Putting On The Ritz
Iowa Gold Star Futurity by Christy Egan
There were more than a few of us shaking our heads and wondering, seriously, how the team that turned Des Moines into a party town were ever going to top the 2008 Iowa Gold Star Futurity Show. The show had been growing steadily an astounding 70% per year since 2005. The show themes, beginning in 2007 with the Fabulous Fifties, have been the wildest horse show success story since show sheen and hoof black. In 2008 the Gold Star theme was Pirates and a lot of people dressed up and came to the Stallion Service Auction to have a fabulous time. However … it was NOTHING compared to 2009. The 2009 theme was the Wild, Wild West and there was something for everyone, every minute of every day. The Gold Star show managers thoroughly understand the limitations of Des Moines, Iowa. Their solution involves keeping spectators and exhibitors on the Iowa State Fairgrounds and they do it better than anybody. Wild West cowboys, Indians and Buﬀalo Bill himself roamed the Fairground’s streets from dawn till dusk. Every time the show ring action stopped, it started up in the barns and outside rings. There were free breakfasts and lunches; barn parties and horse entertainment everywhere. Friday night at the beginning of the Stallion Service Auction, Tommy Garland stole the show when he rode into the second ﬂoor
50 • GOLD STAR | AR ABIAN HORSE TIMES
Marriott Ballroom and rescued a dance hall girl from bandits. Saturday night a stagecoach and four-horse hitch started the show with a wild chase and outlaw shoot-out in center ring. After a few exciting classes, additional entertainment appeared in the form of Mexican Charros in full dress with their “dancing” horses. These horsemen were a big hit with the crowds, as were the Free Style Reining riders that closed the evening performance. In a year when everything was down, from the national economy and the job market to horse show attendance, entries and futurity money, the Iowa Gold Star Futurity topped its 2008 record by about $10,000.00, an astonishing accomplishment and a credit to the show and its amazing growth and energy. Just look at the ﬁgures … 2005 ~ 96 entries Stallion Service Auction ~ $109,500.00 2007 ~ 189 entries Stallion Service Auction ~ $360,600.00 2009 ~ 320 entries Stallion Service Auction ~ $441,750.00 Perhaps even more importantly, their Futurity nominations have gone from 61 in 2003 to 563 in 2008, and at this point they are on track to have approximately 700 nominations for the 2010 season.
July 2010 Arabian Horse Timess