Monday, August 27, 2012

Not just another day at the fair


It started out auspiciously.

Wally certainly had grand success...

...and friendly sheep. (It was one of Wally's sheep acting like this at the State Fair seven years ago that sold me on Shetlands!)

Yesterday, unlike all the other times we have attended the State Fair, we were not there just to “see the Fair.” Brian was eager to get to the draft horse area of the livestock pavilion. I had told him he had to make himself useful for the privilege of getting to drive, and he was very helpful. But we got there at 10 a.m. and he didn't show until 4:00, so there was a lot of down-time. Not that Brian minded; he was loath to leave the area where he "belonged" other than for a quick lunch break. So other than a short walk through the poultry barn, a slightly longer visit to the Natural Resources exhibit (Brian likes the sport fish and Smokey the Bear), and a bit of "fair food" (mmm; falafel and watermelon lemonade!), I didn't get to see the Fair at all!

Still, schmoozing with the big, black beauties of One Mile Shires was fun. Brian picked up a bagful of fallen apples before we left home, so they all got lots of treats.

Especially after Duane competed in the six-up event at 1:00 and won the $800 purse!

Finally, the time came to get the junior drivers' teams ready. Duane had two junior drivers, and decided to give the younger girl the more seasoned team of Ninny and Cole. Brian's team was Willy (age 14) and Baby Clare – the youngest at age 5! I'll admit that gave me a twinge of nervousness, but I trusted that Duane knew his horses and besides, his seasoned cousin Sandy would be riding shotgun.
Brian had adorned his hat with both wild turkey AND peacock feathers!
Sandy giving Brian some handling tips
Once everything was ready, it was off to the warm-up arena.
Duane bought this wagon from another farm and hasn't had it repainted.

Then it was show time!
There were five teams competing in the "Junior Driver, Age 13 & Under" class, with all four of the major draft breeds represented – from left to right: a pair of black Clydesdales, a team of mammoth brown Belgians, a team of fancy dapple-grey Percherons, and Duane's two teams of Shires. Two of the drivers were younger than Brian, one was obviously older, and one boy looked about the same age. All of the horses were well behaved and the young drivers did well. I had no expectations other than a memorable experience for Brian, and that was fulfilled wonderfully.

Then the placings were announced in reverse order. Well, he wasn't last! And he wasn't 4th . . . or 3rd. When 2nd place was announced and it wasn't Brian's number, I started whooping. My boy (with the help of his shotgun rider and team) won the class!!!

That's it for our incredible day at the 2012 State Fair!

19 comments:

Astrid, said...

Congratulations to your boy, what a great performance! I know, how difficult it is, but I never drove with such big horses. Great. And thank you very much for these wonderful pictures.

Warm regards from germany
Astrid

Theresa said...

Congratulations all around, to proud Mom, accomplished team driver and shot gun mentor and of course, to those big hearted, big footed equines. A true Team effort!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Woohooo :-D

janna Edrington said...

Congratulations to Brian! He will never forget this year's fair!

Kelly said...

I will have to admit, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting to see how Brian did in the driving class. And by the time I got done reading, my eyes were brimming with tears. Congrats to Brian, well done young man....from a sappy old lady of 50!!!
Bravo.

Deb W said...

You must be so proud you could bust!! Congratulations to Brian for his accomplishment!!!! What's next at Boulderneigh? Teaching Brian's pony to pull a cart - or is he sold on the BIG wagons with the BIG horses? his

Karen Valley said...

Very impressive. I am thinking you may have to find room on your farm for a driving team--fortunately some of them do come in pony size. Congrats to Brian and what a lovely team of horses to ride behind.

Mama Pea said...

Holey Moley, what a thrill! Congratulations to Brian for doing such a super and responsible job! Loved all the pictures.

C-ingspots said...

Whoohoo Brian!!! Such a wonderful accomplishment, and I'm sure you're quite proud of him Michelle. I'm proud of him too. A job well done!! Beautiful pictures too!!

Susan said...

That last picture - and the great smile - says it all. How wonderful for him! (And you...)

Kanisha said...

what great memories and achievement you must be very proud

re'New said...

Get ready for your own driving horse, it is addicting :) My daughter drove her horse single in 4-H, it was a favorite class for both of them. Nothing like a buggy ride on a summer evening! And you can do it as a family one one horse...

A :-) said...

Yay!!! Go Brian!!

shelly hancock said...

Congrats to all! How fun.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... all he needed... more self confidence, he's such a reticent boy. Congrats Brian, and well done to his horse savy Mama.
Hope he gets to drive those big horses again soon. How cool I'm envious.
Kate

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing our excitement, everyone! Fortunately it doesn't seem to have made Brian's head swell TOO much. ;-) I do believe his pony Breezy is broke to drive, but we don't have harness or cart. I did years ago, for my Morgan before he became a dressage star....

sheepsclothing said...

Wow! Way to go Brian!

Lael said...

Congrats, Brian! Awesome! Here in Wisconsin, the National Clydesdale Show is always held at our state fair and, when I get the chance, I love to go watch. But I've never seen Shires in the draft horse shows - haven't seen those since I was in England.

Marie said...

That is so wonderful!! So happy for him! What a great experience for him. And he looks so professional up there! Congratulations Brian!!