Traditional barbecue revived to support Harmon Field

Published 8:00 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

TR&HC members honor club founder during fundraiser

TRYON — Nearly 90 years ago, Carter Brown started a tradition of holding a community barbecue at Harmon Field.

On Wednesday, the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club revived the tradition.

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Approximately 120 members and friends of the TR&HC gathered at the Tryon park’s cabin to reminisce about Brown, the club’s founder, and the early shows the members rode in. Andy Haynes wore a seersucker suit and 1920s-style boater hat, just as Brown would have when he stepped off the train in Tryon 90 years ago.

Andy Haynes shows an original 1932 Tryon Horse and Hound Show program he brought to share with others at the Carter Brown Memorial Barbecue Wednesday. In honor of Carter Brown, Haynes wore a seersucker suit and 1920s-style boater hat to the event. (Photo by Catherine Hunter/Tryon Daily Bulletin)

Haynes brought along original programs from the 1932 and 1963 Tryon Horse and Hound Shows. Tim Brannon, Alan Leonard, Mark McCall, Bill McCall and Haynes all knew Brown, and enjoyed looking through the programs and finding their names listed as competitors in the various classes.

“It’s fun to have this energy here,” said Andrew Brannon, president of TR&HC, as he welcomed the barbecue guests. “I want to thank you for reviving this tradition.”

Brannon talked for a few minutes about how Brown started the Tryon Horse and Hound Show and the tradition of having a barbecue to kick off the event.

“He would invite the whole community,” Brannon said. “All the schools and businesses would close for the day. They would bring Morris the horse from downtown and park it at the entrance gate [to Harmon Field] to let everyone know there was a show going on.”

Ben Douglas found his name listed as a competitor in a Junior Working Hunter class in an original Tryon Horse and Hound Show program from 1963. (Photo by Catherine Hunter/Tryon Daily Bulletin)

While everyone feasted on fried chicken and barbecue pork, prepared by The Drake House, Brannon showed a short video, “Through the Stone Pillars,” that featured Gerald and Lewis Pack and Linda Lee Reynolds of the Tryon Museum talking about the history of Harmon Field and the Tryon Horse and Hound Show.

“So many people have started their riding careers right here at Harmon Field,” Gerald Pack said.

Lewis Pack said he began the Blue Ridge Hunter Jumper Classic shows to continue the tradition Brown started so many years ago.

The barbecue celebrates the TR&HC 90th Annual Charity Horse Show, which takes place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center through Sunday. All proceeds from the barbecue will go to support equestrian events at Harmon Field.

“It was so well received,” said Pam Minnick, who headed the registration table for guests attending the barbecue. “People new to the area are asking interesting questions. They want to know what this is all about.”

Brannon said they felt the event was a great success, and plan to continue with the barbecue tradition. He added that the club is planning more community-friendly events, is hoping to shoot more informative videos and is working to expand its website.