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ShowNet Blog with Catie Staszak

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The week of June 12-18 saw ShowNet in action at the Country Heir Horse Shows in Lexington, Ky. and the Showplace Spring Spectacular in Chicago at the brand new HITS venue at Balmoral Park.

It's all in the latest Weekly Wrap!

Highlights include: 

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ShowNet added a new event to its calender this spring: America's oldest horse show, Upperville. The 164th Upperville Colt & Horse Show was action-packed, and we've got all the top moments in the latest Weekly Wrap.

 

Highlights include: 

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As ShowNet’s host and commentator, I’m very fortunate to visit some of the most beautiful horse show venues in the country see a lot of positively stupendous horseflesh on a daily basis.

 It often seems as if each horse is more well bred, more athletic and scopier than the next, and with some classes having entries in excess of 50 or even 100, it can be easy for a talented, up-and-coming horse to get lost in the shuffle, the impact of his courageous 4-fault round in a 1.50-meter debut diminished by the 15 or so clear rounds ahead of him.

Along my travels to ShowNet’s many show destinations—our spring and summer schedule includes the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, the Hampton Classic, and the American Gold Cup among others—I’ll pick out my top three horses from the week’s competition. They may not necessarily be the horses that won or even made the ribbons, but their performances or sheer presence nonetheless made a strong impression.

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Highlights from the 121st Devon Horse Show & Country Fair in Devon, Pa.ShowNet's visit to the 121st Devon Horse Show & Country Fair was truly magical. ShowNet captured every moment from the historic event, all brought together in a special all-things-Devon Weekly Wrap.

Catch it all in the Weekly Wrap!

 

Highlights include: 

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After receiving a huge response from the inaugural season of ShowNet's Weekly Wrap, the wrap returns with a new look for spring and summer 2017. Where can you find ShowNet over the next few months? The lineup includes the Devon Horse Show, Upperville Colt and Horse Show, Lake Placid, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, the Kentucky Summer Classic, HITS Saugerties, the Hampton Classic, and more!

ShowNet's spring season opened up with stops in North Salem, N.Y., and Lexington, Ky., for the Old Salem Farm Spring Shows and the Kentucky Spring Classic. A speedy fan favorite, a pair of FEI firsts, a one-two punch, and grand prix redemption are just some of the highlights.

With so many shows and so much coverage, we know it can be tough to keep up with everything, but the Weekly Wrap will quickly bring you up to speed with highlights from across the nation.

Take a look for yourself: The ShowNet Weekly Wrap is back and better than ever!

To view all of ShowNet's productions, visit our ShowNet Productions YouTube Channel

 

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Less than two weeks ago, McLain Ward came away with an individual championship at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Tonight begins the quest for another kind of championship: the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

How does this relate to show jumping? Top international rider and host of the CP Palm Beach Masters CSI4* Charlie Jacobs is heavily involved with both horses and hockey. He's the CEO of the Boston Bruins, one of the original six NHL teams. When the 2017 Palm Beach Masters kicked off at Jacobs' family's Deeridge Farm in Wellington, the venue's pristine grass field was decorated with Boston Bruin flags and custom-designed Bruins-themed fences, including one—the final fence of the grand prix qualifier—that proved to be one of the most difficult on course, drawing comparisons to the Bruins' staunchy defense.

The fact that Jacobs not only qualified for his third World Cup Final, but also finished just outside the top 15 (He was 16th overall with his own Cassinja S) in Omaha, is a testament to his organization and work ethic. He often spends his week commuting between Buffalo, N.Y., Boston, and Wellington to manage his business career with his riding. In addition to being the CEO of the Bruins, Jacobs also owns TD Garden and jointly operates the New England Sports Network with the Boston Red Sox, among other endeavors.

The Bruins, who won the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 under the Jacobs family's tutelage, face the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs this year, and Jacobs made his final in Omaha. In honor of the start of hockey's playoffs, we're re-sharing our unique interview with Jacobs at the 2017 CP Palm Beach Masters about his experiences juggling horses and hockey.

Check it out below!

To learn more about Jacobs and the Palm Beach Masters, check out this article on RulingSports.com.

 

 

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Five show circuits, four months, one winter season. ShowNet was proud to provide video services, streaming, commentary, and live show data at the Ridge at Wellington Palm Beach Series and Turf Tour, HITS Ocala, HITS Coachella, the World Equestrian Center Winter Series, and the Gulf Coast Winter Series at Gulfport, as well as boutique shows at the Palm Beach Masters, Deeridge Derby Weekend, and the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show this winter.

As ShowNet prepares for a summer of streaming, we'd like to highlight some of shows we've visted in the past few months. One of those is the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, Texas. The 2017 edition was the event's 72nd; the two-week event ran from March 22-April 2. 

We love Pin Oak for its philanthropic efforts. The show benefits the the Texas Children's Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House Houston Family Rooms, and Candlelighters Houston, a support organization for families affected by childhood cancer. Pin Oak has raised more than $5.5 million to date; $250,000 in sponsorship was raised this year alone.

Who shine at this year's show? Check out our highlights below!

 

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As a broadcast host and grand prix commentator, I'm blessed to see some amazing places and some even more amazing athletes. McLain Ward and HH Azur are right at the top of that list.

I'll never forget the first time I met "Annie," as McLain and his team graciously opened their barn at their winter base in Wellington to me. I was captivated the moment I was in the presence of this mare, who was just then beginning to scratch the surface of her limitless talent. She's elegant, beautifully conformed, inquisitive, sweet, and she loves pizza. What says "America" more than that? (She's probably more American than I am—I'm allergic to dairy).

Two years later, I talked to McLain as he and Annie led the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Omaha heading into the third and final phase of competition—a taxing two-rounds of indoor jumping over a track set by renowned course designer Alan Wade. McLain wouldn't allow himself to think about the feeling of winning. He instead focused on each day, each round, and each fence he made with his horse. While it was always obvious Annie was something special, to have watched the mare shine and—as scary as it sounds—actually improve has been awe-inspiring.

Annie's ground-eating stride walked the lines with which other horses struggled. After a clear first-round effort, I knew the mare would not touch a rail the rest of the day. McLain gave a fist pump and nearly lost his reins after he landed from the final oxer knowing he had clinched his first World Cup victory. Congratulations, McLain, Annie, and all of Team Ward and Castle Hill!

Welcome to ShowNet's new blog. ShowNet is proud to provide coverage from shows all over the country, and we want to provide some behind the scenes insight, too. Here's where you'll get it.

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