Down Penny Lane, past Mars Arena and almost to the Chalk Level Gate, is an arena that had once been known as the “Show Ring.” In the past, Chatham Hall horse shows were held regularly in this ring, but in more recent history it had become overgrown and rarely used.
“When I came to visit Chatham Hall, I was immediately interested in this space,” said Director of Riding Ally Doyon. “I heard that it had not been used in years, but it’s a very cool space. It’s huge and beautiful, and I knew we needed to do something with it. Alumnae told me it used to be where people horse showed, and I wanted to make it into that again.”
The revival of the Show Ring required the creativity of the entire community at the Barn. Students and employees alike rolled up their sleeves to paint jumps and add new footing, the Maintenance team repaired the wood fencing and judges stand, and together the Show Ring was restored to its former glory.
“This is the perfect venue for a jumper series,” noted Barn Manager Emma Lane. “We have a lot of small barns in this area where that’s all they do and there are no shows for that here. It’s really an untapped market, and we figured, why not do this?”
The School will host its first event in the revived space on Saturday, April 15 with a schooling jumper show.
“It’s a great way to get in touch with the local community, and welcome people who haven’t been to Chatham Hall in a long time,” noted Lane. “The outdoor ring is huge, it’s bigger than our indoor ring, so it’s the perfect space.”
For Doyon, re-opening the Show Ring is a great way to ensure that all of the Chatham Hall riding spaces are used in addition to engaging the local community.
“The jumper series will attract people who probably would not attend our other horse shows,” she said. “This is a great way to get them onto our campus, to see our facility, to meet our people, and to really get to know us. The potential is just enormous!”