It was a BUSY 10 days ….
We had a wonderful 80th b-day celebration for my dad, including our entire Weir family, and then we packed up and took 6 friesians to the Santa Barbara Nat’l Horse Show. In between power outages, and being rained on with cinders from the nearby Gap fire, we came home with 12 wins.
The week started off with our legendary Black Sterling winning the Friesian Western Pleasure class. The crowd adores this horse.
Conan, our premier sale horse, and Julia were Reserve Friesian Walk and Trot Open Champions.
On Wednesday evening, Janna and Majestic, a 10 yr old gelding we sold 3 years ago (and recently bought back) were Dressage Suitability Champions, besting a large field—including two German Approved stallions, and then the long haired Anton son came back to win the Dressage Suitability Stake on Thursday morning. Majestic seems sooooo happy he is back in our barn [although his previous owner sadly castrated our former ster stallion], you can just see in his eyes what he is likely thinking: “I will do anything, just please don’t sell me again!”
Ate and Janna were 2nd in the Friesian Hunter Pleasure, after they bobbled a couple strides in the canter second direction. Julia and the 4 yr old STER stallion, Mindert, trotted away with the Reserve in the Friesian Saddleseat Pleasure Junior Horse.
Stormy, looked stellar with his new Buckeye carriage, and they won the Open Pleasure Driving.
In the Dressage Hack Open, Janna and Ate beat seasoned dressage trainers to walk away with the blue. Thursday night, blu and Majestic were quite the sight, winning the Friesian Walk and Trot Amateur class. Julia had a good catch ride on Apollo, a stallion sold by BSF that went through the 70 day test, and was 3rd. It was an interesting evening, because during the Dressage Hack Stake, power went off to Earl Warren Fairgrounds, so the riders had to listen VERY carefully to the steward and ringmaster for instructions. Ate and Janna were crowned Grand Champions, and wore the tri color ribbon and blanket of flowers on the way out of the arena.
Stormy won in the Friesian Country Pleasure.
We woke Friday morning to find ash all over our stuff, and a constant rain of flakes, which resembled snow, due to the raging nearby fire.
The gorgeous 5 yr old gelding, Conan, trotted away with the Reserve Championship in Walk and Trot. This horse is a crowd pleaser, ---just look at his pictures!
The Judge told Janna that “your horse is the epitome of what this class is all about” in the English Show Hack class, where Ate was crowned champion. Janna rode with a vengeance in the Hunter Pleasure Stake, the class that she was 2nd in the qualifier. She was determined to have a clean ride and make no mistakes, and her determination paid off; number 118, Ate, was called out grand champion.
Sterling wasn’t quite as good as in the qualifier, but still wore the roses and jogged ever so slowly in the Western Pleasure Stake.
On our last day, Saturday, Mindert was Reserve champion in the Junior Horse Stake. We think this horse will be hard to beat, once he perfects the canter second direction. Ron and Majestic were SOOOO nervous for the Walk and Trot Amateur Stake. In the qualifier, they had nothing to lose, and were happy go lucky—beating all the women riders—who his male rider is sure practice much more than he does. In the championship, his rider held his breath, trying as hard as he could to have a flawless ride, and he was well rewarded, as number 123, Majestic, was victorious. ** It should be noted that Majestic actually went undefeated at this horse show. But don’t remind him—we don’t want his head to swell larger than it already is!
Open Pleasure Driving Stake was the very next class, Stormy was Reserve to a nice saddlebred put in the ring by Barbara Beamer.
All the accolades and ribbons were sadly put into perspective as we received word that our dear friend and Saddlebred horse trainer, Don Deardorf, had a blow out on his trailer on I 5 during his long trek home (to Oregon) from this southern Calif show. Other motorists alerted Deardorf that his tire was smoking, and so he pulled over, but it was too late. The trailer engulfed in flames, and although it took firefighters only 7 minutes to put out the fire, all 6 horses that had just competed at the Santa Barbara Nat’l Horse Show were already dead.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Don, Allison, and the owners of the wonderful horses that traveled all the way from Oregon to take part in the Santa Barbara Grand Horse Show. We now realize just how lucky we were, just 2 short weeks ago, as we had two wheels fly off our Featherlite trailer due to the brand new Carlisle tires blowing out. Our trailer has less than 5000 miles on it. We were lucky, but a jeep traveling the other direction on the highway was not so lucky, as it was struck by one of the flying wheels from our 2 yr old trailer. The jeep almost flipped over, but recovered, and was thankfully only slightly damaged.
Life is so short, with it’s odd twists and turns, and we are just so thankful for every second with our wonderful horses.