Penn Ohio 2
I’m starting out day 2 here enjoying a lovely morning chilling with the Champion Hill crew. The Carriage classes are going right now in the main ring and I can see them from where I sit in the shade. Trainer Olivia Doutt and I discovered an unknown connection yesterday. She grew up showing Saddlebreds in this area. You remember those Saddlebreds I was trying to turn into western horses? Well, there was one I remember in particular named Meghan. She had “ballet feet” up front (in other words, was about as turned out as they come) but she was a sweet horse and I worked with her all summer long one year as often as I could get to the barn. I didn’t actually expect to have a chance to show her, but enjoyed the opportunity to ride. Well, Warren County Fair comes along and they decide to haul Meghan up there so I could show her. I was thrilled. But as I begin getting ready for my class, my cousin all the sudden decides she wants to show western too and since Meghan is her horse she’s going to ride her. Bound and determined to get in the ring anyway I get put on Rainbow who hadn’t seen a western saddle in years. Of course Meghan beat Rainbow and I, which, while still disappointing, had some degree of vindication for me. Well, turns out Olivia was Meghan’s next owner and proceeded to clean up in western classes in the area. She had her the rest of her life to the ripe old age of 22. It’s good to know she went to a good home!
But, back to business at hand. There were some particularly nice horses to show last night. My favorites may have been Essex Playtime and City Kitty. But the highlight of the evening had to be the last class of the night, Morgan Open Park Harness. I had noticed in the program a horse owned and to be showen by Gary Horne. When I first saw the name, before my mind even had a chance to complete the thought it was dismissed. Surely this wasn’t Horne of Horne Farms. Come to find out surely it was! Apparently it was a last minute decision for him to show. The horse had been in the ring here once back in 2006, but they had only just put shoes on him a few days ago for this year’s appearance.
As Gary came into the warm-up ring before his class the horse was a lit firecracker! A grandson of San-Kay’s All A-Glow, he was big and bold you were never quite sure what he was going to do next, but he was beautiful. Lynn Peeples and Nancy Flower were out there with him, helping to get him set up to go. It was a beautiful picture of Morgan camaraderie and community to see them giving him a hand. But as we were standing there looking, all of the sudden it went dark behind us and the music stopped! The power had gone out in the show ring in the middle of a victory pass. After a few minutes of darkness, the power was still on in the warm-up ring and there were only 2 classes left so they moved the officials over there to continue. As they led the harness horses for the last class out of the ring so the next class could go, Lynn was at the head of our fire-breathing dragon and summed up the sentiment of the whole crowd as he yelled back “Hurry up, please!”
After a quick one-horse class, Gary and Brian Stewart (with Bri-B XTC) came back in with their prancing steeds. Brian and his horse were beautiful, but it was hard to take my eyes off Gary and HFF Tomcat Victory. He was in and out of form, and often on the verge of being out of control, but when he set up and got going he was beautiful. Brian and XTC won, of course, but I felt privileged to have seen one of the Horne Morgans driven by his breeder.