Gold Cup…Here We Are!

The “Above Level Mobile” (aka my little camper) made it to the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio in good order yesterday and we hit the ground running.  There were, of course, a few snags in the process (this is a HORSE SHOW, you know).  My daughter and I came down early in order to bed the stalls before the horses arrived with the trainers (we can’t have the “little darlings” standing on the trailer in the heat now, can we?).  We easily found the little stall tag labeling our row of stalls, as well as the huge mountain of bagged shaving looming in the middle of the aisle. Now, I’m not very tall so seeing a stack of 64 bags of shavings all bound together with plastic can be a little intimidating to me.  I did come prepared this year with pocket knife in hand and began scaling the stack to free the bags.  After several minutes of figuring out exactly how many stalls on each side of the aisle added up to 11 total stalls (for some reason counting out 6 on one side and 5 on the other seemed to be a very daunting task!), we began doling out the heavy bags (remember, I am short and my daughter is 11 years old). 

We were so proud of ourselves; we were going to be ahead of the trainers, ready and waiting for our horses to settle into their new homes for the week.   Unfortunately, this was not to be … as my daughter was cutting open the first bag, the barn manager came wheeling around the corner on his bike (think Wizard of Oz, here) informing us that we were not in the correct aisle.  He tried to say it as nicely as possible, although I know he was thinking that we were complete idiots!  Luckily, I had the little stall tag on my side, which I QUICKLY produced to show that I was not dumb, but simply misled.  

All was not lost, however, since we had only dumped one bag and the crack Champions Center staff soon came to my rescue with a fork lift, moving our shavings to the next aisle. I don’t know if it occurred to the barn manager that I really couldn’t have been too stupid since our shavings were stacked in the row where we started!

With the help of other clients that arrived early, the stalls were all bedded with about 5 minutes to spare.  The horses were happy and I was still a good client!

The rest of the day was uneventful and we efficiently set up the stalls, tack stalls, and hung the curtains.  All seemed peaceful in the world…almost.   Around 9:30pm, when we returned from dinner, somebody from the show committee drove around informing all the campers that there was a severe storm warning until 11pm for the Springfield area.  The sky was pretty dark and there was some lightening in the distance.  I assumed we had plenty of time before this “severe storm” (how severe could it be…right?), so my daughter and I walked up to the barn to get our boxer from her crate for the night.  We were only in the barn for about 5 minutes, said “Good Night” to the others and headed back out to our camper.  The wind had picked up so we walked a little faster and then the wind HIT.  And I mean, it HIT HARD!  All kidding aside, the wind was so strong almost knocked over my daughter.  She screamed and we took off running as fast as we could.  Now, picture a little girl, a short woman, both in flip flops, and a young dog, who thinks she is out for a fun frolic, running across a grass field in the dark.  We looked like a scene from “Twister” or something (maybe a comical version of “Twister” in truth!).  We got to the camper (small camper) only to realize that it was rocking back and forth from the strong winds. 

Visions ran through my mind of TV news video showing tornado mangled trailer parks, making me realize that this was probably the STUPIDEST place to be in a severe storm (Let’s see…flimsy aluminum camper or concrete barn the size of my whole farm?  Can you say “No Brainer”???).  So, I grabbed my daughter and the dog (who still thinks this is the most fun she has ever had!) and jumped in the truck to drive BACK to the barn we just left.  My poor kid was frantic, luckily we missed the black out at the barn as the generators had kicked in by the time we got our bearings and drove back up there. 

We only had to stay in the barn for about an hour while the storm blew over, but it was rather hard to get to sleep once we did drive back to the camper.  The adrenalin had pumped just a little too strong!  This wasn’t a tornado or anything that severe … it just felt like one to a novice camper, and her daughter!

THAT, folks, was Day One for Black Eye Beth at the Gold Cup ….  I am happy to report that today was much less eventful and productive.  All the horse worked well and we were able to retire to the “Above Level Mobile” before it got dark.  Stay tuned for more in the next few days … dressage video tomorrow (if I can get my video to download!)

2 Responses to Gold Cup…Here We Are!

  1. amie9191 says:

    Good luck at the show Beth!

    I love reading your stories :-)

  2. erikarose says:

    What class will you and your daughter be in? I keep checking Howie’s site for a few other horses, I might as well check for you too! :)

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