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The Shows Will Go On!

When longtime Maryland horseman and popular horse show manager W. Gary Baker became ill last year, he began making plans and putting his aff airs in order. Anyone who ever worked with Gary Baker knows that he had very specifi c and defi nite ideas, and opin- ions about everything he was involved in, from breeding ponies, to racing horses, to managing horse shows. Gary owned the licenses for three United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) recognized horse show dates, and he wanted to make sure that these shows, which meant so much to him during his lifetime, were passed into the hands of someone who would do right by them, by the horsemen who have been loyal to them throughout the years, and by Baker, himself. So he contacted the USEF and asked that upon his death, the licenses for Showplace Spring, Maryland National, and the December Hunter Classic be transferred to Streett Moore. In addition, Baker made recommendations that two additional shows for which he was longtime man- ager, Boumi Temple and Loudoun Benefi t (VA), be managed by Moore as well. Streett Moore is also a lifelong Mary- land horseman and popular show manag- er. He grew up show- ing ponies with his brother, Brooks, from their family’s Belfi eld Farm in Baltimore County. After gradu- ation, Moore decided to turn childhood fun into business. He

W. Gary Baker

began teaching students and training horses and ponies from Belfi eld Farm until the mid- 1980s, when the decision was made to sell the property. In 1986, Moore was hired as Director of Riding at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, where he is about to complete his 28th year of service.

McDonogh Way Under his direction, the McDonogh riding

program has changed and it has thrived. McDonogh students and their horses and ponies continue to win on the national and local show circuits. A McDonogh rider has won T e Equiery Hunter Award for the past four years and 2012 brought a signifi cant fi rst: Jacob Pope, a member of the 2013 graduating class, won both the USET Talent Search and the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals. | 800-244-9580 Soon after Moore’s arrival on

campus in the spring of 1986, the old McDonogh show grounds, which hosted many an interschool horse show and horse trials, as well as a four- day A-rated horse show every May, was named as part of a tract of land that the school would sell off for commercial development.

plans were made to build new show grounds,

by Jennifer Webster

owner die without having made prior arrangements for transfer of ownership.

Spring Show Start T e fi rst two shows on

the calendar, Showplace Spring and Maryland National,

Consequently, and

construction began on the current facility, which sits in much closer proximity to the barns. More rings were later added, and in late 2010 came the completion of the Eagle’s Nest, a state-of-the-art indoor riding arena, and the Hall of Fame Patio, sited beside the main outdoor ring. T e Eagle’s Nest and Hall of Fame Patio were dedicated in a service at McDonogh’s Alumni Weekend in 2011, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the McDonogh Cavalry, and and honoring Moore’s 25 years as Director of Riding. McDonogh School presently hosts between 15 and 18 shows a year. Some of those shows are owned by other people or associations, who rent the facility, management included. For more than twenty years, Gary Baker was one of those people. When asked why he felt Baker chose him, of all people, to carry on his horse shows, Moore replied,

Streett Moore “I’ve known

[Gary] since I was seven years old. I rode his horses and helped him with things. It is a relationship of over forty years. He liked what we had done with McDonogh School, and how the shows ran there. He and I worked well on committees we served on together. I just think he felt comfortable with it.” In the eyes of some, Streett Moore may as well

have just won the lottery. Acquiring the license for a USEF show date–let alone three of them– is not an easy thing to do, for the very simple fact that the dates are all presently accounted for. T e calendar is full. Dates don’t change hands often, and when they do, it occurs one of three possible ways: via private sale, via transfer through the USEF in the event of death where the previous owner of a date or dates has made prior arrangements, such as Baker did, or via lottery held by the USEF, should the prior

have already

taken place; they span from T ursday to Sunday on two concurrent weekends at the end of March and beginning of April, and are held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Moore was pleased with his fi rst- time results. Showplace Spring “or should we say Winter?” as was jokingly

posted on the Belfi eld Farm Show Management (or BFSM, Moore’s management corporation name) Facebook page on March 30, faced horrible weather. Cold, rain, and wind forced cancellations of classes and reorganization of the daily schedule, but still saw 194 horses compete. Moore and his team, including wife Amy who handled the stabling, among other things, were off ered kind sentiments and encouraging accolades by the competitors and offi cials who were impressed with the way the new show management played the unfortunate hand they were dealt by Mother Nature. T e following week brought better weather and more horses. T e fi nal tally was 214 includ- ing entries from trainers who had originally planned to take a pass on the second weekend, but who “liked what they saw” at the fi rst show, according to Moore. And “what they saw” in- cluded fantastic prizes such as monogrammed backpacks, bridle racks, and fi rst through eighth place medals instead of ribbons, in memory of Gary Baker. T e medals were presented after a memorial jog, also named in Baker’s honor. A “jog” involves a rider trotting his horse back in the ring in-hand, saddle removed, to be in- spected by the judge for soundness, and the jog used to follow every over fences class at a recognized horse show. But as show schedules have become more and more crowded, and the desire for pomp and circumstance less and less, some USEF zones have voted to eliminate the jog from their rules. T is was not a welcome change to Baker. “Gary liked tradition and one of the traditions he liked the most was the jog for soundness after each class,” said Moore. Also new this year was the hospitality tent with complimentary ringside breakfasts for

continued... MAY 2014 | THE EQUIERY | 25

Liz Callar

McDonogh School


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