Monday, September 2, 2013

Celebration Top 10 Memories for 2013

Krysta & I are wearing our
Jordan & Jessica pins!
Well, I didn't do a very good job with blogging this trip. Between working and showing I really didn't have much time left to do it. And when I did have a few moments, it was during dinner or late at night, and honestly I spent that time with Krysta and Rachel in conversation or food preparation and watching the Castle marathon. LOL.   

Here's my wrap-up - my blog for the week... This time, I'm sharing my week in a single my top 10 memories of the 2013 Celebration. 

10.  Staying with the Allen sisters. First of all, we got along great. But most of all it was fun to share stories, enjoy their excitement when they bought a new yearling, and give and get moral support as we showed all week.  The two of them are completely different, despite looking like twins.  So i have to say it was pure entertainment from arrival to departure a week and a half later  Thanks for inviting me to stay with was a blast!  And our place was awesome!  Let's do it again!

Hannah Pulvers VIP on the Celebration
grounds.  HP Central all week!
Rachel seated on the fur
bench in the HP suite.
9.  The Hannah Pulvers VIP suite.  Hannah created the most wonderful client space on the show grounds. It was right across from the entry to the warmup area. So we could watch all the comings and goings every night.And , more importantly sit and chat with all the other customers in a space that was appointed with a big couch, white fur covered bench, chairs and tables.   It was like hanging out in an awesome living room complete with rug, lamps, framed pictures, plants and vases of flowers  It was a great environment to catch up with those I've met before, and get to know others better. It's a wonderful and interesting group from all over the country, and I have made friends with so many new people. Plus, there was always something to eat or drink. Especially on cookout night when Bub cooked chicken and ribs for all of us!  It was the big party night. 

Me by the B banner!
The whole row of client banners!
So cool!
8.  The client banners!  OMG!  Hannah had posters made of each of the competitors from her barn. They were full color 4x6' banners. each headlined the horse and rider and were hung along the entire stall length of the Hannah  Pulvers Stables barn on the show grounds  It was so cool to see them all, and they provided shade for the stalls and horses each morning on barn #14. We all had fun taking our pictures in front of our own poster. You felt like a movie star.  LOL. Hannah is spectacular at helping to promote you and your horse. From these banners, to helping place/design ads, to Facebook posts. She goes well beyond the training to help your horse become memorable, by name, as well as by talent.  Thanks Hannah for all that you do for us, we appreciate it...and YOU. 

Emily - the Grecian goddess.
Ready for ribbon giving!
7.  Preparing Emily to give out a ribbon. On Thursday night miss Emily was going out into center ring to give the prize ribbon. This is a huge deal and anyone who gets this honor at theCelebration gets all dressed up, and I mean ALL dressed up. Emily met me on the show grounds in her long pink dress and I put on her makeup and worked a tiara into her hair (yes one of mine - they come in handy pretty often!)  She was absolutely beautiful. The dress was a floral spectacular and her hair was in ringlets around her face. She looked like a Grecian goddess as she walked out under the lights to award the winning blue ribbon and prize that night. I watched it all unfold from ringside. So proud of her!

Me & Darden - enjoying
the show.
6.  Enjoying the show. From the morning pleasure classes inside the Calsonic, to the out door celebration oval each evening....this is an amazing experience to see the best Tenneessee walking horses in the world. And better still is meeting up with friends in the box seats each night to socialize. I sat many evenings with Darden Gladney, sat on the rail a few evenings with Carlan, Kathy, Ronnie, Sam and Carlan's girls (Which are seats an arms length from the action, literally), and one night sat with Kathy Anderson on the opposite
Carlan is trying to turn me
into a Kentucky blue!
side of the ring for a different perspective  I count myself lucky for great seats and great conversation every night.  Plus I visited with Carol and Mary each night to check in.  And you always see someone you know who stops you or you stop by to see. It's all so much fun!  And the sweet tea, Curley fries, and deep fried Oreos hit the spot. 

Gale & Mick from Wisc.
Way to represent!
5.  Wisconsin represents!  Yes one great memory is seeing folks from Wisconsin at the Celebration.  Carol and Mary are fixtures every year. But also Mick and Gale drove down and we caught up for a few nights. And it was great to see Jacob and Laura Schultz, Lori Greenwood and Theresa Dietz and her husband John (who are from Illinois but I know them from Wisconsin show circuit).  It was nice to get some hometown cheers and support so far from home. You wouldn't think that in a huge ring you could hear cheers and your name called out, but you can.  Thanks guys!  I heard you and it meant a lot. 

Whaa What?  Com'on
when will we be home?
4.  Bringing B home. While showing has been a blast, and we've had such an outstanding show season...3 blues, multiple reserves....and always in the ribbons in every class and making every judges card (just WOW!) is super exciting to bring Bourbon home afterwards.  It was emotional to arrive at Hannah Pulvers Stables at 530am to pull B from his stall, wrap his legs in a quiet cross tie space, and walk down the aisle and out the door to the goodbye nickers of all Bs horsey friends. But B jumped right into the trailer and poked his head out the front window as I hooked him up. He gave a few hoof paws for good measure as we drove down the gravel drive and pulled out onto the road.  We passed the Hannah Pulvers Stables sign, which was now lit by the early dawn light. Good bye again for awhile, Main Gait Farms.  Arrival home 11 hours later....and B was out to pasture with D and F.  It was as if they had never been apart.  And everything was instantly back to normal. ;). And my barn was not devoured yet...but it has only been one day. 

Bourbon riding in our Novice
English class to a 6th place!
3.  Showing. Yep there is nothing quite like showing at the Celebration!  The nerves, the excitement, the sounds, the smells, the spectators....and every detail in between.  Being able to put on your riding duds...and hop up into that saddle and enter these historic rings, where so many great horses have entered before, is quite awe-striking.  You kinda want to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming.  While I personally hate the warmup ring...once Hannah grabs your headstall and guides you up the ramp and into the ring, it is so exciting. You ride hard, try to show off your steed the best you can for the judges...and pull into the lineup afterwards hoping you had done well and the judges noticed AND liked you.  The wait for the results is long and nerve racking....but no matter what the placement, when they call your number and announce your name and are so happy. The exit ride is always a happy moment with ribbon in hand!  ;).  

B in Western - riding
for a 5th place!
2.  The judges cards. For me a personal accomplishment was that we made every judges card, in every one of our classes. Our placements in the end were a 5th, two 6th, and an 8th place tie.   Our highest tie on one judge's card was a 2nd place. And another judge placed us 4th in the championship class. The rest were mostly 5th or 6th placement...and as expected much variation between judges.  But it is the first celebration where we consistently made every card!  Woot woot.  So I chalk that up to an outstanding accomplishment. Especially considering that we aren't well we're making a dent in it that and making a mark. I'm estatic that they are starting to appreciate B as much as we do. ;)

In the line-up in The Big Oval at
the end of my very first ride in this
historical ring.  Spectacular!
1.  My first ride in the Big Oval.  Yes, this is the top memory. While I have shown the past two years at the celebration, I have never shown in the Big Oval. The pleasure classes are typically held in the morning inside in the Calsonic. It's only the evening classes that are held outdoors in that huge 30,000 seat coliseum.  Classes start at 7pm, so it's dusk, and the flood lights are on.  You start up in the warmup, and then a huge digital clock is set for 2minutes and 30 seconds and the count down begins.  Everyone lines up, and the trainers grab their clients and guide them down the "chute" towards the ring. As you come through the doorway and make your way down the ramp, I mean chute, you come around a bend and there for the first time you see the ring. It's the coolest moment and it looks totally awesome from between Bourbons ears.  Bub was guiding me and B, and I looked down and said to him, this is my first time out here...and he smiled at me.  Then Hannah arrived, smiled up at me and said good luck and have fun. She ran along side me, down the chute and right to the gate...  I picked up B and began my first ride out in The Big Oval.  It was early, so the crowd was just beginning to assemble, but it definitely was a lot more people than I've shown in front of then ever before. B kept looking over the wall at the people sitting in the first box seats, and I think it was distracting him.
My second Oval ride - Hannah
bringing us down the "chute" to
the ring for our Championship class.
Typically the seating is above you, not I pulled him a little off that wall to keep him focused on the task at hand. He actually did a great job, and other than a little bauble near the end, which I think was someone's horse behind me that spooked, we had a great first oval ride. I'm not sure I was breathing or not, but it did help to have Hannah with me in my ear on the Bluetooth. Just in case. Once in the lineup I finally looked around. So many people watching. I saw Jane and Sam sitting in that front corner box seat, and smiled. Sam pulled out his phone/camera and captured the moment.  The first ever moment of the big oval.  When the announcer made the winning awards....the Honey Badger won the class...and me and B, we took 8th.  We pulled out of the long lineup of 17 hopeful horses and riders..and rode up to collect our ribbon....and then rode out of the big oval.  Smiling.  We did it!  Woot woot. 

Pretty in pink.  Libby, me
and Krysta pose near the
HP stalls...
Of course I probably could have filled a top 25 or 50 list with cool memories.  Like Hannah's customers who rode to the blues...and winner circle photo sessions and celebrations.  Congrats to Kathy Anderson, Maggie Moore, Jordan Howell,  Jennifer Bingham, James Abernathy, Wayne Westbrook, Allie, Whitlie, and so many more on earning their WC, WGC, or RWC titles this year.   And Hannah, Bub, Candy, and Alberto, who work so hard to make all of this possible. To show baths, show shopping, and to bling accessorizing. To getting ready, And to packing up.  To laughter and to tears. 

I'll never forget all the memories and all the friendships of the 2013 celebration.  Thanks everyone!

Here are more photo memories below.  Enjoy!  (Tip If you click on a photo, you'll be taken to the entire gallery and can page through them and  see larger sized pictures.)

 B's ad appeared in the Thurs. issue
- the night of my Oval ride!
Was cool to see.
Ed Lewis in the HP suite.
Ed owns Main
Gait where B stays.

The Allen sisters (left & right), and the
Dennis sisters (3 middle) all dressed
up to give ribbons in center ring!

Yummy.  Fried Oreos (I know!)
and curly fries with cheese.  OMG!
Alberto giving B a post-
class shower on the grounds.

B drying in the rack after
his show bath!

The line-up in the Big Oval.  I
think there were 17 horses in this
class...we went end to end of the ring.

The Warm-up ring.  Horses prepping
for their classes.

Carol & Mary enjoy the
show from their box seats!

Tami, Marcia and Sheryl
sit with me to watch the
show.  Lovely ladies!

Tami sitt'n front and center on the wall.
B and me - enjoy a ride
down the driveway
when we get home.
Bourbon on the cross ties
at the HP stalls on the grounds.
Love these guys!  Bub and Hannah
at the "cook-out" enjoying some fun!
"SHOW BATH" - says Bub!

Me and Marcia relaxing
in the HP suite.  Love the fur
bench!  :)
B in his stall.  Note his stall
boasts his name...and FC
status - Futurity Champion!
My saddle all shined up
and ready to go to the big
show!  Silver is sparkling.
Me, Candy and Kathy toasting
in the HP VIP suite.
B is sporting his dread locks.
Handsome boy!

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