions or concerns. Let’s have a great year everyone!
Show Office Update
It’s almost show time! To help things run smooth in the show office, I wanted to provide a few updates:
When the show opens on Gaitkeeper (typically about 3-4 weeks before the show) an email will be sent to all members letting you know that the show is open for entries! Entries may be submitted online (www.Gaitkeeper.com) or by filling out the entry form found on the EMAA website. Entry forms filled out manually can be mailed or emailed to Rebecca.
Once the show opens for entries, you may send in stall reservation forms - Please note that without a stall form and payment, no stalls will be reserved. PLEASE DO NOT send stall forms / entries early before the show opens.
This year, we did increase the office fee from $5/horse to $10/horse. We do our absolute best to keep the shows reasonably priced for our exhibitors and this is the only fee change you will notice for the 2023 season.
Looking forward to a great season! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org / 248-310-9615.
~ Rebecca Rett, Show Office Manager
It is almost show time and so excited for another great year at EMAA!
Some new info and reminders:
We are offering Novice Combo divisions for Training level and Western Basic in addition to Intro levels this year! See the show bill.
Novice Combo is intended for a new horse/rider combo at that particular level/test and can be ridden for a maximum of 2 years. (regardless of how many blue ribbons won)
What is “pinning?” If you are riding Intro level, Training level, Western Intro or Western Basic, here is an example:
You have option 1, to ride it twice, once in Novice Combo (if you meet the above criteria) and once in your age group. You enter both classes, choose 2 ride times, and get placed in each class. This is a great choice or those that want the experience of riding the test twice.
Option 2 is called pinning. You enter Novice Combo (if you meet the above criteria) and your age group. You choose 1 ride time, indicating in the comments that you are pinning Intro A Novice Combo/age group. You pay for both classes but receive a pinning discount of $2. Your 1 score counts for both class divisions and you are placed in both classes. This 2 nd option is great to save a few dollars, saves ride times for someone else, and less wear/tear on your horse, especially if you have a packed weekend of showing. Hope this helps and please ask if you have any additional questions.
Reminder that Dressage Suitability is a maximum of 2 years also.
Sign-up genius will open to select ride times once the show is open for entries on Gaitkeeper. Please remember to put all required comments when choosing ride times. It is very helpful to have back number (if known), horses name, riders name, class #, test name and division.
Open breed reminder: OB may choose ride times after midnight on Sunday prior to the show. If you are riding Arab/Half-Arab and also riding Open Breed, you can choose ride times after midnight on Friday prior to the show, indicating OB with Arab in the comments.
The English Classic dressage tests are new this year, so please make sure you are practicing the 2023 tests!
Friday news: Since we are now holding Showmanship classes and Trail on Friday, we have staggered the dressage in-hand, scheduled rides, and dressage rail classes to spread things out a bit. We will be as flexible as we can with Sport Horse in Hand if you have Showmanship conflicts. Please communicate any conflicts or delays with the Sport horse in-hand gate person so we can make things run as smoothly as possible for everyone. Dressage in-hand classes will start at 4:00 with Half-Arabian and Arabian and will not be placed until approximately 6:30 to ensure everyone has shown to the judge. Open Breed in-hand class will be towards the end of this session, so listen for announcements for schedule/time updates. Hoping this flexibility will accommodate schedules and lower concerns as we roll out the new Friday show bill.
As in previous years, per the requests of our judges, there will be no changes made at the gate to your test entry. You should always confirm with the show office that you are entered in the correct class/division and make sure the posted schedule is accurate as well so you are placed in the right class.
Don’t forget to sign up for dressage high score! For Arabian/Half- Arabian, this is awarded at the banquet for each level at each show. For Open breed, it is one overall high score awarded at the end of the show.
See you all soon and let me know if you have any questions!
Kim Winger- Dressage Secretary
Thank you to our current Sponsors for the 2023 Season!
Lost Creek Farm
Misty Hill Training
American Saddle Horse Association
If you are interested in advertising your business and supporting EMAA, please contact Director at Large, Taylor DeBlair. The three different level of sponsors offer opportunity for your business to be mentioned at the shows, as well as posted on the website and Facebook page.
What does EMAA mean to me?
By Lola Mathewson
Hello, my name is Lola Mathewson and I have been showing at EMAA for 16 years. Which is a little crazy considering I'm only 18, but I started riding as soon as I could walk! My granny and mom started showing halter and western at EMAA around 2001. They decided on EMAA because it was affordable and one of the only class b Arabian shows that was somewhat local for them. Once I was born, they decided to stay at EMAA because they enjoyed the community and thought this would be the perfect place for young Lola to start her riding adventure. I am proud to say I show at EMAA because the community is wonderful and everyone is so willing to help others. I have been giving the opportunity to try classes I never thought I could do. I have excelled in saddle seat, and this year I have been given the chance to try side saddle! I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for the Eastern Michigan Arabian Association. Since showing here, I have learned how to win and lose, how to be disappointed, and how to support others, these lessons will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend
My name is Kadence and my bestfriend is Cece (aka CCF Marhannah), full Arabian mare. Cece is eleven, but looks much younger and sometimes acts like it too. Cece has been with me for a year now, so we are still figuring each other out. She is very patient and is always up for cuddles when I am having a bad day. Cece loves her boyfriend Bellagio even if he may not love her back, she also loves treats, and getting attention, Cece can be very crazy when I free lunge her and loves running around like a racehorse every chance she gets. Last year was Cece’s first year showing at EMAA and took good care of my little sister and I even though everything was new to her. The best part, we had so much fun showing! We can’t wait for the next season showing western again, and halter for the first time!
2023 Board Member Introduction
Secretary: Maitlyn Smith
My name is Maitlyn Smith and I am your Secretary for EMAA. For the last 3 years I had
to take a step back in showing because of our new addition Wesson Smith. With all three of my men showing, someone needs to keep the show running. This Year I will be back in the saddle and loving every minute of it! I am honored to be a part of an amazing organization that has taken me under their wing, allowed me to meet so many new friends and made me the rider I am today. The Arabian horse is so much more than you see from afar, and I look forward to many more years of learning.