As an organizing committee, we were very pleased with the inaugural Foshay International. We have referred to it as our ‘test event,’ like they would have for a Games venue. It was proof of concept for us. The footing and the courses were great – I would not have changed anything there. We now have a chance to review feedback and suggestions to make the next event even better.
The atmosphere was surprisingly engaged – the crowds exceeded expectation. Jay Hambly did a great thing by roping the course. It gave us a big venue feel. Geoff Morgan is a master at announcing, so the crowds felt engaged. I was quite surprised to see close to 2000 people on the cross-country day. With the courses, the ropes and the crowds, you really felt as though you were part of a big event.
There’s always that moment of awe to see the first horse on a new course. And I was really pleased to see our entire committee engaged and empowered. For a first show, the group rose to the occasion. The competitors, the spectators and the sponsors all seemed to be enjoying this new addition to the calendar. I was proud of my wife Suzanne behind the scenes in the office. My daughter grace helped to cool out my horse after cross-country. I got to run the 3 km race on the Sunday morning with my son Robbie and my brother Jon. My sister-in-law Savannah sang the national anthem. My parents Bob and Janet were very involved. So for the first year, there were a great many memories, just as you might expect.
I hadn’t really imagined that I would also be riding in the event. Then we added the national EV 1.05 m division to accommodate some other entries, and then I had no excuse! Amber Hancock was the stable manager and helped as groom for the horse I was riding. We have worked together for almost 20 years, so her help really made it possible for me to ride.
In the Maritimes, we really do work together as a group of provinces, in terms of planning and volunteers. I think that Foshay will be a great annual milestone, and a great goal for younger riders to target. Through the support of the Brewer Foundation, we launched the Foshay International Eventing Academy, which ran alongside the event. This was a means of engaging and entertaining kids attending the event. We incorporate the Equestrian Canada Rookie Rider program in order to draw even more kids into equestrian sport.
Though we might not really feel the impact of Foshay for another 5 – 10 years, I do think that we’re off to a good start. We’re carefully reviewing the inaugural event. We’ve had plenty of feedback with some new ideas for year’s future. There seems to be interest in other divisions. As well, we would not rule out a North American Young Riders Championships in the future. We do hope to double or triple our entries for 2019. So to those that attended, please come back in 2019, and bring your friends!!!
Only 7 hours from Boston and nestled on the river’s edge in beautiful Jemseg New Brunswick, Foshay International is one of a kind- come see for yourself!
Grooming for the Best
Check out our interview with NB's own Lavery Macdonald after her experience grooming for Holly Jacks-Smithers in Ocala!
The Road to Foshay Area 1 Event Prize!
For those of you who are competing at Preliminary this season, we have something new this year... read more!
Top 10 Things to Expect at Foshay International 2019
Expect big things at our event this year- here are a few standouts for you to look forward to in 2019!