The Ridge Grand Prix Series Turf Tour came home to where it all began during the third week of its 12-week long series. The traveling horse show that has been making stops all around Wellington was yesterday held at Nona Garson’s The Ridge Farm, and as they always are, Turf Tour organizers Garson and George D’Ambrosio were there running the show and relaxing among the competitors.
If you haven’t been to a Turf Tour show yet, they’re more than worth checking out. Garson and D’Ambrosio began holding small schooling shows in Wellington years ago as an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the main attraction in town, WEF
“Here in Wellington, George and I have always brought along a lot of young horses, and we thought we needed a place to help develop the young horses for ourselves and our friends, in a little bit quieter of an environment,” Garson explains. “And so we started holding little schooling shows.”
The schooling shows are still held throughout circuit, and with the addition of the 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix series, riders have an alternative place to give their horses some mileage.
“We think it’s progressing nicely. The riders and the trainers really like it, and everybody has a good time,” Garson says. “The amount of riders that are coming has increased a lot. Our base group is probably three times than what it was when we started.
And everybody’s very happy, they like to have a little room to school their horses, they love the format that you can show when you want. We’re giving them a little variety so they’re not always in the same ring, and a chance to go on the grass.” Garson continued.
Garson and D’Ambrosio hope to keep making the Turf Tour better for everyone, and with the continued growth of the horse industry in Wellington, there’s no doubt that demand for series such as the Turf Tour will continue to grow.
Proving that the Turf Tour is popular among the very top riders in the USA, yesterday’s grand prix was won by McLain Ward, aboard a young mare that he’s been developing over the last two years. Enjoy a few photos from Friday on the Turf Tour, and see the upcoming schedule to find out where the Turf Tour will touch down next.