Home from the Michigan Showtime Morgan Show

And we thought that we were going to blog from the show?  HA!  We were having too much fun exhausting ourselves just being at a horse show to blog.

First there was the six hour drive to get to the MSU Pavilion in East Lansing.  After we walked and watered the dogs, we got busy setting up.  Have you ever been the first one from your stable to arrive and have to figure out which horse goes where, which stalls need bedding, and which stalls need curtains and which ones don’t?  That’s when the fun starts.  Fortunately we didn’t need fans this early in the year so we weren’t climbing up and down ladders and untangling extension cords trying to get connected to the (usually) one electrical outlet which is kinda too bad, because the Pavilion has plenty of accessible outlets.  We did such a great job that we were actually able to have a real dinner and get to bed by 10 pm, and that included parking and setting up the new Above Level camper at its first horse show.

The next day was spent grooming horses, cleaning stalls, (finding a cigarette lighter – there’s a sad story there,) working horses, visiting with friends, and meeting new people.  Some of the stables attending Showtime included Triumph Stables who ended the show with an impressive display of blue ribbons (there actually may not have been ANY other color,) Crystal Farm, Damian Hyde Stables, Morgan Valley Farm, Northern Winds Stables, Hillcrest Stables, Showcase Stables, Aljak Acres, Elizabeth Ann Hall, PAL Morgan Service, Sterling Training Center, and O’Gorman Stables @ Cedar Creek Farm.  Black Eye Beth actually spent some time working on show results to post, but you can tell that they never made to Above Level from the show.  We also made it to bed, with a full belly, at a decent hour that night.

Friday was Showtime!  There were 117 horses entered this year and Gerry Rushton of Gavilan Hills, CA had the honors in center ring with Debbie Keogh as show photographer.  Photos were available for viewing at the show almost instantaneously and are on her website, Photo by Debbie, now.  I had my first class of the new season and although we had a few rough edges, we managed to win the blue.  BEB had even more of a challenge with her trojan horse and placed a little further down the lineup.  However, they more than made up for their first class over the next two days.  OKC, here they come (if things continue on their present course.)  Northern Winds Stables graciously offered an ice cream social to everyone present to conclude our first day of the 2008 show season. 

The Saturday schedule was full of classes for novices, junior exhibitors, and us old lady amateurs to work out the kinks of the winter break, in addition to the open classes.  Look for the video of Kristin Beard on her lovely buckskin Morgan mare in the Novice Trail class.  The schedule moved along well with a minimum number of holds on the gate thanks to exhibitors arriving at the in-gate on time.  The Park Saddle Stake during the Saturday evening session was exciting to watch with three real park horses in attendance.  [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Eglb28AI__g" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Melinda Hyde organized the AMHA-sponsored “You Be the Judge” judging contest that was open to anyone.  This program was designed by AMHA to help exhibitors and spectators develop their horse judging skills.  Participants received a folder of information from AMHA that included a copy of The Morgan Horse Judging Standards  and a description of the divisions in which Morgan horses are shown.  This program appears to be just like the youth program judging contests.  I was hoping that it would be a program in which participants were given the opportunity to watch and judge a class from inside the ring, but alas, no.  I understand that the perspective is entirely different from center ring and I think that it might help spectators to understand how tough the judges’ job actually is.  Saturday ended on the late side due to the patriotic-themed exhibitors’ party.

Sunday was championship day.  By now our rough edges were much smoother.  My horse and I actually played from the same page this time around, but unfortunately, we were one place shy of a Champion or Reserve neck sash.  Oh well.  That’s why we have shows all summer long, so that we can continue to challenge ourselves and hopefully improve to the point that we can be competitive at the Grand National in October.

All in all we had a great time and no time to blog.  It’s no way to run a business, but none of us are in it for the money.  (It’s all going to the Gold Cup’s Pink Ribbon Fund.)  That’s why we need all of you to pick up the slack while we’re away playing horse show.  Did any of you play at Southern States, which I heard had many top-quality horses in attendance, or the Western NY show?  If so, we want to know all about it.  Who was there?  How was the food?  What were the parties like?  Were there any moments that took your breath away, and why? 

I’ll be away again later this week attending the Light Hands Horsemanship Clinic at Intrepid Farms in Santa Ynez, CA.  Look for my report on that next week.  Then Above Level will be off to the Gold Cup Regional in June.  Look for our pink t-shirts and start planning your Above Level ad to make your contribution to the UPHA Pink Ribbon Program for Breast Cancer Research.

2 Responses to Home from the Michigan Showtime Morgan Show

  1. Black Eye Beth says:

    Thanks for the great write up Mocha (I had better watch it or I may lose you to the Connection!). As you said, we were pretty busy and found little time to do much blogging. With all this being new, I am hoping to get a little more adept at blogging and showing over the course of the summer (that wasn’t happening this weekend also due to my “first show back jitters”). Look for video tomorrow and the next day.

    I, too, heard that Southern States was an awesome show and after going through the results it certainly looked like a great one.

  2. Mocha Mom says:

    No way. Above Level pays better than the Connection does. :-)

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