Well, fall is just about here. But you wouldn’t know it from the temperatures this weekend. It is almost 90 degrees here in Colorado, which some may not like. But for going to watch a horse show, it’s awesome.
And this weekend was the last Grand Prix at The Colorado Horse Park for the year. So I had to make sure to get there, and take a LOT of pictures!
I know I have said many times how fortunate I am to live close to the horse park. But I just love this place. I have been coming here for years as a spectator, and hopefully one day I will be a competitor. If I wait just a couple more years, I will be able to ride in the over 50 Adult Amateur classes. Which could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.
And while I will probably start in the Hunter Division, my heart is always drawn to the big jumps of the Grand Prix classes. But maybe, just maybe, the hunter classes will be my gateway to the bigger classes.
And I don’t have to justify going to watch the horse shows. It’s something I so love to do, and being able to capture some great pictures make it even better, in my opinion.
It’s the little things I like to capture.
The Grand Prix
So this is a far away view of the course laid out for the competitors.
And this is the course. There were 13 obstacles with 16 jumping efforts over a course up to 1.6m (5’3″) tall. And some of the jumps were a bit formidable for the riders. Out of 16 riders, only 4 went clear to the jump off. And then, only one rider went clear in the jump off.
And the horse and rider teams were outstanding and so much fun to watch.
And of course I was looking at the jumps, and wondering if I could make something like this for myself.
I hadn’t seen this Platinum jump before. It was pretty awesome.
And they had my favorite jump that was my inspiration for making my Voltaire Design jump rails.
And seeing my favorite riders, like Karen Cudmore always makes me happy. While we were waiting for the class to start, her husband Mike even chatted with Linda and I for a bit. I will admit I had a little fan-girl feeling while we were talking.
But Lynda had even a bigger fan-girl moment when Karen Cudmore and Southern Pride stood behind her and watched fellow competitors. She said she wanted to pet his nose soooo bad because he was literally right behind her. I think she was in heaven.
But there were other great riders too!
And being able to see the joy on their faces as they were flying, just wow.
And from our vantage point, I was able to capture some pretty great moments of the horses.
While I like looking at the photos for the pretty factor, I also like studying them to see what the riders are doing, or how they are riding a line.
And just trying to learn what they are doing and why they are doing it. Each one of them approached jumps differently.
But many of them ended up with similar results, getting over the jump clean.
Watching how they release their horse over the jump,
To their seat and leg position. For me, I learn best by watching which is why I love watching the big classes. The riders that participate in these big classes are bold as well as talented. And very inspiring to watch.
And again, the class seemed to be predominately women riders.
Some were young, and some were older. This type of class isn’t subjective. It is all against the clock. And whoever does it the fastest, wins.
Grand Prix at the Colorado Horse Park
I just love watching this class. Maybe it’s the speed, or the talent, or the challenge. It’s probably a little bit of all of these things. But I think my favorite thing to see is true sportsmanship
And genuine love of the horses.
A pat on the neck for a job well done, or a big rub as a thank you for a safe trip.
Whatever it is, I love watching the Grand Prix’s. And I may not be able to jump to this height, but I dare to dream, and dare to dream big.