Roads were plowed, and we were ready,Â with cleared drives and plenty of parking. Parents and riders arrived bearing costumes and goodies for the pot-luck luncheon. Sue and Art provided liquid refreshments and the traditional warm mulled wine to aid the Holiday cheer.
On the Academy side of the barn, newly renovated and paved with rubber tiles, riders groomed and tacked up, ready for the Versatility Class. The course was a challenge:Â cones to weave through, poles to trot over, a 360* turn inside a square, an â€œLâ€ to trot through, a small jump, dismounting, leading and remounting. Lula Langdon on Maddie took the blue ribbon for a flawless performance, Erin Feiner wasÂ 2nd on Sunshine and Karlee Bishop took aÂ 3rd on Beau, shown below.
Erin and Karlee were one-two in the poles class. Games were next.Â First, everyone had to weave through the cones and blocks; up one side and down the other. Second was a team competition with a dash to pass off the â€œnoodleâ€. Last but not least was the Christmas Present Race. Gaily wrapped gift bags were placed around the arena and the â€œGrinch Annaâ€ on Bailey tried but failed to prevent anyone from getting their gift bag!
Musical Freestyles were next. Riders designed their pattern and chose their seasonal music. Weekly practice sessions were part of Saturday Saddle Club. Tasha Mitchell stepped in to ride withÂ Erin Feiner; Erin’s partnerÂ and Paris Levy and her sister Lulu were stuck at home when the snowplow failed to clear her driveway. Lovely freestyle presentations were presented by Lula Langdon & her Maddie, Karlee Bishop, in costume, on Beau, Lyla Andrick riding Ricochez, Lila Fremont-Smith on the glittery â€œsnowflakeâ€ POA Rascal, and Tasha Mitchell as a Christmas tree on Greta Garbo. Judge Laurie Inglis, Colebrook CT, was very impressed and awarded special Extravaganza rosettes to all.
The day was topped off with the Costume parade. Young Amelie Bore the Grinch rode Bridget, who was Max the Dog. Karlee Bishop was a Grinch too in a Santa suite with Beau in a lovely red drape with a snowy collar. Lila Fremont-Smith came as a snowflake and Rascal glittered with his snowflakes. Erin Feiner was a Hawaiian Santa with grass skirt and leis and Lula Langdon came as an Angel (with lit halo) on top of Maddie-the-Christmas tree complete with lights and presents. (Electrical work courtesy of Father John!)
Parents, friends and relatives watched from the boardwalk and occasionally went inside to partake of the wonderful food everyone brought. After all the horses had been untacked, groomed and fed, the riders all trooped in and had their lunch too.Thanks to Cricket Hillâ€™s Jami Wallace for organizing a wonderful day!