During early summer, Lynda and I go to the Colorado Horse Park to watch the horse shows. Every Saturday afternoon is our time to go hang out away from work, and watch the pretty ponies and incredible riders.
And for the first week I was on vacation, she was too. And one week we decided to go against our normal routine and go to watch the welcome stake that takes place on Thursday, instead of Saturday.
It was so much fun!
And this past Thursday, I decided to do it again. But Lynda wasn’t able to go with me, because she has already gone back to work. So I wanted to post some photos of the Welcome Stake, mainly for her, since she wasn’t able to go.
So this is for you Lynda, kind of a walk through commentary of the show grounds when you couldn’t go because you had to be at work.
Typically, we get to the show grounds and go to the food truck to grab something delicious. But since I was by myself, and I had been painting our house all day I was just wanting to find someplace nice to sit and relax.
So I changed it up how I get to the International arena, and made my way by a hunter class that was going on.
And of course, while I was watching the rider, I was also looking at the jumps. And not just the way they have the jumps set up, but looking at the construction of them.
This hunter jump was pretty cool. I really like the ‘ramp’ that was built to go in front of the flower boxes. It looks like that would be pretty easy to make.
And of course, watching the pretty hunters. I know this is where I should be paying attention instead of the big Grand Prix jumps. This is probably where I will begin. But the huge jumps, and being judged by the clock versus a judge is what I like.
And they had a few new jumps set out in the big ring this week. This one for American National Insurance was really pretty. And they also had some rainbow painted rails for a 3 part jump.
I like the window pane style standards but I could see where those would blow over easy in my arena. Unless I used sand bags to keep them upright.
And while I was an hour early before the class, it gave me an opportunity to look around the show grounds, from the comfort of the shady area under the tree I found to sit.
I haven’t ever heard of Nicker Doodles horse treats. But the big advertisement on the jumbo screen makes me want to try them out.
And then it was time for the class to start. There were 26 riders in the class, and Lynda’s favorite….Will Simpson was here with 3 horses!
That’s just a sneak peak for you Lynda. More on Will later.
The first rider was on course! And originally, this was just a welcome stake class. The jumps were supposed to be 1.35 to 1.45 m. But they changed it from a stake class to a grand prix. So up the jumps went to 1.6 m.
As you can see by the jumbo tron, this is Amanda Comly riding Clock Wise CSH. The time allowed in the beginning was 79 seconds. But after about 4 riders, they changed the time allowed to 76 seconds. And even that seemed generous for the course.
The rides were fun to watch, and there were 14 clear rounds out of the 26 riders.
I really liked the yellow rails, which got my brain thinking about painting rails again.
I like looking at the details. Like this rider, her horse is wearing a Voltaire stud guard girth.
And Lynda has a thing for gray horses. When she was searching for her next horse, every gray horse she saw we called Space Ghost, because that was what she wanted to name him. So here is a Space Ghost for you Lynda. Complete with dirty knees.
He jumps so pretty, and looks more like a hunter to me.
Every jump he did was picture perfect. Seeing how beautiful a horse and rider team works together, and the rider doesn’t interfere with the horse is just so beautiful.
Like I said, every jump was picture perfect.
Am I wrong? Or does the horse (and rider) make it look easy? Going over a square oxer that is taller than some people. Hmmm….makes me think about how cool it would be to set up a camera in between the oxer, and get some pictures when the horse is soaring over it….
His outside hand position is interesting, but his leg is solid.
Look at his cute braids! The turn out of these horses is just so inspiring. Most of the riders have grooms that do this, but it does inspire me to have my horses turned out like this, even for our schooling sessions.
I really like the black and green rails. The green just pops!
And again, the yellow rails. I found a pretty great spot to get horses going over this jump.
If I remember correctly, this rider miscalculated her strides, and was turning around to re-do the jump.
Or not. I can’t remember, there were soooo many horses in this class!
And even though this wasn’t the best angle for capturing horses going over this new jump, I did get a few cool shots.
And one of our local favorites, Susan Griffis. She is a very talented rider who is always at the shows.
She makes it look easy. This is my 2 point position when I am just walking around my arena. Maybe I’m just practicing for when I go over big jumps. Maybe?
I love how the horse’s mouth is closed, she isn’t wrenching oh his mouth with her hands.
And I saved the best for last for you Lynda. Oh yes, Will Simpson.
A real Olympian was at the show. Will Simpson is awesome to watch. And if you want to learn more about him, he has a big role in the movie Desert Flight which is incredible to watch. You can watch it on the USEF website. And if you aren’t a member, I think you can use the promo code desertflight to get a free fan membership. It really is worth a watch. You’re welcome.
Will had 3 horses in this class. That is a lot of money. But I guess when you do this for a living, go big or go home right?
He looks fit, and so do his horses.
I love the concentration you can see on his face.
What a guy! And he will be in the Grand Prix tonight too. Also, Richard Spooner is going to be at the show! I am so excited! Watching an Olympian, and a $1,000,000 dollar champion, yes please!
I am sad that Kelli Cruciotti isn’t entered in the Grand Prix. But that’s ok, I’ll make due with the 30 (yes 30) horses that will be jumping in tonight’s class.
I don’t know if I am learning anything by watching, but I would like to think that I am. I pay attention to the smallest details of every rider.
From the way they use their hands, to how they sit on the horses over the huge jumps. And even counting the strides between the jumps. For me, it’s a learning experience. As well as an incredible opportunity to capture some great photos.
And while this was basically a show report for Lynda, let me know if you like blog posts like this. I mean, I like writing them, and sharing them with you. But if you would rather I didn’t, that’s ok too. So let me know what you think. Do you like seeing 35 photos in a blog post centered around a horse show? If so, I will just have to make sure to do more!
Lisa, you are the best and you know me far too well! I love the walk through and I am so sad that I couldn’t be there. 🙁 Awesome pics as always but, of course, the ones of Will are my favorites! You got some great pics of him, and tons of great ones of the others too! But my eyes will always go back to Will’s! I can’t wait for tonight! So many horses and the best company I could have to share this magnificent show with! This is my favorite time of the week and the thing I look forward to the most! If you guys have never been to a show, grab your best friend and go take one in. I promise you won’t regret it! Thank you Lisa and see you tonight!
Beautiful photos, they do make it look easy!!!
Wait until you see the awesome picture she took this weekend! I wont spoil it but I think everyone will love it! A great moment captured by an amazing photographer! Nice Job Lisa!