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EARLIER: Preparation a smooth ride for Horse Show

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By Scotty McDaniel

In what has truly been a group effort, the 20th annual Shelbyville Horse Show is set up and is ready to take on the masses that are sure to arrive tonight.

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“We’ve had so many people from so many wakes of life here involved in this,” said Pam Ray, president of the board of directors for the Shelbyville Horse Show. “Some of us have been doing it since it started, and this is our 20th anniversary.”

Back then the show was much smaller, she said, and the few helpers did a wider variety of the necessary tasks. Fast forward to the present, and Ray estimates there are somewhere between 300 and 400 volunteers helping with this year’s show, including groups from local schools, banks, and Jewish Hospital Shelbyville.

On Monday the fairgrounds were already heavily occupied with workers setting out chairs and tables, putting final touches on paint, landscaping, and mowing.

Living Green Curbside Recycling was exploring the grounds to figure out where they’d place recycling bins. This is the first time that the horse show has ever offered recycling, and Living Green is volunteering the service for free.

“All of our products are Coke products in cans, so it’s going to be a huge thing to have them here to help us out,” Ray said.

Living Green co-owner Jeff Long said the goal is simple: make it simple.

“It’d be nice to put them [recycling bins] next to every garbage can so everyone has an option,” Long said. “We want to make it convenient for every person here.”

A line of vendor tents was up and ready, blooming floral arrangements added color to the scene, and stables were cleaned and equipped for the more than 500 horses that are already on the grounds or soon will be coming from all over the world.

“A lot of the horse people come to Shelbyville to show then just stay in the area and then go to the [Kentucky State] fairgrounds for the World Championships.

Therefore, we have many world champions that show in Shelbyville,” Ray said.

And the ever-popular Horseman’s Tent was just a few table linens and centerpieces away from being completely fine-tuned.

Following an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today for everyone who has volunteered, sponsored or otherwise been involved with the horse show, the tent will be turned over to the public, offering its food and drinks to all Horseman’s Club ticket-holders braving the chances of rain for the grand experience of the show.

2009 Shelbyville Horse Show

 WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

WHERE: Shelby County Fairgrounds, Shelbyville.

TICKETS: $5 gate admission, $45 for the Horseman’s Tent. Saturday night’s party in Floral Hall is sold out.

MORE INFO: Call 633-7123 or visit www.shelbyvillehorseshow.com.