We had a great time all week at the Warrent♥n H♥rse Sh♥w! Yes, blogging is writing and requires great effort, concentration and a certain amount of discipline in order to achieve good results, but we persevered and delivered the goods every day in the way of a new post and photos. On Sunday, the finale of the Warrenton Horse Show’s Hunt Night, we have to admit: we had a blast!
Cubhunting Begins Officially
Sunday started early, cubhunting dragging us out of the comfort of our cozy nest in order to get to the kennels 7:30-ish. Our favorite green field hunter was going to be tried by a prospective buyer and we wanted to be there to send Picasso off with love and positive energy – never mind that our heart is about to break because we love this talented young paint. Last season we exercised him now and then, flatted him in the spring and summer. He’s talented, smart, handy, and sure-footed AND he has one of the best brains and temperaments to be found anywhere in the horse world. If we had the ready, we would buy him in a New York minute – sigh…
Picasso’s debut to hounds, Bryan McDonald of The Fine Equine in the plate, on September 4, 2011 – the opening of cubhunting at Thornton Hill F T Valley Hounds, Sperryville, VA. Picasso is athletic, scopey O/F, handy as all get-out over the mountainous terrain in Rappahannock County. His hunting debut took place the morning of Warrenton Horse Show’s Hunt Night: exactly one year later, a junior test-hunted him the morning of Hunt Night. Omen or simply circularity? All we know is that Picasso is a really lovely young horse. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
On Sunday morning, the junior rider who tried Picasso really liked him. Someone else from another hunt is also very interested. Best believe that our heart is about to crash and burn, but that’s life in the horse world. You can’t keep all of them, but in Picasso’s case, we wish we could. We hunted him the first two times of his second season. He’s kind, sound as a bell of brass – mentally and physically – and he’s got that 5th wheel instinct which is great for the rider. Enough said – that’s how Sunday of Labor Day Weekend began – seeing Picasso go off with a potential buyer. Then we drove all over Rappahannock County with Brandy McDonald, co-owner of The Fine Equine and Picasso, looking for a place open for breakfast at 8 a.m. On Sunday morning plenty of places opened at 10 a.m., including our fave – Thornton River Grill – but not earlier. Finally, in Little Washington we enjoyed great coffee and baked goods in a very cute shop that we’re told has delicious food, but not at 8:30/9 a.m. on a Sunday!
Early afternoon: cut to Warrenton Horse Show
We did a little work and arrived at the historic show grounds on West Shirley Ave (Route 29 business by-pass) around 11:30. We puttered around for an hour or so, taking a photo here and there, chatting with various people, but decided to head home because we weren’t dressed for the consequences of the rain that preceded our arrival. When we returned around 4:30, we were in time to capture some of Warrenton Hunt Night’s very special moments…
During Hunt Night Sophia Vella (Warrenton Hunt) and her Virginia Gentleman added winning the Junior Hunter Hack to the Junior Hunter O/F, along with their many rosettes in Local and Children’s Hunter classes earlier in the week. The crowning triumph of the entire show, however, took place under lights in the pouring rain when Sophia & Curious George, Eliza Van der Woude & Nikiya, Amy Robinson & Limerick won in the ever popular Hunt Teams of Three. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
Warrenton Hunt enjoys a lot of family history with Warrenton Horse Show, thanks to the Laimbeer siblings who are grown and married with riding progeny: Rick (jt-MFH) and Alice, Daphrie and Matt Van der Woude (huntsman) and Sara and Brian Hogan – the grand-patriarch Frank was ringside, of course.
All in the family: Eliza Van der Woude, daughter of Warrenton Huntsman Matt and Daphrie Van der Woude, rode Nikiya, owned by Alice Laimbeer, to second place in both the Junior Foxhunters O/F and Junior Foxhunters Hack. Warrenton Hunt enjoys a special connection with the Warrenton Horse Show, of course, and participation in both is multi-generational. Eliza & Nikiya enjoyed a pretty full “dance card” throughout Hunt Night and was named leading Warrenton Hunt Rider. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
Riley Hogan & Huntin’ Around partnered with older cousin Eliza Van der Woude & Nikiya: they made a pretty picture riding a gray pony and a gray horse in the Hunting Pairs where they pinned 6th in a competitive field of 15 pairs. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
We love watching the Ladies Sidesaddle – a beautiful form of horsemanship that we dabbled in years ago and absolutely loved. We’ve always wanted to get serious about it. In fact, showing at Warrenton Hunt Night, aside and/or astride, is on our list for next year – no time like the present to fulfill equestrian dreams…
The entries in Ladies Sidesaddle Hack go to line up in the center of the ring, awaiting the judge’s decision (l-r) Lauren Ryalls & Something Else – 4th, Devon Zebrovious & Quest – 5th, Lou Bowling-Steinfort & Hallston – 4th, Tracey Cover & Vienna – 3rd, Jill Wilson & Uno – 2nd, Penny Denegre & Garnet – 1st. Jill Wilson and Uno, won both the Ladies Sidesaddle U/S and O/F to earn the championship, with reserve honors going to Penny Denegre & Garnet. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
The hospitality throughout the Warrenton Horse Show was absolutely fabulous – huge round of applause and bravos and thank yous to the people and businesses who support WHS from A to Z and from hors d’oeuvres to dessert! Special thanks to the sponsors of the Warrenton Hunt Night and its reception: Marion Maggiolo & Horse Country Saddlery, Dr. Csaba Magassy and Plastic Surgery Associates, Warrenton Toyota and Miller Toyota.
Marion Maggiolo (right) and Horse Country Saddlery always step up to the plate – literally – at Warrenton Horse Show’s Hunt Night by co-sponsoring the reception. Marion took a few minutes to sit down and chat with Susie Reinhart, ex-MFH, and Valerie Huffman (standing). ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
Other sponsors of Warrenton Hunt Night include: Mrs. Courtney Curtis Bowes who sponsored the Ladies Sidesaddle division, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Bowes who sponsored the Hunt Teams class and the Hunt Championships, and Charles Owen who donated five helmets to the champion hunt.
Jennifer Buracker showed off her Equestrian’s Table at the information booth during Hunt Night. Her equestrian table couture is a offshoot of Cassel Designs. Jennifer can help you to make a splashy social statement at an equestrian event like Warrenton Hunt Night and possibly even win the tailgating competition. We love that lolling lazy-looking fox! ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
We have to mention Sally Lamb whose horses every year contribute greatly to the Hunt Night success of Keswick Hunt’s riders. Keswick won the Hunt Night championship again this year, with reserve honors going to Warrenton. There’s no getting around the horses fielded by Sally Lamb – there isn’t room for all the results, but here is a roster of some of the top rosette earners and title winners: Uno, Wingman, Texas Hold ‘Em, and House Calls.
The Warrenton Horse Show honored Jonelle Mullen Stern, member of the Board of Directors, for her hard work and diligence with the Special Achievement Award. Jonelle has a long connection with WHS as a rider and trainer, thanks to her mother Tracy Mullen. This year Jonelle stayed very busy with her riders and horses who garnered a lot of ribbons, including division honors for Sue Bopp & Chawton – two Reserve Championships ; Joseph Mullen & Esquire – one championship and one Res CH; Devan Graham & Nimrod – Res CH; Kerry Hannon & Saintly, Res CH.
Kathy Borsody’s party won the William G. Miller Tailgate Competition sponsored by Farm Credit & Country Mortgages. For many years, Kathy and her late husband Dr. Frank Borsody fielded a string of championship sidesaddle horses from their Century Oaks Farm, Warrenton. Kathy moved to Miami, FL a few years ago, but keeps her spot on the berm at the corner of the hedge and travels north every year to the Warrenton Horse Show. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
When the rains rolled in, they produced a “frog strangler” – according to Jimmy Wofford, one of our favorite horse people who is a legend in 3-day eventing – BUT the show went on in spite of the lashing downpour, thanks to the absence of lightning, which would have prompted Tommy Lee Jones to call an immediate halt. That’s why this post is called “When the going gets tough, the foxhunters keep going” – because they did. Oh yes, a number of people packed it in and went home, but the show did go on!
The formal attire in the Foxhunter Corinthian class took a total soaking, but the horses splashed through the standing water in the ring and navigated the course of fences safely and securely. The winner was a young equestrian, who competed in junior classes for 14 & under riders – what a great ride. We happened to venture out into the deluge (trying to keep our camera relatively dry under our raincoat, albeit we got soaked rushing from the shelter of the hospitality tent to our car to don said raincoat!) and, rattled around the ring to the Laimbeer’s tailgate spot where we shot literally from the hip to take advantage of the only photo opportunity that presented itself. Here it is, complete with funky exposure, raindrops and backlighting, but oh yeah, what a ride!
Eliza Van der Woude might have been the youngest rider to contest the Fox Hunter Corinthian class in the downpour toward the end of Warrenton’s Hunt Night, but she did a beautiful job riding Alice Laimbeer’s lovely field hunter Nikiya and earned the judge’s nod. The Corinthian class requires riders in full foxhunting attire with the scoring to count 50% on performance, Conformation of the field hunter to count 25% and appointments 25%. The jumping round requires an even hunting pace, manners to be emphasized and jumping faults to count in the final outcome. Jumping a course of fences is both art and science, a true test of horsemanship, but factor in adverse weather and you have a real test of horse and rider. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
So, that’s the wrap for the Warrenton Horse Show and Hunt Night for 2012. We have left out so much information, but the good ladies in the show office are still recording results and the special awards don’t really have a place in the results on horseshowsonline.com and we are NOT bothering anyone if we can help it. These people all deserve a long weekend at a beach resort where the drinks all have fruit and umbrellas…
The Patsy Cline Pavilion provides shady shelter for volunteers who organize presentations of awards, ribbons and trophies, etc. By 9 o’clock on Sunday evening, the show grounds sported Olympic-sized puddles, but spirits remained unquenchable and suffered not one whit from the soaking downpour: (l-r) Douglas Wise-Stuart – MFH Old Dominion, Amy Bartenstein Gorsira, Penny House (volunteer from NY), and Snowden Clarke (CA/VA). In fact, Snowden was singing in the rain. ©2012 Lauren R Giannini
One last reminder: Susan Carter and Rich Clay did an outstanding job all week taking photos of the action, presentations of awards, rosettes and division championships, etc. Please visit the official website for photos from the Warrenton Horse Show – Equine Event Photos – and support these two professionals who put in long days ring-side and many many hours editing photos. Their photos are very reasonable priced – your memories of Warrenton Horse Show are priceless.
For more information, visit the Warrenton Horse Show website and make plans to come out next year. It’s a blast, because the people are genuinely nice and fun, plus there is so much community spirit. We certainly had more fun this year, blogging for WHS than we ever did just attending. Oh, don’t get us wrong – we had a lovely time acting like a spectator, but there is something very special about being involved in the “labor of love” that is Warrenton. We felt like part of the show, like a genuine member of the WHS team. We even went home with a great cotton tee-shirt in dark hunter green, long sleeves, with the Warrenton logo.
In 2013 make Warrenton Horse Show your Labor Day Tradition – guaranteed to please!