NC State Fair Horse Show

Raleigh, NC

It has come to the NC State Fair Horse Show’s attention that Walking Horse industry internet chat lines are stating incorrectly the Saturday afternoon, Oct. 14, Youth Day Non-Trotting judging situation. 

The facts are that Kemp Martin, when contacted last winter about judging the Walking Horses at the NC State Fair on Friday and Saturday nights, was asked if he would be willing to judge the Youth Day Non-Trotting classes.   These classes are not held under any sanctioning organization and included multiple non-trotting breeds including Paso Finos.  When Judge Martin was issued a contract it did not include these classes nor was he listed in the prize list to judge these classes.   For the last few years the show manager has asked the Walking Horse judge to do these classes as their numbers have been increasing.   Formerly they had been judged by the Saddle Seat Judge.  It was not until after lunch on Saturday that the Show Manager realized he had not confirmed Judge Martin’s judging these classes upon his arrival at the show.  

After calling his hotel room and getting no answer about an hour before the classes were to begin, the Show Manager contacted the Spotted Saddle Horse judge, Benny Johnson, who was equally qualified to judge these classes and graciously agreed to judge the classes on short notice.  Judge Johnson immediately came to the show grounds.   Prior to the first performance non-trotting class being called, Kemp Martin returned the call to the Show Manager stating he would come immediately.   He was told that Benny Johnson was already on the grounds and that the show was fine - to stay at the hotel.

This whole issue is one of poor communications on the part of the show and Kemp Martins conduct at the show was totally acceptable.   There was time for him to get to the arena and he was told we were covered but was thanked for his willingness.

These chat line comments are totally unfair to Judge Martin.   In addition the Show Manager did not have a single exhibitor say anything negative about Judge Martin at the show.   He remains on the State Fair’s judges list for future consideration.

The State Fair would like to take this opportunity to thank our Walking and Spotted Saddle Horse exhibitors for the wonderful turnout.   We enjoyed great spectator attendance and it was a great show!

The NC State Fair Horse Show sincerely apologizes to Judge Martin for placing him in this unfair situation.

                                                                                    Glenn T. Petty

                                                                                    Show Manager

                                                                                    NC State Fair Horse Show