Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Primary May Be Over, But Not Done Yet

Exeter Historical Society Program Explores the History of the New Hampshire Primary and its National Significance

Exeter, New Hampshire – Join the Exeter Historical Society on Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30 pm (with refreshments at 7 p.m.), for a presentation by Caroline Amport, Director of Programs at the NH Political Library. The program will take place at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, and is free and open to the public.

Amport will explore New Hampshire's unique political culture and the elements that have established the Granite state as not only the First-in-the-Nation Presidential primary, but as a time-tested proving ground for candidates seeking the highest office in the nation. This program looks at the history of the NH Primary from its beginnings in 1916 through its continued impact on the American Presidential selection process in the 20th century and beyond. Using political cartoons, examples from past elections and other relevant materials attendees will come away with a greater understanding of “Why New Hampshire?” For more information, contact Laura Martin Gowing, program manager, at the Exeter Historical Society at 603-778-2335 or info@exeterhistory.org.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yet Another New Exeter Blogger

The Exeter blogging revolution continues. Joe Pace has joined the ranks of bloggers, though he's staying away from local politics and blogging about national issues (and sports). Go check Joe out at:


Brentwood Library Tonight

I'll be at the Brentwood Library tonight to give a talk about moose milking:

How do you milk a moose anyway?
When: Thursday, Sept. 25, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Mary E Bartlett Library (map)
Newspaper columnist Lara Bricker answers that questions and other pressing issues of the day in her 1st book of columns.

Another New Exeter Blog

Two of Exeter's lawyers, Alex Yiokarinis and Rich Taylor, have started their own blog. Go check it out and give them a nice welcome. (And ask your legal questions!)


Sunday, September 14, 2008


We checked out Islandfest last weekend down at the Ioka. It was an AWESOME event and one I hope they bring back each year. We felt tired watching organizer Todd Picanso zipping back and forth around the theater all night. It was a long night, especially for a Sunday, but three great acts, Scott Kirby, Peter Mayer Band and Club Trini. Check out Peter Mayer below The place was packed and the line started forming pretty early out front
Luckily we were able to get in early to the pre party and got great seats. (and got to meet the band!!).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Chicken/Rooster Has A Home

Well, apparently the standoff between our local animal control officer and the red rooster down on Swasey Parkway has come to an end. I noticed as I drove through this afternoon a sign posted up in the area where this bird has been hanging out. It said "Rooster Has Been Adopted" and went on to give the address of the people at the Head Over Heels shoe store on Water Street.

From the sound of it, the rooster has been eating quite well of late thanks to a growing fan base of area children and adults who came to visit every day.

I still want to know where this bird came from in the first place???

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Competition Underway at Jumper Classic

By Lara Bricker
HAMPTON FALLS — Olympian Norman Dello Joio and his nine-year-old Dutch gelding Malcolm posted two clear rounds and the fastest time over the jump course at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic to win the main event Friday afternoon.
"He's getting to be a very consistent contender," Dello Joio said of the horse he has been competing with for the past three years. "He just needed some experience and some confidence."
Dello Joio is a veteran competitor in the equestrian world, who is known for riding his horse Irish to the individual bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics. He had just returned from coaching riders from Mexico at the Beijing Olympics and is one of a number of Olympic equestrians at the top-level horse show taking place this weekend on the grounds of the Silver Oak Equestrian Center.
Dello Joio was one of only four riders to post a clear round in Friday's class, meaning his horse made it over the course of jumps without knocking any rails down. Riders are given four faults for each rail they knock down. Horse-and-rider combinations with the least number of faults proceed to the jump-off round where they jump for time over a shorter course to determine the ultimate winner.
The Welcome Stakes is considered a qualifying class for the main event of the show on Sunday, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, explained Margaret "Peggy" Lynch, the show's manager. While horses are not required to compete in the qualifying class in order to compete in the grand prix their participation, and performance, in the class Friday determines the order in which they ride on Sunday, Lynch said. For example, horse-and-rider combinations that opted out of Friday's class will be called first to ride the course on Sunday. From a strategical standpoint, this means they will not have the chance to watch other riders negotiate the course before they go, which often helps them spot trouble spots before their own ride.
Show organizers also kept their eye on forecasts for rain this weekend from Tropical Storm Hanna, though they say the show will go on, rain or shine. Riders may use bigger studs that attach to the horse's shoes, similar to cleats, to keep their traction on the grass jumping field, said Jeff Papows, the chairman of the Jumper Classic and a competitor. They may also warm their horses up longer to make sure their muscles are limber before taking to the jump course.
"Very likely it will have very little effect," Papows said of the expected storm.
Irish rider Kevin Babington, who rode in the 2004 Olympics, placed fourth in the Welcome Stakes on his horse Souvenir. Babington, who is based at a farm in Pennsylvania, has been riding the bay horse for the past year and says the horse can be a challenging one to pilot around the course as he tends to get very excited when jumping. Babington's strategy was to settle his equine partner at the very start of the course by asking him to take shorter strides, five rather than four, along the first line of jumps in the course. "Then he settled into the bridle," Babington said.
The course, designed by noted course designer Linda Allen, allowed horses and riders to make a lot of their own decisions with their strategies for the jumps, Babington said, which is a good test of their training. "It's the technical challenges of the course that make it exciting," Babington said.
Jumping courses in the United States are most often conducted in a sand riding arena and the grass field at the local show is said to have a European flavor. It is also a challenge for some of the horses, Babington said. "Horses are a lot spookier on the grass field," he said.
Last year's grand prix winner, Kent Farrington, is bringing along his new horse, the seven-year-old mare Untitled, at the show this year. The mare did not make it to the jump-off round as she knocked down one rail in the initial jump course round, but Farrington said Friday's class was a good experience. "It's a good change to get the horse in the ring in a new venue and to get them comfortable in a new setting," he said.
He will wait until he sees the course on Sunday to decide whether to compete with Untitled, as she is not a seasoned competitor and he is still bringing her up in the grand prix level. "She's very sweet in the stable but when she's showing or competing, she's a fighter," Farrington said. "She's a tiger."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Think Human Athletes Take Care of Themselves? Check out the Equine Athletes

By Lara Bricker
HAMPTON FALLS — Behind each top horse competing at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic horse show is a group of support staff that rivals those of professional athletes.
There are equine massage therapists, equine chiropractors, equine dentists and equine acupuncturists. Equine farriers keep the athletes' hooves in top form. And then there are the horse show grooms and barn staff who do everything — feed, brush, bathe, exercise and generally pamper the athletes both before and after their show ring performances.
"These horses, they're like NFL or NBA stars; they travel with their own entourage," said Jeff Papows, chairman of the board for the show as well as an avid competitor.
Olympic rider Nona Garson describes it like another well-known sport.
"It's like having a Formula One race car; there's a whole pit crew that goes with the horse," said Garson. "These high-level horses get a lot of care. We go with a lot of natural, holistic methods to make the horse feel better."
Competition at the Jumper Classic, a top-level equestrian show on the grounds of the Silver Oak Equestrian Center, resumed Thursday with a series of show jumping classes for younger riders and amateur adult riders. Today's schedule includes the $10,000 Welcome Stake competition, which is a qualifying class for the main event of the show on Sunday, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix.
The Welcome Stake will include rides by a number of Olympic riders, including Mclain Ward, who is just returning from the Beijing Olympics, where he was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team. CLICK FOR ENTIRE STORY

Equestrian Fun Comes to Town

So I've landed the job of reporting daily from the big Jumper Classic horse show out on Hampton Falls Road at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center. For those who don't know, I actually have a degree in horses (not journalism) which makes this an ideal writing assignment for me. So why am I writing, and not riding, these days? Well, after one too many falls in college, I considered what might I do if I ended up in a body cast from a horse. Write of course!

Here's the first day's report:

By Lara Bricker
September 05, 2008 6:00 AM
HAMPTON FALLS — A group of Olympic-level equestrians was poised and ready to answer questions from its youngest fans under a tent at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic Wednesday afternoon.
No doubt top rider Nona Garson was not expecting the first question of the day, posed to her by 10-year-old Britney Swane."Where did you get your belt?" the young Exeter girl asked Garson, drawing a round of laughter from the crowd.
Garson, who rode the horse Rhythmical in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, replied that she found the belt through a vendor at another horse show she attended.
The first day of the Jumper Classic, a top-level equestrian show on the grounds of the Silver Oak Equestrian Center, included a special meet-and-greet event with top riders, the jump course designer, organizers and a prominent sponsor, Miele, a manufacturer of heavy duty washing machines for horse gear. CLICK FOR FULL STORY