Monday, January 4, 2010

The Adventure Continues.........Halloween at Nationals

The Adventure Begins

Halloween was the final day of the horse show. With that came some pretty crazy costumes in unexpected places. If costumes running up and down the stands wasn't enough, a couple of the exhibitors in the junior stallion halter class had spruced themselves up just a bit in honor of Halloween.........a bit of colored hair spray and some wildly colored shirts added to the usual suits seen showing in this class.

For those who think the Arabian horse industry and its owners are a bit too up tight and stuffy, this might just give them new perspective. Inviting everyone wearing costumes from the stands to come show themselves in center ring might not be THAT unbelievable. BUT I'm pretty sure seeing BNT's with purple hair or neon dress shirts doesn't quite fit the picture of what most expect to see in the class that is considered to be the most prestigious of the show.

The MOST unexpected of all was this final post entry (pictured above) in the junior stallion halter class. Announced as a "late" entry, these two put on quite a show. The crowd loved every minute of their demonstration.

The handler trotted his "horse" in just like all the other exhibitors had done and the crowd went wild . The horse, well he hammed it up pretty darn "good" as he strutted his stuff for his new found fans. All the way down the rail he exhibited some playful if not wild behavior much to the delight of the masses.

At the designated location, the handler asked his horse to walk quietly. The horse demonstrated his willingness to comply with a nod of his head and the decrease in his gait without losing any of his presence. Once again the crowd went wild and the horse nodded his head at them in recognition of their approval. This horse was good.........real good.

Before the handler walked his horse up to meet the judges, he stopped him at the rail and adjusted his horsey forelock. The crowd went wild at the mere prospect of this jab at ring rituals and the horse and handler both were pretty darn proud of themselves.

The handler stood his horse up in the center of the arena.........not quite the halter stance we are used to what with this horse impostor walking on two hind feet but it was an effort........ The horse fidgeted a bit as the judges walked around him but he stood there trying to stretch in all his horsey glory. You could tell this horse REALLY wanted to win! The crowed roared their approval at the continuation of this ruse.

When the judges were finished recording their scores, the horse and handler made their exit in a wave of glory. Circling around at the ingate before finally exiting the ring, the pair soaked up all the applause they could garner before making their way out.

Even when they were gone from sight, the crowd still roared it's approval. Many had tears running down their cheeks generated by the deep honest belly laughter comedians only dream of.............. If it hadn't been for rules.............. this horse impersonator would have surely won the class.

I must admit that I was one of those with tears streaming down my face. The entire display was such a poke at the establishment I couldn't contain myself. My sides ached and my stomach ached even more. I was hoarse from laughing..........and it would have been all right with me if this horse won the class. He certainly had my approval.

To be honest after this display, I didn't even stick around to see the stallions pinned. I had my entertainment for the night, W my scores all written down in my show program from this new scoring system I knew who won so I decided to get a jump on the masses exiting the arena by leaving early.

I stopped by the photographer's booth to check the computers for proofs from Rhet's halter class. I had the photos picked out I wanted of Legs and me. Now it was time to get a look at what was available of Rhet. I needed that order in now because the price went up if I ordered from home and Jesse planned on leaving at 6 in the morning. There would be no time to order then. It was now or never.

I hate making decisions like this in a hurry. I'm still not sure I picked the "right" one. These are the proofs I had to pick from. Which is your favorite.

Rhet Proof 1

Rhet Proof 2

Rhet Proof 3

Rhet Proof 4

Rhet Proof 5

Rhet Proof 6

This next one is the stallion that won this class, Aria Impresoria, shown my Michael Byatt. The horse by my horsey friend, Lexy. It was nice to see him win.

One the way back through the barns to get to my stalls, there were all kinds of parties going on in the aisles some with drinking........and some not. The "main" barn up by the arena had literally mobs of people and the noise was deafening.

Trying to make my way through these crowded aisles, I came literally ran into Susan Durr.

For a little history, Susan is the daughter of the original Bevan's Arabians founders. They were the breeders of Country Heir who was the sire of my mare, Scandalous, making him the grandsire of Legs.

Susan looked me up several years ago because of she spotted my Country Heir breeding note in an ad in the Region 5 Directory. There are not many horses around with that breeding. Country Heir sired only a few foals before it was discovered that he was a SCIDS carrier.

As soon as the Bevan's realized the horse was a carrier they donated him to the research facility at Washington State University. Their brave manner of handling this situation is one of the reasons we have a test for SCIDS today. Back in those days, stallion owners hid that information. Some quietly gelded the stallions and others continued to breed keeping the information secret. Few were brave enough to come forward to donate horses to help researchers. Susan Durr is the one who confirmed my suspcions that Country Heir carried the genetic disorder. Up until I met her, it had only been a hunch on my part.

I spent a little time visiting with Susan at the show. I appreciate her ethics and enjoy spending time with her. She wasn't showing her horse at this show because like most other people times are tough in her husband's business as well. She and her daughter had flown in to watch the last few days of classes.

We talked some about how my show had gone. Susan is a woman who understands what it takes to show a horse on your own and be competitive. She said some kind things about my journey and considering the show I'd had, those comments were most appreciated. I was glad I'd had a chance to visit with her.

During the visit I learned that her stallion, Apaladin++ (AA Apollo Bey x Amanda of Aerie by El Magato), is up for sale. That horse means to Susan what Legs does to me. I was saddened to hear that she is in this position. We're both hoping that with the market down, he won't sell right now. As the economy increases her need to sell him should decreases. That's our hope anyway. This is the horse I had planned to breed to Scandalous Hope until I got Rhet.

With my visit over with Susan, I tucked the horses into bed and then headed off to my apartment in the back of my horse trailer. I had a few things to wrap up before going to sleep so I would have less to do in the morning. Being ready to leave a 6 meant I needed to be up by 4. There was a lot to do in those two hours. I was hoping I could get some sleep instead of thinking about what lay ahead.

To be continued.........................

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  1. It seems like the Halloween bit was very funny and everyone had a good time.

    Your horse is beautiful, I liked all the pictures but especially the ones of him moving. None of those judges looked like they were having a good time especially that woman in the red pants suit. What a sourpuss.

  2. I think Photo 1 or 6--six being my choice. The others seem too focused on the judges and not so much on Rhett. To tell you my opinion for what it is worth, I like Rhett much more than the colt that won(or maybe he looks better than the photo). Guess that is why I am not a judge of Arabians or any other horse breed. The horse has to appeal to me on initial glance. Just something I feel. Right or wrong.

  3. How fun was that halter haloween special!!! As far as the proofs go, I really likes 3 and 5. I hope you had fun in Tulsa this year!

  4. LOL, I love the horsey costume!Sounds like a great time was had by everyone.

    Choosing the photo is a really tough decision. They're all good. I like his head in 1 and the way the people in back are blurred only your handler is blocked. Could that photo be zoomed in, to a close-up of just his head and shoulders since the judge is blocking his body? In 2, his tail is swished, blocking his body and although he has a great front end, he doesn't seem to be using his neck much. I think he is showing best in 3 and you can see his head and body completely. He has a nicely fanned tail and he looks like he's really stretching his nose out. 4 is also nice although I don't care for his tail and it looks like he's creeping forward. Still, his topline is nice and level and his head is similar to 3 only maybe a little more zoomed in, which is good. I really like the headshot in 5 but the judge has a crazy look on his face and don't you just want to curse him for not scoring Rhett higher? The judge's head is distracting in 6, the way he's looking down, not such a character like 5. Hmmm, I'd probably choose 3 or 5, but...
    Gosh, I hope you are happy with the one you chose. They really all have redeeming qualities.

  5. Great post! I liked #3 the best. But then what do I know ;) Rhett is a beautiful horse. I hope I get to see him in some of the upcoming shows this spring in region 4

  6. Arlene, that sourpuss is the one that really liked Rhet. She scored him as high as the horses that won that class. LOL

  7. It's too bad he's swishing his tail in #2 because I really like that one. He's gorgeous! With pictures like those I don't think you'll be disappointed no matter which you choose.

  8. Rhet is so handsome - he has such focus in those pictures. My favorites were 1 and then the last 2, though they all looked great!

    It sounds like that Halloween skit was too funny!

  9. I really like Proof 1.....too bad that darn judge is right in they way!

  10. Was that Jesse showing your colt? I can't remember what many of the colts looked like, however he looks lovely! :)

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  11. I love Proof # 3. Peeked at some of the other colts in the class, and maybe I am just prejudiced, but there were things I liked about Rhet more than the rest. He is a fine looking colt, and I am really looking forward to watching him grow and bloom!!

    And Halloween!! LOL-- that was so cool!! Glad that the judges didn't get upset over it, and pitch a hissy fit!! Y'all needed a laugh!!

  12. I like #3 the best by far. The beautifully fanned tail draws you across his topline, then down his hind legs.

    The other pictures all seem to be about head and neck, and not nearly as interesting. However, I do like #6.

    Since he's such a nice mover, how about trying him in sport horse in-hand? You'd save a lot of money being able to show him yourself, and I've seen mostly owner-handlers in Oregon and Washington.

  13. Oh my, Rhet looks so professional, you had to have been so proud of him despite the judges ruling. He really really looks good. #6 is my favorite!

  14. I was looking through the photos, I find it incredible how deeply focused he appears to be on Jesse. From the photos, it looks like he is oblivious to everything by Jesse. Amazing!

  15. Loved the spoof horse story! It feels so good to laugh during these dark days!
    Safe home, Mikael....

  16. Iliked 1, 3 and 5.

    Loved the spoof horse LOL.

  17. Scratch the number 1, make it between 3 and 5. Would have chosen one of the other full body shots but his front legs werent square (they are meant to be square arent they, I know all 4 hooves should be flat on the ground with the one back leg outstretched backwards.