The Camp Horse Show Through The Years

Greystone’s Horse Show has always been a much anticipated event. On show day the campers competing will dress in their finest, make sure their horses are show-ready, and try to make sure everything is at its best. There are competitive rounds throughout the day for riders of all levels that are judged by an outside judge. Throughout the day an announcer relays the happenings of the competition and the decisions of the judge to onlookers seated on the grassy hill to the side of the ring. Holding the competition throughout the day and making classes optional allows the campers to cheer on their cabinmates as well as allow riders to show their friends what they’ve learned. The girls practice hard all summer long with the hopes of showing off their skills. Although Show Day has taken on many different forms, the idea behind it has remained the same, to allow campers to put to use what they have learned and improved on during the summer.

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In 1952 Alice Andrews, known to camp as Mrs. A, began running the riding program at Camp Greystone. Immediately, campers, staff, and even the horses grew in excitement as the program gained new life. Mrs. A led the riding program to grow not only for the advanced riders but the beginners as well. Having a love for all levels she would pour herself out to the campers and staff all summer long. Mrs. A was a role model to so many young riders during that time including Happy Green McLeod who was the first to win The Sevier Trophy in 1957. Her name would be the first inscribed on the silver bowl that would soon hold the names of many other future horse show winners. That year the show was judged by Russ Walther who Happy later went on to ride under at Converse College. Happy also shared her memories of going on supper rides with the Heads Up Heels Down (HUHD) riding club and how Mrs. A brought the girls steaks, saying the girls were too good to eat hamburgers!

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Pat Hale, formerly Patsy Weeks, was an instructor during that time and would bring her horse, Lady Gray, along with her in the summers. Eventually Pat sold Lady Gray to Mrs. A and she was one of the favorite lesson and show horses!

Mrs. A eventually retired after 24 years and the program was then run by Alice Cromer and Hunter Davis and the tradition of the Camp Show continued when Shelley Rose won The Sevier Trophy in 1976. Riders competed on the flat, then over fences, sometimes even needing a tie breaker to determine the winner! Shelley recalls how she and Katie Miller Grant competed in the ride off together, they were best of friends and always enjoyed the friendly competition! Shelley was presented the Virginia Sevier Trophy by Libby Miller that summer.

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By the 1980’s Jeanne Ashmore, now known as Momma Jeanne, was running the program and it looked much the same as it does today! Jeanne received help from her whole family while involved in the riding program: Her husband Jerry built the barn that stands today and daughter Lisa would soon become her right hand woman.

Elizabeth Wilson Betz rode under Jeanne and Lisa and won the Alice L. Andrews Trophy in 1989, and had her name inscribed on the new silver bowl. Elizabeth shared one of her favorite memories, “The day before the show was always a ton of fun – bathing the horses, cleaning tack, and making sure everything was just so. I think we had more fun the day before than we did the actual day of the show. I loved that Greystone made it a “big deal” – it felt like a fancy show with the trophy table, announcer, and an outside judge. And the best part was that so many campers and counselors came out to watch everyone ride.” That year Elizabeth won the show on Lisa’s horse Mary and was reserve champion the following year on her horse Giggles!

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Patty Friend Douglass recalls her time with Momma Jeanne and Lisa in the barn as “The one place on earth I could hear the Lord and be with horses and nothing ever interupted that.”

Patty won the Alice L. Andrews Trophy in both 1986 and 1987, “After riding all over the world, winning the Greystone horse show two times and the Horsemanship trophy two times was my most coveted honor. I was able to show my very best of everything, competing against my friends and working my hardest at the same time. It is one of my anchors in life, the riding ring at Greystone feels like an old house I grew up in. Those are the memories I love seeing my girls enjoy too!”

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In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Justine Tibbles, followed by Helen Wilson, directed the riding program. Changing the discipline from Hunter Jumper to Eventing lead to a change in the components of the competition. Catherine Miller won the camp horse show in 2006, at this time they were no longer engraving names on a silver bowl and had not yet transitioned to inscribing brass nameplates on the barn wall but Catherine recalls, “I got a big old ribbon and my horse got a ribbon (which seemed like the coolest thing at the time).” She also had one of the coolest horses to compete on, “I rode Tucker that year (THE BEST). He was spunky and quirky and weird, but SO COOL.” In the next few years they would begin the tradition of Derby Day, focusing on the advanced riders.

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In 2016 Lisa Ashmore Maybin returned to Greystone and the riding program. Lisa sought to bring the program back to its roots. Focusing on the Hunter Jumper discipline, she transformed the show back to its original state, having competitions throughout the show day for all levels of riders. She also reinstituted the tradition of inscribing show winner’s names onto a new silver bowl, dedicated to Elizabeth Hanna Miller who, with much joy, was able to present it her last summer at camp.