Today (June 2, 2015) is the first day of the 67th annual Germantown Charity Horse Show. If you don't know, the GCHS is an equestrian competition held every June in Germantown; riders from all over the world bring 700 horses to compete in all kinds of categories.
It's part sporting event, part festival, and worth checking out if you have any interest in horses, socializing, or seeing something new and different. Here are five reasons you should make it out to the Germantown Charity Horse Show this week.
1. It's A Tradition
The GCHS is a one-of-a-kind event based on 67 years of folks passionate about equestrian sports, the heritage of Germantown, and benefitting local charities like the Exchange Club of Memphis. The heart of the event is the sport and competition, but it's also a see-and-be-seen kind of thing, meant for socializing, cheering on the athletes, and having a good time.
2. There's Not A Bad Seat In The House
The arena at GCHS Grounds is set up so everyone is close to the action. I went in 2013 and was very curious about the whole sport, since I'm pretty unfamiliar. Not only was I able to chat with my more knowledgable seat mates about what was going on, I could also see everything really well, and even hear the riders giving commands to the horses.
3. It's Affordable
When I think horses, I think fancy and expensive. But while the GCHS has its share of appropriate pomp and circumstance, it's not pricey to be a part of the fun. Entry is just $5 for adults, $3 for kids, and free for little ones under 5. You can bring your own picnic basket, your own booze, and basically have a seated picnic in the stand while you watch and socialize.
4. The Grand Prix of Germantown
This is the big one. Finalists from the week's jumping division contests will compete for a $25,000 prize. The goal: ride your horse around the ring, make all the jumps, be perfect, and do it before anyone else. These riders are the best of the best, and some have traveled from around the world to compete.
5. A Couple of Special Events
While there are competitor events going on all evening starting at 4 p.m. pretty much every day, let me point out a few in particular.
– Tuesday night about 7:45 p.m. is the Rachel Smith Memorial Costume Class which is a kid and pony costume contest.
– Wednesday night about 5 p.m. is the Grand Prix precursor: watch lots of horses sail over tall jumps and try to beat the clock.
– Wednesday night is also the Media Class, where local media celebrities will ride in the arena.
– Saturday morning is the Jack Russell Terrier just-for-fun dog race. Registration starts at 9:30 and the race is at 10. This is amazing.
A few other things to know:
– Parking is going to take some time, but it's free. Just prepare for a little traffic and follow the instructions.
– Bring cash for concessions, i.e., BBQ Nachos from Germantown Commissary. You'll definitely want to do that.
67th Annual Germantown Charity Horse Show
June 2 – 6, 2015
7745 Poplar Pike, Germantown, TN 38138