Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finally, pictures from our show!

Our first show was a huge success, and now we can see the pictures that prove it. Thanks to our very generous photographer for offering us the pictures at no charge. If you are interested in some of these pictures, please email me directly and I would be happy to send them to your email address.
Below are slideshows with three exhibitors in each, look for your name in the title or watch them all!

Thanks again to Nicole for all her hard work and wonderful riding demonstrations and to all of the sponsors and volunteers!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Showing at the Congress

Over 16,000 entries
Housing over 8,500 horses
3 1/2 weeks long
The largest single-breed horse show in the world!

Visit for more info.

Smart Like Jac (aka Peanut) in her stall at Congress

Beautiful old barn we were stabled in, at the very back, called the Poultry barn.

Didn't take her long to get settled in and rest her legs from the long drive.

Sunday, October 4th we competed in the Limited Open division. The best part was that all the Open classes were run concurrently. A few draws after Peanut and I was Shawn Flarida, ranked number one on the NRHA. He was riding a horse called KR Lil Conquistador, who has earned over $240,000. We also had the pleasure of riding with Craig Johnson, Brian Bell, Craig Schmersal and their futurity prospects. Pictured below is the covered warm up pen for competitors, located right beside the show pen.

Before entering the show pen, a judge must check all around your horse for any injuries and you must drop your bridle. This process eliminates any rule infractions with respect to treatment of the horses and illegal equipment.

Once you have had your bit check, you can enter the show arena. Bright lights, stadium seating, loud spectators and sponsor advertisements are just some of the challenges you and your horse face.

The judges are present for Congress, sitting in three different chairs to maximize the overall view of the arena.
Peanut was a champ, and took it all in stride (ok maybe she gawked a little when we first walked in to the show arena...). We had one of the best rides we have ever had and were thrilled to place somewhere in the top 25 of about 45 of the top Limited Open riders.
Pictures from the show can be viewed at Jeff Kirkbride Photography

Our Trip to Congress '09

Friday, October 9th at 9 am we all departed in our convoy for 5 1/2 hour drive to Columbus, Ohio...

After a LONG drive in the rain, we finally arrived at the Celeste Centre at the Ohio Expo Centre for the Cinch Open and Non-pro Freestyle Reining!

The themes were great, the music was fantastic and check out some of the costumes...

The next morning we headed to the Congress Hall for some shopping! On our way we passed several show offices, the sea of golf carts for rent to get you around the massive show grounds, million dollar buses and incredible horse trailers.

After lunch, and after some SERIOUS shopping we had to make a visit to the puppy tent.

Back to work, shopping in the afternoon I found "MY" trailer. Just a simple six horse, chromed out with some really great organizational features for hauling multiple horses and multiple students to shows.....*sigh* some day...

By the end of the trip, everyone was happy to show off their new purchases...

...and head home.
Thanks to everyone for another great trip!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fifth at the Eastern Canadian Affiliate Finals!

WOOHOO! Peanut pulled through again in Blainville, Quebec for the Eastern Canadian Affiliate Finals! We managed to place fifth in the Rookie Professional and in the Rookie Professional Affiliate Class. The top five riders were given invitations to the North American Affiliate Finals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the end of November. What an honour to represent Ontario at this event and what a huge thrill it is to be invited to the very prestigious finals in Oklahoma, one of 10 Canadian finalists, run concurrently with the NRHA Futurity. Details about the finals can be found at and check out the pictures of the Equestrian Park in Blainville at

(Also thanks to, pictures without the proofing will be posted as soon as they are delivered)