Clydesdales storm Latta for annual horse show
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – It’s a horse show that started as a love story.
This weekend, June 28-30, the Charlotte Charity Horse Show, presented by Cook’s Memorial Presbyterian Church, will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Betsy Boone, owner of Boone’s Farm & Stables in Concord, was helping Latta Plantation’s equestrian center set up a horse show for her horse breeds – Saddlebreds and Hackneys.
She reached out to her friend Nancy Boone, who put on horse shows in Cabarrus County. But Boone found more than just the information she was looking for. Nancy had a son, Paul.
“When we started doing the horse show is when I started dating her son,” Boone said. “The church was looking for a fundraiser for a Habitat house they were building, and that’s how it got started.”
Betsy and Paul were married in 1995.
This year, the show will have nearly 200 horses at three days of competition.
“It’s a good fundraiser,” Boone said. “The church rents Latta from the county, and in return, the horse show will rent the stalls individually to the horse owners, charge fees per class and get sponsors and sell ads.”
Show chairman Dale Luckey said proceeds will go into the Cook’s building fund.
The show begins at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Visitors can meander through the barn area, pet the horses and watch the pageantry in the ring as an estimated 100 classes of Saddlebreds, Standardbreds and Hackney ponies vie for prize money.
Friday night, there’s a dog show, “Because people who come from the barns bring their pets,” publicity committee spokesperson Denise Vead said. “There’s also a Ride-a-Buck event, where riders compete bareback and have to keep money under their thighs while going through the paces. The last person who has their money wins.”
Saturday evening will feature a demonstration by the world champion Hunter Clydesdales, owned by a Mooresville construction company.
“When they’re coming up that road, you feel them coming before you can see them. They’re just amazing,” Vead said.
Saturday morning is reserved for the academy classes for younger riders, like Nicole Barnes, 9, a rising fourth-grader at Rock Springs Elementary School in Denver.
Nicole, daughter of Steven and Dency Barnes, started riding at Lenux Stables in Huntersville last August.
“She at one time didn’t want to do shows, but then something clicked and she wanted to do them, and we’ve been on this path ever since,” Steven Barnes said.
He said Nicole doesn’t have to worry about stage fright.
As with Boone and the others involved with the show, it’s the love of horses that brought them to the event.
But Nicole has something else going for her, too.
Her horse’s name is Magic.
Want to go?
What: Charlotte Charity Horse Show
Where: Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville
When: Thursday-Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.
Cost: Free. Concessions will be sold.