WEF 2012 is in the books and the spring shows are just beginning, it’s a strange time here in Wellington, because everyone is glad circuit is over, but everyone is sad just the same.
This will mark my first entry into my new blog for Sidelines and I plan on covering a whole host of topics pertaining to the hunter/jumper world. Today I want to talk about how glad I am that circuit is complete, but also that I’m also a little sad, because like America, these shows have their faults, but it’s still the best the horse show world has to offer.
Circuit is a marathon for trainers such as myself, we pretty much work non stop for twelve solid weeks, not to mention all the pre-circuit festivities, and now the Spring shows. It’s a difficult time, but also the most rewarding time of the year. Where else can a young rider compete in the short stirrup class in the morning and then catch a top notch Grand Prix that evening. We are surrounded by the best in the business for practically six months out of the year, we have all the Olympians, the major Equitation finals winners and the best hunters money can buy. Virtually every trainer at this series has accomplished something and could teach every rider something they probably do not know. WEF is the biggest horse show of its kind anywhere in the world, and if you want to be the best you must compete against the best and WEF is where the best, ride.
Yes, it’s a little crowded. We have horses coming out the wazoo, that’s for sure, but if you are trying to find a fancy pre-green horse, this is the place to be. If you need a child adult jumper, just reach out and ask. Fifteen trainers will present you with the best 3’6″ jumper you have ever seen, it will be fast, careful and a winner! You will have your choice of best. This goes for selling as well, if you need to sell, WEF is the place. I know the economy has lowered prices somewhat, but people are still making offers and they also love to LEASE. Lease options are a sign of the times my friends!
Yes, some of the rings are small. Many of my customers groaned when they realized they were showing down in ring 11 or 12, but I told them to look on the bright side, it’s very peaceful over on “the island,” which is what the ingate guys affectionately began to call it, the horses are much better behaved over there and the schooling area is the most spacious of them all.
Parking was a pain. Hard to find a spot, hard to turn the trailers around, that probably needs to be addressed, don’t really have a bright side for that one, except that the parking situation has drastically improved since we finished show number 12. In fact we can pretty much park wherever the hell we want.
Yes, we are all tired. Waking up at five to be at the ring by 7:00, to walk fifteen courses before 8:00, is difficult. Very often we had riders going in the top ten in three or four rings at once. One rider was doing the high junior jumpers in the international ring and also doing the USEF talent search in ring 6, another two were in the Ariat at the Rost ring, while the “groaners,” were over on the island in the children’s hunters. It was hectic, it was taxing, it was stressful at times. Yet we all somehow, managed.
I could go on and on with examples of what was difficult or tiring during WEF 2012, I could also go on and on about the good things. what it boils down to is that I can completely understand why most of us (trainers) are happy when the marathon that is circuit come to a close, yet… My business is never better than it is during WEF, my riders never learn more than during WEF. There is also something to be said that whatever class or event you may be lucky enough to win during circuit, every one of those wins means something, it means A LOT! In fact, after a circuit win, one feels a true sense of accomplishment that is hard to obtain any other time during the show year. It is for these reasons, that I’m sad when all is done.