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Gerald Pack, longtime Tryon area horseman. “Showing at Tryon’s Annual Horse Show at Harmon Field was considered as highly prestigious. It moved to the nearby FENCE that offered more stabling and competition rings in 1989, and most recently to the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Tryon has always had a little magic in the air: “For me it has such a history - from being a Cherokee Indian village to a great powerful equestrian community.”
Angie Millon, horse woman, TR&HC Board member. “We continue to blend our heritage with our future at the nearly week – long horse show now held in the same way as places like Devon and Wellington are today.”
Caroline Clark, Showing at Harmon Field had such a feeling of nostalgia. The classic hunter ring with hedges surrounding and the box seats. I also loved the way some of the stabling was under the trees.”
Laura Kraut, Show jumping competitor and Olympic champion. “Those shows at Harmon Field have so many wonderful memories for me. I remember you Sally Kay with ‘Motorboat,’ and ‘Bear Hug,’ Jeffery Welles with ‘Understudy,’ Molly and Neil Ashe with ‘Farnley Solo’ and ‘Frito Bandito.’ The trainers back then were Carol Kent, Sarah Floyd, Eleanor Welles and Sue Ashe, respectively. “We would show in the hedge ring and then ride our ponies bareback down into the creek behind the barns afterwards.”
Jen Barker. “Growing up, Harmon Field was one of my favorite places to go,” agrees. “There were fewer venues then, so all of my friends and lots of my family [Parker Haynes Minchin, John T. Barker and the late Val Haynes would be showing there at the same time. Every moment we weren’t competing, my friends and I were trying to sneak our ponies out to ride them bareback in the creek! Even though a lot has changed over the past 30 years or so, showing at Harmon Field still feels like going home.”
Betty Oare, Tryon resident and legendary horsewoman. “When we were in school, I would be so excited because we had a half day holiday for the Tryon Horse Show. It would occur on a Wednesday in April. I would be so ready to go watch my Dad ride. All of the stores and schools in Tryon would close at 12 noon. Everyone in the community enjoyed coming out to watch the elegant riders and lovely horses as well as feast on delicious barbeque. Harmon Field’s lovely hedge ring featured top professionals and horses. Spectators donning their Sunday best filled the box seats that lined the perimeter of the ring.”