The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


August 19, 2013

Equine lovers enjoyed a new horse show in Oneonta in 1948


“City fire truck will be on the grounds throughout the entire show and three police officers will be on hand to direct the traffic,” the article read. “John Woodward has donated the services of an ambulance, which will be manned by members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.”

“Concessions will be in the capable hands of Fred Cannistra and Billy Hughes, assuring the best, and Harry Scott, the Old Wrangler, will be on deck to help things roll smoothly for show manager Joe Maguire and Wesley Hoffman, general chairman.”

Area horse lovers were enthused about the show, as nearly 1,500 people showed on the first day.

“The darling of the night performance was Gail West, 11-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George West, who gave a brilliant exhibition on her five-gaited grand champion pony, Beloved Belinda. The blonde youngster won the hearts of the spectators with her riding ability and the pony was a thing of beauty as it went through the gaits.”

Despite the rain on Saturday, which hurt attendance that day and turned the grounds into a bit of a quagmire, conditions improved on Sunday.

Steve Shields, Star Sports Editor wrote, “The show, from the standpoint of horses and exhibitors, was a great success, and the men who did the work can be proud that they brought to this city the recognition and standing from the horse world. With a year to prepare for it, next summer’s show should be an improvement, if it can, over this first show.”

The 1949 show went on as planned, but whereas 200 horses competed in 1948, only 140 were in the second annual event. From an observation of newspaper coverage, it was far less than in 1948, with only a preview of the show on the sports page, no advertisements and no results on Monday. There was no mention of Joe Maguire, the show specialist.

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