The USEF is putting on a presentation to promote the WEG and also to introduce some of the other equestrian disciplines to the Quarter Horse crowd. There will be representatives from 3-day eventing, show jumping, para-dressage, reining, and of course combined driving.
The A team (Ruff,Donovan,Tuff,Fabulous Fred) is loaded up to go. I'm full of questions but Tuff just glares at me, Donovan knows nothing, and Ruff patiently tries to answer but finally has enough and tells me to just wait and see.
After driving all day, we finally arrive at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. It's a huge complex with several arenas, hundreds of stalls, vendors of all types, and most importantly, lots of spectators. All of this is indoors and with the weather turning cold, it was very much appreciated.
Joanie Morris and Kathy Meyer from the USEF were at the stalls to welcome us. We also met Paul and Deryn Stewart - friends of Mike and Jerry who had generously agreed to help. The stalls were deeply bedded (obviously not prepared by a certain Scotsman I know) and comfortable. Most importantly, word of my wardrobe crisis must have reached the USEF, for waiting at our stalls were navy blue sheets embroidered in red with USA.
Once we were all settled in, we decided to take a test drive around the place. We toured the parking lots and main streets, waving to everyone we met. We wanted to try one of the arenas, but didn't want to scare any horses not used to seeing carriages. (We found out the next day however, that working cow horses are pretty difficult to spook. The only horse we had a little fun with was the prima donnaish dressage mare.)
On Friday Deryn braided us all up in red,white, and blue. We were to be first to go. We were to show the crowd how quick and agile we were by going around a couple of portable hazards. The announcer introduced us (only Mike by name, no mention of Fabulous Fred). The music started blaring "Born in the USA" and we breezed through the hazard, kicking up lots of dirt and getting the crowd cheering. Mike complained that he had to make mostly right turns because I wasn't paying close enough attention. All I can say is, have you ever tried to speed through a hazard while at the same time waving to the crowd? Our time in the main arena was over before we knew it and we headed back to the barn in order not to scare any of the other horses. We missed the other performances but heard they all did beautifully. We were unharnessed as Mike headed back to the arena to throw autographed t-shirts and sign photographs.
We did get a chance to see some of the working cow horses and I have to say, I could do that job! I could do that job, have lots of fun and look Fabulous doing it!