Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scottsdale 2010 road trip, part 7

Continuing on with the finals night of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, I had called Paint Girl to meet up but, alas, it was not meant to be. She was just too busy working with all of her horses, getting them ready for the show. One of them would be showing in the Junior English Pleasure championship this night. But first, we saw the Pleasure Driving class.

I know this photo is blurry but look at the angle of the hoof in the lead horse. Crazy, huh?

I always enjoy watching the high action driving classes. I've never driven a horse and would like to someday.
When the class is released pending the results, the headers, or handlers, come out to hold the horses. They always wear white lab coats.
The next class up was the Sweepstakes Junior horse English pleasure class. These horses are 4 years and under and are ridden in snaffles and manyhad running martingales.

I believe there were ten horses in this class (finalists) and they represented 10 states and countries including Canada. The winner of this class received a hefty check~see how big it is?~ of $40,000!!!And here is the winner!!! The groomer did an excellent job turning this one out! ;) He was gorgeous!!!
This guy sat above us in the bleachers and got up every hour to buy hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks. He was either completely bored or terribly cold. Did I mention how cold it was? In the line up, steam was coming off the sweating horses and blowing from their noses. We had blankets from our car and I was still cold. The next class is a Scottsdale favorite. I don't know if they do this class in any other shows because I've never seen it before Scottsdale. It is called Liberty and they bring horses out one at a time and turn them loose. There are two groundspeople with whips and they make the horses run around. My daughter groaned when she heard this and said, "what, is that all they're going to do?" Afterwards, she admitted how much fun it really was.

The crowd gets very excited, yelling and screaming at the horses and the horses seem to thoroughly enjoy their freedom as they prance and run around to the music playing in the background.

The food guy actually came down from the stands and participated in this class when his horse came in. He whooped and hollered as much as he could to give the horse added incentive to run harder.

Look at the incredibly long tail on this one!
I love this one's mane!I've seen this class twice and I still don't quite know what the judges are looking for. Some of the horses run and run, like the Black stallion. Some do beautiful floating trots. Some like to spin and wheel or buck. Some like to interact and play with their handlers. These are the crowd favorites. They run hard and come back to the handler and interact with them. At the end, when the music stops and the handler picks up the halter, they come right up to be caught, knowing the game is over. These are the crowd favorites~ spirited, wild, beautiful, AND people oriented. And these are not the judges' favorites. There was a lot of booing at the scores on some of the horses.
Check out the mane on this one!!! Funny, isn't it?

Always a crowd favorite, the Native Costume class was next. I was dismayed to find there were only two horses in the class. It seems that Friday night there was also a costume class which we missed because it came after the park class and I am used to park being the final class in shows. I don't know how many horses were entered in that one. In the Nationals I've been to there is always 15 - 20+ horses entered.

Not unexpectedly, it was a short class, which was good because everyone was feeling so cold and it was getting late. Surprisingly, one of the riders fell off just before lineup. It seems that her saddle stirrup broke.

To be continued...

Sunday (2/28/10 Fruit)

This was a hard challenge in the middle of winter so how about my son playing the guitar in a banana suit?

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Scottsdale 2010 road trip, part 6

After the races, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the evening performance.
We fed and settled the dogs in the room and went to find supper. The food at the show is mostly like carnival food: sausages, popcorn, nachos, lemonade, and pizza, with exorbitant prices. When we walked to the far side the night before however, we came to the gourmet section. We saw stands for Greek food, Salmon, Italian Sausages with grilled peppers and onions, and Teriyaki chicken bowls. Friday night, we opted for the Teriyaki, buying a chicken bowl and a serving of vegetables. We mixed it all up and divided it three ways. It wasn't too bad for $14, including a small lemonade. But tonight, we wanted In-N-Out burgers. If you've never had one, you haven't lived. They only serve burgers, cheeseburgers, fries, sodas, and shakes but boy is it good! The potatoes are cut up and fried and the meat is ground up and pattied right there at the premises. I went animal style, loaded with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and grilled onions. It was yummy!!!
On this night, even the handicapped parking lot was full. We got the last spot available so we had a bit of a walk to the Equidome. Once again, we didn't have time to go through the vendor area but since I've been to the Nationals and Junior Nationals so many times, I pretty much knew what they were selling anyway.

We bought our tickets and hurried inside only to discover that we couldn't even go to the bleacher seats across the way because they weren't general admission, which was all that was available. We finally opted for some seats at the in-gate. We actually got a great view of the horses coming into the arena but unfortunately, since we had to sit on the second row next to the railing, we were at the expressway for everybody coming in and out of the stands all night long. And boy, did the folks walk, back and forth, back and forth. If you notice a lot of empty seats in the photos, it's because the lower seats were all reserved and purchased in blocks when they registered for the show. And, nobody seemed to sit still for very long.

The first class was Gambler's Choice Jumping. All the jumps are marked with points and the rider could choose which jumps to take. They could jump in any order but they could not jump any jump more than twice and there was a time limit. I don't know if refusals counted against them but knocked down jumps deducted points. The highest score overall won. The arena has a lot of open area. In the hot summers it must be cooler that way. Tonight it was cold! Look at the upper right corner of this photo to see the gorgeous sunset.
This rider was so young! There were three little girls in this class, a family, or a jumping class, perhaps?

The big screen was nice to look at.
Here are the three young riders.This class paid out thousands of dollars to the winners. The little girls made good attempts but were still a bit too young to be truly competitive. This class is a Scottsdale favorite and was very exciting.

After the jumping class, we saw a demonstration by the Scottsdale Mounted Police Department. I can't remember all their names but the large gray with his head turned was named Sampson. Isn't he cute?They are arresting a suspect here.
They demonstrated how they train the horses with the large ball, plastic sheeting, baby strollers, etc. Notice how muddy the ball is. It was pouring down rain and getting colder and colder by the minute.
Poor Sampson got all muddy from the big ball. Awwww!
Next up, the Yearling Filly Sweepstakes Halter class, a Scottsdale favorite. Like the colts the night before, the winner received $56,000, second place, $28,000, and the rest of the class (eight horses) got 9,600 each. It's hard to think of Yalla! in the same class as these yearling fillies. Gosh, they're so big and mature looking! I'm assuming a lot of these are early spring foals. Does a few months make that much difference?

This little filly was crazy wild. Once, she gave a full kick out at the stewards as they walked past her hind end.
Here, an exhibitor waits for the judges' decisions.The class is released to wait for the results.
Even halter classes at an Arabian show can be exciting. One of the handlers was watching his filly so much that he tripped and rolled as they trotted into the arena at the start of the class. The man hurt his leg and had trouble exhibiting the rest of the class.

This filly reminded me most of Yalla! Unfortunately, she came in near last on all three judge's cards.
This exhibitor shows the stress of waiting.
But she is the Reserve Champion Yearling Breeder's Sweepstakes Filly.

And this beautiful filly took Grand Champion. She was a standout from the time she entered the ring. With all the ribbons and flowers, it looks like good training for the native costume class. lol!
be continued...