Sunday, September 28, 2008

Judging from Sun-Up to Sundown

I just got home from judging all day-- and I mean all day-- at a hunter and equitation show near Los Angeles. Because this showground is only a few miles from the ocean, it's prone to cool temps and morning fog. To illustrate, here's a photo I snapped on my way to the judge's booth. The first equitation over fences classes for the little kids was about to start. No, there's nothing wrong with my camera. It's just foggy!

I love the look of concentration on the faces of these little kids while they study the course. On the other hand, notice the expressions of their horses and ponies. They seem to be saying, "Big deal. A couple of wooden boxes stuffed with fake flowers and some phony brick walls. Whatever. When's lunch? I hear they're serving carrots."
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And indeed, they were serving carrots to the winners of the 3 medal classes. In fact, this show hosted the medal finals for all the winners who'd qualified earlier in the year. Since I've competed in many medal finals in my show career, I really enjoy officiating over them. Not everyone gets to experience both the challenges of riding in a medal finals and judging them, too!

This large pony reminded me of a miniature Wally in a dark brown suit. His rider jumped the medal finals course flawlessly and the two of them made a wonderful team. Then, when the pony grabbed the bunch of carrots straight out of the ring steward's hands, and began munching away, I thought, "Hmmm... Now he REALLY reminds me of Wally!" ********************

Because of my recent car accident (see my last blog posting), I had to be shuttled to the show by my mom. And then Ron came and picked me up. It was a long day, so I'm glad I didn't have to drive all the way home after dark. It's probably good that I don't have any judging assignments until after the start of the new year, because I'll have time to get completely healed from my surgery and re-charge my energy.

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Yet even though I'm tired, I had a great time. I shared the judge's booth with Nancy Frost, a well-known USEF judge who also trains at L.A. Equestrian Center. The arena Nancy judged held the jumper division, the "advanced" medal finals and the classes for the older junior riders. I had the walk/trot division, the "intermediate" medal finals and the novice rider classes. During any free moments, we chatted about horses (duh!), changes in the show world we've witnessed over the years, and which horse or pony we'd seen that day that we'd like to take home. There were quite a few of those. But then, Wally might get jealous. And I couldn't have that!

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You can contribute your comments by either emailing me at: hc-editor@bowtieinc.com or clicking on "comments" below. I read them all!

6 comments:

brunettebarbie said...

~*~Wow what an exctiting couple of days! Cars can make me want to pull my hair out! This morning I go to crank my car....and I got nothing but clicks. A.K.A. dead battery. I'm thinking its from when I left my light on while I went on a trail ride and it just decided to die two days later. I looked over at my Thoroughbred gelding Forest and thought...hmm maybe not we might look ridiculous canteing down the freeway. If only we lived in the old days where horseback was the mode of transportation...ahh that would be heaven!~*~

Gwen said...

How cute! Carrots as prizes! You have had a busy last few days. I was thrown from my mare last Friday night and bonked my head on the pavement and landed on my back--the same back I had surgery on this past winter. Went to the ER Friday night and the head's ok but I can't get into my back dr until next Monday. I am still taking care of my mare everyday, just a little slower and I am yearning to ride her again. Better not I guess until the doc says ok. Rats!

Anonymous said...

Oh no! sorry to hear about your car wreck. Been a couple of those over the years. I saw the one guy who rear-ended me at a yield sign. He was yakkin on his cell phone, and speeding up to beat traffic from a stop light. I watched him, and yet could do nothing! He looked up just as he hit us. Anywayyyyyyssss...
I'm glad you're okay. And Wally as the pony express? Priceless. I live on a highway, and have ridden Skipper to my mailbox, and most always get smiles and waves or a couple of honking horns (grrr.).
At least you guys didn't get hurt. That's the good thing. Cars will fix, but bodies are harder to mend.

Take care,
Jamie

Cindy Hale said...

Geez, it sounds like I am not the only one who lives an eventful life! Oh. And I hate that "clicking sound" of a dead battery. I do, however, think that we'd all be better off if we could simply ride our horses around town more often. Wally agrees. He likes to get out and see the world each day.

Anonymous said...

Hope your feeling better!I have a couple of questions to ask.Do you know how to Quifily for the 2009 Aspca Junior equation finals and what kind of horse you wound need.That is for New York State.Also hows Cowboy keep us posted on his weekly activities i love to hear all about him.

Cindy Hale said...

More news on Cowboy soon. I promise! As for the ASPCA medal finals: First you need to join USEF. You can go to their website at www.usef.org and download a membership application or apply at any USEF-rated show. It's been a few decades (yikes!) since I rode in the ASPCA/Maclay medal, but I believe there are still varying numbers of medals you have to win in order to qualify for the finals. And then, there are zone or regional finals first. Now, what kind of horse do you need? How about a very, very expensive one! Truly, a top level medal horse must possess many upper level skills. One option is to lease a proven, seasoned medal class horse for the show season. They're out there and they're available. Good luck!