Duke Children’s Benefit Horse Show Features National Competition
DURHAM, N.C. -- The 19th annual Duke Children's Benefit
Horse Show is going on now through Nov. 10 at the James B. Hunt
Horse Complex at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, with
all proceeds benefiting Duke Children's Hospital & Health
Center. The event, the largest hunter-jumper horse show in the
Southeast, features six days of competition by riders from the
United States and Canada and their horses.
"We are once again anticipating a great horse show," said
Helen Idol, horse show coordinator for Duke Children's Hospital
& Health Center. "It's a wonderful opportunity for people
to see some of the best horses in the country compete. It's
also a great way to help Duke Children's."
Through the years, the horse show has raised more than
$700,000 for Duke Children's Hospital.
This year marks the third year the Marshall & Sterling
national finals have been held at the Duke Children's Benefit
Horse Show. To qualify for the national finals, horses are
shown throughout the year. The top 40 in each of four classes
-- children's hunter, children's jumper, adult amateur hunter
and adult amateur jumper -- were invited to compete at the
national finals, which begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8. Hunter
horses are trained to calmly jump any obstacle in their way and
are judged on their appearance, style and jumping ability.
Jumper horses are trained to jump obstacles and are judged
solely on their ability to clear those obstacles.
Nov. 8 also is "Family Night" and will include jumping
competitions, the annual Children's Stick Horse Classic, face
painting, games, fortune telling and more. Admission for Friday
is free for the public. Events run from 5 to 7 p.m. At 6:45
p.m., the feature event begins when children age 7 and under
gallop around the ring on their favorite stick horse.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, approximately 25 horses will compete in
the $30,000 Leith BMW Grand Prix beginning at 7:30 p.m. "The
Grand Prix is really the most exciting event of the week," Idol
said. "The very best horses compete for the most money."
In addition to competition, the show offers all ages a
behind-the-scenes look at how horses are cared for, trained and
shown. Youngsters can see the horses in their stalls in the
five tents and five permanent barns on the complex grounds. The
show also features equestrian collectibles and unique gifts
from around the country as well as a silent auction.
Admission to the Saturday evening Leith BMW Grand Prix is
$10 for adults. Children 10 and under will be admitted free.
All other events are free and open to the public. Class
competitions begin at 7:30 a.m. daily. For more information,
call (919) 667-2575.
For more information about Duke Children's Hospital &
Health Center, visit www.dukechildrens.org.