Fieldstone Show Park has a very different look in December.
You might not recognize the Fieldstone barn, with its bright red exterior disguised by snowfall, and the lush, expansive grass field is hidden beneath a seasonal layer of white. But the same figures remain: Fieldstone Show Park Manager Tom Hern readies for his offseason duties as course designer—he’s headed for the World Equestrian Center Ocala, Thermal, CA’s Desert International Horse Park and Pin Oak in Katy, TX before returning to manage Fieldstone’s 2021 events—while Fieldstone President Scott Clawson, always looking ahead, sets out to execute improvements to the property ahead of a new show year.
The venue is living by the mantra, “When you’re ready, come show with us,” with preparations for the 2021 season already well underway. But as Fieldstone put the final wrapping on the year that was, the venue also took a brief pause to reflect.
In March, plans for the 2020 show season at Fieldstone came to an abrupt halt due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down the horse show industry. By summer, however, the venue was smoothly running spectator-less horse shows. Fieldstone’s management team was instrumental in getting outdoor equestrian events approved to run under Massachusetts’ Phase 2 reopening in late June. The venue’s efforts to implement effective COVID protocols didn’t just allow it to resume competitive operations. With more than 100 acres to spread out, Fieldstone also offered a safe haven for other events in the area normally held indoors. In the fall, several of the state’s biggest events moved locations to Fieldstone, including the New England Equitation Championships, the ASPCA Maclay Region 1 Final and the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Days of Champions.
It made for some special moments. A Massachusetts local, Annalise Manoog was best at Maclay Regionals. The 16-year-old secured her biggest triumph at the site of her first ever finals victory, the 2018 Mass Hunter Jumper Finals, also held at Fieldstone.
Talented junior rider Ellie Ferrigno topped the competitive NEHC Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final, besting more than 200 riders. No testing was required after Ferrigno received a score of 95 in both rounds of competition aboard Astro de Ravel, just 7 years old, whom Ferrigno had spent the year developing. Meanwhile, the 2019 NEHC Champion, Taylor Griffiths-Madden, went on to capture the coveted title in this year’s Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final. Griffiths-Madden provided commentary on the livestream during this year’s NEHC Final; she was also honored with the Junior Sportsmanship Award at the event, along with Emma Eaton-Ayers and Nora Andrews.
In November, Fieldstone announced its 2021 show calendar. The lineup includes eight USEF nationally-rated hunter-jumper competitions: the Fieldstone Spring Festival (May 12-23); the Plymouth Rock Hunter-Jumper Classic (June 23 – July 3); the Fieldstone Summer Showcase (August 18-29); and the North East Classic (September 8-12).
Exhibitors can expect a hybrid of tradition and innovation in the new year. In addition to the venue’s five all-weather GGT hybrid competition arenas and all-grass Grand Prix field, a new GGT lesson and schooling area has been added for 2021, along with bridle paths. For Fieldstone, the focus is most certainly forward, but gratitude abounds for the success made possible by many in the past year. Even under the heaviest of snowfalls, it’s clearly recognized.
For more information on the 2021 Fieldstone Show Park show season, visit the newly updated FieldstoneShowPark.com.