So, Millbrook just got cancelled. What is happening in Area 1? We’ve lost them all & the newer ones like Apple Knoll have no entries…
I just saw the announcement. It’s so sad. It’s the same old story. People who hate horses moving into rural areas who won’t give permission to let horses ride on their properties. A lot of covid era people moved up to that area when they got their permanent work from home status. I think we’ve lost this one for good. The high prices to compete don’t help either.
Ugh. I’m gutted. This was set to be the highlight of my summer. My horse was not ready last year but would be this year. So sad when landowners no longer want to allow the trials to happen on their new property. It’s a sign of the times and a signal to all of us to support the HTs that continue to be in the calendar.
I saw the announcement, and the response from someone saying they wanted to find out the name of the land owner to “thank” them for killing another event. Because that will make the land owner change their mind.
We already lost one Area 1 event not too many years ago due to outrageous behavior spearheaded by a single person on social media. Hopefully, those who watched from the sidelines will be smart going forward. I’m sure the crew at Millbrook is doing everything they can to get the event back on the calendar for 2023. In the meantime lets not feed the rumor mill and support the local farms which are still running events for those who are interested in supporting them.
I am so sad to hear they are cancelled for 2022, but fingers crossed for excellent things to come in 2023. The last few years have been rough on everyone.
And a reminder to those in this area … get out there and volunteer. It takes so much to get a show up and running.
As for what is happening in Area 1… Well… I think this is our future. Fewer events. It’s not the fault of any specific one person or party. Area 1 is one of the most expensive places to live. There’s demand for more housing everywhere. It’s just too costly now to own and run a farm and those that have been doing it for years are on the cusp of retiring and/or stepping down – that farm (or the sale of it) is how they are banking their retirement, and most times they can’t afford to just give it away or sell it at a firesale price to fellow equestrian entrepreneurs. It’s not truly sustainable to run a show in Area 1 anymore, before you factor in the whims of the competitor base, which is a very complicated and layered issue to unwrap. The competitors here are a mix of those stuck in the area and those who can go down south for the winter. The ones stuck in this area aren’t ready for early events, so entries (like at Appleknoll and UNH) are not representative of the true eventer population. and those who went down south are totally ready, but they don’t need to attend events like AK or UNH, which are classically seen as opener venues. They usually take a break after coming back from down south and target the destination events, like Millbrook, GMHA, Fitches, etc. The affordability aspect also plays a huge part too - there’s a bulk of eventers that can only afford one or two recognized events a season, so they attend schooling shows their first few outings and then pick one or two events to attend later in the season.
A lot of factors at play, and a lot of these factors are also here to stay.
I’m not in the US but the same thing is happening in Ontario. We need to protect our land and our events at all cost. Everyone wants to show, but without the hosts we have no shows! Scary and sad news.
Similarly in the UK, some events are over subscribed, even putting on extra days, others are running one day not two or are just cancelling for lack of runners as the show economics don’t make sense to run only one day. It has been a really odd season so far. No one can quite work out what is happening.
The unaffiliated (schooling) shows have really upped their game and they cost less so that certainly puts pressure on BE ones. The cost of living is soaring away at the moment, with frightening price increases on energy and food, so people do have a smaller disposable income. Curiously, because of tight planning laws, we do have land but other factors also come into play such as increasing fixed costs, changes to event insurance cover by BE (ironically to make the sport cheaper for grassroots riders), finding sufficient volunteers as the cost of travel and accommodation go up, aging organisers deciding to retire. And then dealing with competitors… The majority of the riders are lovely but it only takes one bad egg complaining loudly on social media to pi$$ off an organiser who is facing uncertainty, problems and bureaucracy to run and so an event disappears from the calendar.
There is an interesting discussion going on about this topic in the Area I facebook group right now.
I can’t speak to Millbrook, but in terms of Apple Knoll some may be weather related. In our part of Area I, it snowed last week. A friend and I have been trying to find someplace to get young horses out to cross country school (she is aiming for Winona, but had considered Apple Knoll) and most places had to cancel because everything is still so wet.
I’m not in the area, but I second those above who mentioned being courteous to landowners. Twice I’ve allowed organizations to use my farm FOR FREE! Most participants were very nice but some left trash everywhere, rode in areas marked off, and used the barn land line to make long distance calls (this was before everyone had a cell). I never did it again.
When I used to host little mini events at my farm, I couldn’t believe how many people would just go into my barn on their own to nose around. I had to start locking all the doors but one for people using the barn for shows. I have no idea why people think they have the right to just walk into a private barn on the property of the show. I even had people ask why the barn was locked! Like hello…its not a museum! Unbelievable lol
Probably the same type of people who don’t pick up their manure in th parking lot, or my favorite - dumping a muck bucket of dirty shavings and manure out on the ground before they leave.
Some people are just totally oblivious to commom courtesy and good manners. Kind of like those who jump on the elevator or bus before everyone else gets off. Sad part is, the few selfish people like this make more of a lasting impression than those who are courteous and polite.