District IV 4-H Horse Show POSTPONED to 9/17

Posted: September 9, 2011

Due to concerns about the severe flooding being experienced by some of the participating counties, the decision has been made to postpone the District IV 4-H Horse Show, until Saturday, September 17, at 8 a.m. at the Wyoming County Fairgrounds in Meshoppen.

Dear 4-H members, volunteers, and families:

This has been an exceedingly difficult week for many families in northeast PA, and our thoughts are with those of you affected by this natural disaster.  On Thursday, you most likely received a phone call or an e-mail (or read on Facebook) that the District IV 4-H Horse Show (slated to be held at Alparon Park in Troy) had been postponed to Sunday, 9/11 due to flooding aftermath concerns.  We did our utmost to make the best out of a bad situation and still plan a safe show that would allow youth to qualify for States in the required time frame.  Now another change has occurred.  We'll still hold the show, but we need to move it again.  The show will be held on Saturday, September 17, at 8 a.m. at the Wyoming County Fairgrounds in Meshoppen.  Let me explain why we made this very hard decision:

Linda Elsbree, Horse Program Assistant in Bradford Extension, has done an outstanding job as District Show host.  She's been on the ball and has kept on top of all the details of stabling, ring maintenance, show equipment, and corresponding with the Alparon Park board.  This is why it came as a surprise when Linda found out on the evening of September 8--less than three days before the rescheduled show--that a skeet shoot had been planned for the grounds near the horse ring on the new show date.  No one had informed her about it due to a miscommunication between the gun club and the fairgrounds--even though she'd specifically asked about other events on 9/11 before we decided to reschedule the show.  Despite her best efforts to persuade the gun club to reschedule, the skeet shoot will go on--and it will be held just across the creek that runs beside the horse ring parking lot/warm-up area.  Extension Horse Specialist Pat Comerford and Extension Regional Director Dr. Mike McDavid agree that we can't safely combine a youth horse show and a skeet shoot, and we agree 100%. 


State Horse Show entries and stall reservations are due soon (and can't be delayed too long if the State Show is to move forward); and as fall progresses, the days get shorter and the weather gets worse.  Holding the show as soon as possible is important, but we also need a safe, suitable site that can accommodate a show of this size.  Alparon Park is booked for a show on 9/17-18, and the District has already ruled out other counties as potential sites at present--especially given flooding.  That leaves us with Wyoming--a site capable of accommodating the show, one that has adequate stabling, and one that many 4-H families have been to before. 

Stall and camping costs are different (see the attached file), so refunds and credits will be issued at check-in.  Stall and camping reservations (names only--payment will be collected at check-in) will be collected by your Extension office--you should receive a phone call asking about stalls soon.  Everything else will remain the same, even the schedule.  (Instead of a temp ring, we'll hold trail in the flat area we usually use in Wyoming.  Showmanship classes slated for the temp ring will be held in a divided main ring, and a flat area on the grounds will be designated for warm-up space.)

One good thing about delaying the show is that it gives families time to regroup after flooding, and crews time to get roads open.  We'll need all the help we can get from volunteers at the show, and we appreciate your willingness to pitch in.  Thanks so much for your patience, and don't hesitate to contact Kirsten Dubbs (, or 570-724-9120) with questions, scratches, or other issues.