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We Ask the Industry: Without the Congress, what are Your Alternative Plans this Fall?

No Congress? At the beginning of the year, if someone told you that the Congress would be canceled, you probably would have laughed. Well, the year 2020 is nothing that we thought it would be, and certainly nothing to laugh at. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down for many with the loss of jobs and lives.

In the horse industry, multiple shows were canceled or postponed this year, including The Level 1 Championships, AQHA Select World, AjPHA World Show, Pinto World, Tom Powers…the list goes on and on. Since many exhibitors and trainers find their usually packed October wide open for the first time, we wanted to know what everyone plans to do in this off-year. Let’s find out.

Tammi Smith – We are planning to spend some time moving into our new house, and we are also planning a huge Halloween party with a live band. It’ll be in the barn.


Shannon Vroegh – For Iowa, it’s fall and my favorite time of year to be in Iowa, so I am very excited to be home. I love sweatshirt weather, and watching the leaves turn colors.  It also happens to be the month of my birthday, so I can go out and do something to celebrate.


Adrienne Dickerson – We plan to attend the Williamston, NC show and also Camden, SC show in October. Trying to get those last few horse shows in before the Tom Powers. Taft and I also plan to take a long weekend vacation to Virginia Beach. We haven’t officially been on holiday in 3 years.


Meg DePalma – It’s odd to think about enjoying October without the Congress, but I’m excited. We are taking the long road to Arizona for the Fall Championships in late September and early October. Scottsdale is one of my favorites places to show; it’s beautiful there. As for the rest of October, my goal is to be a normal person, haha. Dinners with friends, family time, and a trip to Disney are all on my agenda. I can’t wait.

Emma Brown – I plan to attend the show in Arizona. I am also going to take that time to enjoy school, and all of my teammates at TCU. Although I am so sad about the cancellation of the Congress, I am choosing to look at the positive and enjoy everything I can at the moment.


Amy Gumz – We are hitting a few regional shows in October, but more importantly, we are planning our 30th anniversary trip to the Florida Keys.  We’ve only celebrated our anniversary twice on that actual date, and this one is a big one.



Scott Reinartz
– Without the Congress this year, we will be going to Arizona for our horse show fix. Then in October, we plan to take a trip to the Upper Northeast for some fresh lobster. A short recharge between Arizona and the AQHA World Show.



Kristy Starnes – We will be showing in Arizona, then will be heading to Charleston with friends for a long weekend to celebrate Jay’s birthday someplace other than in Ohio.


Rebekah Kazakevicius – Counting the days until Congress 2021. Congress is my absolute favorite show of the year. I love the Futurity classes and getting to trot into Celeste. This year was going to be our first year as a vendor, and we had some great and exciting things planned for Brinks Hattery. I love all the details that go into building the booth, how to do such things better, and make a lasting impression, so I’ll be looking forward to showcasing all our hard work next year.

Candy Parrish – Team Parrish QH has Mallory Beinborn of Impulse Photography scheduled here at the farm in October for a photoshoot in preparation for 2021. Bret and I also hope to take some trips to The Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, to see our son Chase.


Vanessa Froman – We are waiting to see how exhausted we all are from being at the Paint World for two weeks first. But my husband and I were discussing taking the boys to Galena, Illinois. It’s along the Mississippi River and beautiful in the fall. We also decided to do more locally, like apple picking and decorate our house for Halloween for the first time in years. Our boys are still doing “e-learning,” so as long as they can be on their Zoom calls, we can be anywhere together. I want to make the most of the situation while we can.

Emma Garcia – Since there is no Congress and my trainer is judging in Arizona, I will be staying at school (assuming we don’t get sent home early) and finishing the first half of my senior year in college. I will also be working on getting to know my new horse better so that we can start 2021 prepared for horse shows. It will also be nice to celebrate my favorite holiday, Halloween, with my friends this year.


Beckie Peskin – Ugh…moving, but to Texas. Happy to be moving closer to my horse and trainer.  I wish it wasn’t at a time that makes going to Arizona impossible…if I want to remain married, that is.



Alexis Wrobbel – We have a few things planned. One would be to go to Arizona, that’s where Hubba is sponsoring the Non-Pro Maturity. Two is to go to the Highpoint Stallion Showcase the second to last weekend in October, and lastly, is to take a trip to the beach. It will be nice to get some R&R before the AQHA World Show, then the holidays, and then the coming up breeding season.



Darci Rapley – Since Canadian Thanksgiving typically lands on a Congress weekend, I plan on making a big turkey dinner with all the fixings for our friends. If the New Brunswick border opens up by October, we will probably plan a trip out East to do a few clinics and have a mini-vacation in there somewhere too. As for traveling South, it will depend on when the border opens back up. We are holding on to hope it may be opened up for the Tom Powers in December. Then, it will be back to the horse showing business as usual. We miss it.

Morgan Jennings – So far, I plan to try and find a new state to show in. I haven’t checked all the schedules yet, but I would love to try something new, no matter what the size of the show in the past. It’s been a fun year to go outside the norm. I’m also planning my second backpacking trip here in Michigan. I fell in love with it last year, and October is a beautiful time to go, but I usually can’t because of Congress. My farmer husband is also excited to possibly have an extra tractor driver in the field. I usually miss most of the harvest due to the show.

Cindi Madej – We are building a new house. We are putting up a new modular on our current property, 14 acres in Upstate New York. We will be excavating and pouring a new basement in October for a November set date. We hope to be in by Christmas. Once the new house is complete, the existing doublewide will be removed, and we will build a garage on the concrete pad from the current home. It’s going to be 2 Bedrooms, two baths.  But most exciting is our office. I’m going to have one wall with built-in shelves to display my AQHA Bronzes and trophies.

Jennifer Reams – Hopefully, go to the mountains for a little vacation. We will do some local circuits that we usually don’t get to do. Mainly enjoy the October weather in North Carolina.





Tony Anderman
– I’m heading to show in Arizona with both my trainers, Clint Ainsworth and Blake Weis. After that, I’ll spend some time with my family in Minnesota, and then head back to Georgia for World Show prep. Even though it’s strange not to have the Congress consume most of my October this year, I have a feeling the month is going to fly by anyway.

What are your alternative Congress plans this fall?  Let us know in the comments.