On the horse show circuit, summer brings a period of relative calm after the rich spring events, and before the championships of autumn. There is no falling off in the number of shows—indeed, there are far more like the folksy Middlesex County affair at New Brunswick, N.J. (following pages) than there are of the huge, tense, spectacular variety of other seasons. The programs are full, but the pace is leisurely and there is a feeling of intimacy among spectators and exhibitors as friends and relatives picnic with performers and then gather around to watch them in their classes. Still, competing for a ribbon is a serious matter, as reflected in the expressive face of 12-year-old Beth Wentz. Beth here receives her reserve championship rosette in the junior exhibitor's three-gaited stake from Josiah Bougher, who this week will be ringmaster for the 18th time.
The hunter course at Middlesex, laid out by the river's edge, allows spectators to move in close to the fences and be almost a part of the extremely varied proceedings. In one brief period they saw one unfortunate horsewoman come to grief at a fence (left), while Mrs. Joseph Ferguson made a ribbon-winning ride on Vince Dugan's Tumbles Tot (lower right). A comfortable grandstand affords a good view of the pony roadster class, in which Thomas Armstrong and his bay stallion Skylark (above) won third place. Seen through a decorative screen of geraniums, junior riders (top right) sit for their examination by the judge in a horsemanship class. The busy schedule of events enhances the county-fair atmosphere and, if all these pall briefly, there is shopping on the midway for many items, from circus-type novelties (left) to antiques.
Shows like Middlesex provide excellent training as well as fun for junior riders. After competing for the first time in a jumper class, 15-year-old Pamela Killebrew grins happily through her sixth-place ribbon. Kellie Nelson, 12, did not win a ribbon, but she showed in both the equitation and three-gaited events and she will be back at Middlesex this week as determined as she looks here.