The Western Reserve Classic Charity Horse Show adds about $4 million to the local economy and helps the animal welfare league.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- There's no horsing around when it comes to raising money for a good cause.
That's why organizers of the annual Western Reserve Classic Charity Horse Show get an early start each year, preparing Perkins Park for the event that benefits the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County.
"September 1 we come down here and take over the park and we don't leave here until the 20th," said Richard Abel, a groundsman for the committee in charge of the show.
The 17th annual horse show runs Friday through Sunday at Perkins Park on Mahoning Avenue.
A $2 donation will be accepted at the door.
Charity: Committee vice president Barbara Clifford said the event brings in about $6,000 for animal welfare, once show expenses are paid out.
The local economy gets a boost as well.
Abel said a survey of businesses in Trumbull County indicates that horse show participants and visitors dump about $4 million into area hotels, restaurants and retail stores during the show.
Melinda Galvin, on the committee's board of directors, said out-of-town participants arrive a few days before the show and leave at least a day later.
Horse owners are expected to attend this year's show from as far away as California, Clifford said, and others will come from other parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, New York and Michigan.
Organizers have billed the event as one of the top multibreed horse shows in the Midwest.
Horses are shown in two rings, or performance areas.
Different breeds go over jumps in the hunt ring, and the main show ring will feature Carriages, Roadsters, Arabians, Hackney Ponies, Morgans, Western Horses and Saddlebreds.
Equine awards: About 350-400 horses and their riders will compete in more than 200 classes of competition. More than 20 trophies will be awarded.
Organizers say the city of Warren helps any way it can, providing a water supply and making sure the park looks nice.
It also hauls away the 8-10 tons of manure, sawdust and hay that's left behind, taking it to a man who uses it for compost, Clifford said.
Nan Laslow of Sharon has been involved in the show for years, as her mother and father have helped with organizing it.
This year, she plans to exhibit her Arabian horse, B.B. Impressions.
From start to finish, set-up to tear-down, Perkins Park transforms into a bustling, lively community, with its own water service and electrical and public address systems.
"We erect a city that lasts a week," Laslow said, "and then that city comes down."