Late summer days are lazy ones for most children, with only the shadow of school's reopening to spoil vacation leisure. But for the hardworking young horseman, like those shown on the opposite page, summertime is horse show time, and that is a tough school in its own right. The Fairfield County Hunt Club at Westport, Conn., which dedicates a whole show—three complete days—to the youthful exhibitor, typifies the increasing attention being paid to the junior riders and, incidentally, provides them with one of the liveliest and loveliest shows in the East. In fact, it does more than that—the club gives its junior members the responsibility of organizing and running the event themselves. But the show is not the only feature of a year-round program of instruction. In addition, equestrian authorities are imported to hold seminars and to lecture on hunt field manners. There are demonstrations of whip cracking, and practice shows are held—all of which means that when finally confronted with show or hound, the junior need not act like a novice. But the show is the heightened moment—the climax of the year's activities, and next week (Aug. 23-25) Fairfield riders and visitors from half a dozen states will gather with some 100 horses and ponies to demonstrate the skills perfected throughout the year. In between the stresses of showing, the juniors, from wide-eyed toddlers to sophisticated teenagers, give in at some point and just lazily relax on an August afternoon.
Veteran juniors at Fairfield watch show from mounts when not in ring. Abbie Arms on pony Patches (top, left) tilts cap against sun while parked next to Diana Drake; Meredith Parish takes Mountaineer over post and rails (top, right); J. Michael Plumb, talented Long Island rider, pilots hunter over outside course (bottom, left); and Willie Drake waits to go in class with pony, Santa Claus.
Balanced on shooting stick, Mrs. Robert A. Schmid and daughter Heidi watch horse taking obstacle on outside course.
Preoccupied owner, 18-year-old Rosalind LaRoche studies competition, thus giving her mare, Good Luck, a chance to sneak a leafy lunch.
Pony-riding 9-year-old, Abbie Arms, guides her piebald, Patches, over working hunter pony sweepstake course. They won.
At day's end relaxed teen-agers pull off their boots and jackets to observe in comfort the outcome of show's final classes.