Thursday, March 3, 2011
Close to Nowhere
Horse show on the Gulf Coast
I’d never been to an “equestrian” show before this past weekend. I’ve been to plenty of horse shows and, of course, lots of rodeos, but this past weekend, Grace, my granddaughter’s best friend since they were three years old, was riding in her first ever hunter-jumper show.
I’m probably not going to be totally accurate on a lot of the terminology, but I do know that — at her very first show ever Grace won a third and a seventh out of a class of 15!
She and her horse Texas looked marvelous to me, going around the enclosure, jumping jumps and cantering/trotting.
The fairgrounds in Gulfport are beautiful! Rings were set up all over the place, as were practice riding areas and all of it was covered with beautiful horses and beautiful riders.
The stables were incredible, filled with horses, tack and stalls covered with ribbons already won in the events.
There were a lot of us “nervous mother hens” on hand to cheer for her.
In addition to Grace’s mom Suzanne and our bunch -- Dana, Meredith, Remy and me, her Aunt Abby was there, along with Beth Ann. There were several others with Abby that I didn’t know, but that was OK. We were all there to cheer on “our” rider!
I think the center of attention among the cheerleaders was Ruby. Ruby is a smallish dog, part dachshund and I think part Jack Russell. She’s quite gorgeous and never meets a stranger. Ruby belongs to Claudia Keith, Grace and Tex’s trainer, and is a veteran at horse shows. She rides around in the golf cart and just generally enjoys herself immensely!
We were all nervous watching Grace ride. Grace appeared cool and calm, not like her cheerleaders at all. She said later she was panic-stricken most of the time, but it didn’t show.
Grace is tall for a 15-year-old (she’s tall for any age!) and looks perfect seated on Texas, who stands 18 hands (I don’t know how tall that is, but he seems as tall to me as Frank Swords’ Percherons — he’s probably not though).
During breaks between events, naturally, we hit the shopping. Judy’s Tack, one of Dana’s favorite horse stores in Germantown, had a trailer there. Remy just had to have some hair ribbons from her store, as many of the riders, elegantly dressed in their riding habits, had their hair tied back in ribbons.
Dana and I got hats; Suzanne and I bought T-shirts from the event and we drooled over quite a bit. Most of it was way too rich for my pocket-book though.
The coast was beautiful; seafood was everywhere; and Grace won two ribbons!
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