I could not be happier to announce that the Firecracker Fun Show, which I have been writing about (and of course planning) for the past month, was a HUGE success!!!! We raised over $3,000!!!
It was an absolutely amazing day! I could not have asked for better weather or turnout. We had a good amount of riders, horses, and attendees. All of our classes were very full and everyone had fun whether they rode or not. People have been writing and commenting to me over the past couple days saying how much they enjoyed it and what a great time they had.
The family was especially grateful, which made all of the hard work and planning completely worth it. I was so touched by their words of gratitude. Both of Caitlyn's parents expressed their thanks over Facebook and her family members that attended all hugged and thanked me personally over and over. It was especially emotional and heart warming between Renee and I. The whole experience was just so rewarding for me in more ways than one. I can't even fully express it. I was not the only one overwhelmed by the generosity and support shown by all of the attendees. As someone said to me the entire day had such a good vibe. I was so happy to be able to help this wonderful family. Renee has always been so good to me and has gone above and beyond to help me, so I was more than happy to be able to help her. Plus, I am fully aware of what it is like to have a family member with cancer. My uncle lived with us when he battled lung cancer and I'm sure Caitlyn's young age makes it that much more difficult.
I also have to once again express my thanks to all of those who helped me make this possible: Kayla and Daryl who worked side by side with me through out, Lauren for letting us host it as the farm, Katie for running the ring, Amy for judging, Sue, Mary, Shannon, my parents, Kelli and everyone who volunteered their time during preparation and the day of. I also have to thank all of our generous sponsors who donated money, goods, or services. This includes Central Jersey Horseman's Association who sponsored our ribbons, C&C Embroidery who donated and made our Cure for Caitlyn shirts, Terrace Bagels who donated 4 dozen bagels, Dr. Klayman of Colts Head Veterinary Service, Mike Mullin, my family, the Hoffmans, the Harvey's, Beauty Store and Salon, the Nieto's, Quail Creek Pharmacy, the Ebners, Sarah Wayda, Gina Giovenco, Casey Koehler, Lazy M Feed, AB Tack, and so many more.
The Howell Patch wrote a great article about the event, which can be seen here.
We started the day a bit later than planned, but that is a horse show for you. When it comes to horses you can never stick to a schedule. The entire day ran very smoothly though. We started off with our pairs obstacle course, which I won along with my partner, Kayla (yes I have decided its time to use full first names). We followed that up with a switch class, in which riders switched horse and were judged on how well they rode and presented a horse they were not used to at the walk, trot, canter. I was extremely lucky to switch onto my trainer Renee's horse Portas. Portas, or the Big Man, as we fondly call him, is a beautiful warmblood gelding with a puppy dog personality. He is also a gorgeous mover and extremely talented jumper. I was lucky enough to ride him once before at R's farm and even jump him a little. Renee's brother rode Satin in this class and Renee rode Taz.
Portas had been a little spunky for Renee in the first class so I rode him a bit conservatively and just let him go around as he pleased. Unfortunately, we had a break at the left lead canter. I circled to get him out of the pack and unfortunately half of the pack circled with us leaving us no where to go. We recovered the canter quickly though and took a 5th in that class. My friend Ember actually won the class on Lexie, my lesson partner Lisa's horse.
Another highlight of my day was in the next class which was the jump off, which we split into ponies and horses. At the last minute mt friend Ember asked if she could take Satin in the class and give her a try. I said sure go ahead and she ended up taking 5th and going over her first 3 foot oxer! I was a very proud Mom!
I let Destiny, one of the girls from my old farm run Satin in the barrels. I did not expect her to run as she usually doesn't at home. But, apparently she knew it was a show and was ready to go, though luckily did not display the enthusiastic hopping and rearing she does at other horse shows. Destiny had never run barrels before and did great! They had fabulous turns and got 3rd to two very fast horses (one being Kayla's horse Smokey). Her sister Shyanne did a dash on her as did I and we got 4th. The Big Man aka Portas had some pretty nice barrel turns too!
Next was the relay race. My team, which consisted of myself, Kayla, Ember, Shannon, Renee, and Doug, won. This was followed by a pairs command class, where Kayla was again my partner and we took third. After that we had ride-and-tie, in which it was a team of 2 riders and 1 horse. The first rider runs the horse fully tacked to the opposite end of the arena where the 2nd rider is waiting. They hop off and tag in the second rider who untacks the horse and runs it bareback home. Kayla and I used Smokey so we were once again the winners. The final competitive event for the day was ride-a-buck, a bareback class in which a dollar is placed under your knee and you are given commands to follow. You keep riding until you lose your dollar. It came down to Renee and I as the final two and I knew I was done for. As you all know I speak very highly of Renee as a rider and trainer and there was no way I would out ride her, plus my mare is quite bouncy while Portas is smooth as silk. The normally docile Portas, however, forfeited the class for them. While backing up Portas decided to stand up. A 17 hand horse in full rear right in front of you is quite a site to see and add a leap to that rear and you are really into something. Needless to say this was a bit much even for Renee and she slipped off, putting an end to our bareback dual, which otherwise might have gone on quite a while. We ended the class winners once again though I am curious to see how it would have gone if Portas had not ended it for us. Though, I am pretty sure I know the answer to that!
Renee, Portas, and I at the end of the day.