“Welcome to Autumn, friends!
This past weekend we had the pleasure of attending and showing at a very nice show about six hours from home. We entered my cart mare Victoria and Tim’s cart mare Larissa. Our intention was to go to one “just for fun” show to drive this year. Usually we halter our horses and drive a cart class or two as well, which is an extreme amount of work since it is just Tim and I.
We left home on Friday afternoon, pulling in to the show at around 11 p.m. Much to our surprise, one of the show chairmen arrived to greet us. We were pleased to see several big farms present when we pulled in and a few small local farms.
The day of the show dawned bright and sunny, a really pretty fall day. We started showing at 10am, giving us all plenty of time to feed, water and exercise before the process of braiding and hitching started. The show chairmen have made the conscious decision that this show have a more “laid back feel” and it certainly did! Morning prep was enjoyable with lots of visiting between exhibitors!
Now I have to remind you that our first show this year was graced by the “lucky cricket” and the next show I wrote about was on Friday the 13th. Well this show, our class number was 13! It seems a pattern is developing this year!
I drove first in Percheron ladies’ cart. This drive was probably the most challenging drive that Vic and I have done. The lady in front of me entered the ring with purpose but something seemed to happen to her horse once inside the ring, like a switch was flipped and that mare just wouldn’t move. As badly as I felt for her, I now had a big problem on my hands as Vic has a motor! I found myself driving deep in to the corners to try and create room and when on the off side to the judge (and he wasn’t looking) slowing Vic down to almost a walk to try and create even more room.
Because there were eleven ladies driving, the class was split, not uncommon at bigger shows. We were in the first split and Tim told me when we came out that Vic looked good and he thought our chances of placing high in the class looked good as well. He said he was proud of me driving the mare and knew that I had to really work to show her off to her best. He also told me that the gal in front of me was doing everything she could to get her mare to m-o-v-e and he felt badly for her.
As we went back after the second split, I was first in the ring, determined not to g hung up again! As I rounded the fence for the lineup, I was told to keep going and stop at the end. It looked like we were going to have a drive off! Around four of us went with the other seven ladies quietly waiting on the inside. Vic had a good drive and another good back up for the judge once we pulled in.
One of the things I really liked about this show was that the show announcer talked about what was going in inside the ring to the spectators. As we waited for the judge to make his final decision, it was enjoyable for me to sit quietly and listen to the announcer. Before we knew it, five exhibitors had been dismissed and the class placing’s were announced. We sat through sixth, fifth, fourth, and my heart started beating, third, and then second place was announced….”The entry from North Point Farm driven by Mrs. Ann Egan of Litchfield, Connecticut”.
The judge stepped over to my cart and said he really liked my mare and our drive but wished that my elbows would have been a bit more bent. Nice positive feedback and looking at pictures later, I agree! Once all the ladies individual breed classes were called, it was back for Ladies’ Champion Cart. Vic and I had a good go but we were edged out by the hometown favorite who had a really nice drive! I never mind being beaten by a better horse or driver.
The show provided a nice lunch break so we unharnessed Vic, sponged her down and once her needs were attended to, we sat down for a quick picnic lunch with friends and family from town who had come to watch the show. We almost never have time to eat lunch let alone sit and visit with folks so this was such a nice treat!
Once lunch was finished, we changed back to show dress and hitched up again. This time it was Tim’s turn in gentleman’s cart. Again there was a nice entry of five Percheron gentleman to drive. Tim looked very relaxed and had a nice go. Because the class was small, there was no split so we did not have to wait long for the results. We had assumed that it would be down to Tim, Patrick Cole of Skyview Percherons and another gentleman in the top three. Again the announcer did a great job on the microphone explaining what the spectators were seeing and what the judge was looking for. And again we waited as the countdown to first place started at five. When Patrick was announced as the second place winner, Tim and I looked at each other… He was the last one standing! After a quick victory lap, he left the ring to wait for the Men’s Championship class.
Once the champion class was called and the horses had been driven, again we lined up for the announcement. Tim had another really nice drive and looked calm and collected throughout. Reserve champion was called and it was Patrick. Tim says he knew then that he would be champion. I held my breath as Pat left the ring and we waited for the champion to be announced. After what seemed an hour, but was really on a minute or two, entry number 13 was called as champion and Tim pulled out of the line-up to take his victory lap!
The rest of the day passed in a pleasant blur! All of horses were unharnessed, rinsed in the wash stalls and put away and then the visiting between exhibitors started, with coolers of beer and soda appearing at every farm’s stall area. The entire atmosphere was so relaxed and folks were generally pleased at the outcome of the day. We had many comments about the chair that Tim had won because they are apparently quite sought after.
Since the show was so relaxed and the time schedule so well thought out, leaving plenty of time for other activities, we had the opportunity to take our son Jack and tour the fair, seeing lots of neat exhibits and giving Jack a chance to ride the rides and play the carnival games, something we almost never have time to do at other shows.
All in all it was a great time and we enjoyed ourselves and this is horse showing as it is meant to be! Until next time, here’s to a welcome change of seasons and, as always, be sure to keep up with us on our website www.northpointfarm.com and on Twitter!”