Day 8 – Sessions 1&2 at Welsh Champs

August 2, 2013

Today was the start of the Welsh Championships in Chepstow Wales.

The grounds are packed with lorys, trailers and tents and there are games ponies everywhere.

We tried to catch Makenzie in her first session in under 17 but missed it. We did do arena party and take photos of our friend’s team, Dorset Red. During their heat it pour. The rain came and went throughout the day.

Our first session was pretty sloppy. Just stupid mistakes. But by the end of the short 7 race session the nerves seemed to settle a little.

Mark stopped by while we were having lunch and we discussed me picking up some equipment later that evening.

The girls want me to explain (they are dictating right now) that Mark Devit is a mounted games celebrity. He is like the Leonardo DeCaprio of the mounted games world. (Back to me talking) He was really nice and welcoming and made them really feel a part of the bigger games world. He even let the team borrow his extra towel since we did not remember to bring one.

The second session of seven races went a lot better. We got more than double the points we received in the first session. For the most part everyone rode well with very few mistakes.

We spent some time socializing and making new friends. It was tons of fun. I ran into some more old friends including Marilynn Hackman and Elizabeth Draper. I was so happy to see them. They told me that another old friend, Richard was out on his stag night (bachelor party) but would be back in the morning.

A little after the last heat of the day they had a veterans showcase competition. There were 8 teams and they were amazing with tons of spectators. Some of them were vaulting like champs and others not so much. There were a few tumbles and a few riders walked off the field. Rob looked fantastic out there and his team won. I know my team at home, and other fellow adult riders would have really enjoyed it. It made me itchy to join in that’s for sure.

Megan and I met up with Mark to finalize the equipment order and discuss it with the French guy, who’s name eludes me at the moment. It was a good discussion ad everything is square to pick up in the morning.

After a little bit more socializing it was time to get ready for the social (called a disco and a fancy dress). Basically it was a costume party with clubs/teams all dressing a like.

We were cheerleaders, complete with pom-poms. Annie painted USA on our tanks tops and everything was red white and blue, including our makeup, done by artist, Leah.

Juliet, Sophie, and Colin joined us and dressed up as well. We had a special vest and blue wig to top off Colin’s out fit. He even let Leah apply his makeup while Sean puffed my pigtails up.

We marched up to the party and presented ourselves to the costume judges complete with a cheer that Colin made up and led. “1, 2, 3, 4, who’s that knocking on my door?” Lots of fun.

The costumes at this event were amazing. And some clubs had so many people to dress up the same it was crazy. There were crayons everywhere. Mackenzie was a pink one.

There were two separate sets of Smurfs, and some were still Smurf colored the next morning during the final. There were also minions (the yellow things from despicable me) the flintstones and various other cavemen also made an appearance. There were cowboys and Indians, Spartans and Spartanettes, the Harry Potter Gang, a ring master and performers, bachelorettes from my gypsy wedding, and tons of others.

I’ll try to load a little video on another post all it’s own.

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Day 2 Part 1 Photos

July 28, 2013
Apparently I messed up the photos from this morning so here they are.

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Simon is Kicked Off the Team

November 28, 2012

Another Post with no photos (insert sad face).

This past weekend was Thanksgiving, and there was a small individual games competition in Mount Airy, Maryland, at Taylormade Stables, near my parent’s house.  So Simon, Daisy and I went up to my parents Thanksgiving morning and stayed for a few days.  I’ll spare you the non-pony details and skip right to the competitions.

It got cold the day of the competition.  Something like 30 degrees colder than the day before, plus massive winds kicked in to make it just that much more cold out.  But us games people, we truck through it all, and there was a fantastic turn out for the first Taylormade Winter Games Series Individuals.

One of the best parts about mounted games is the family like social aspect.  Most people involved in the sport know each other, and have a deep respect and strong connection with each other.  Some of these people I have known for over 20 years, and I love that I still have a relationship with them. So as typical, I spent a few hours helping set equipment and socializing with friends before it was time for me to tack Simon up for our turn in the ring.

When I did get him all ready to ride, and lead him toward the ring, he started to buck, rear and carry on behind me.  It was like having a kite back there flipping around on the string.  Although showing spunk on the lead line is out of character for Simon, him throwing in a few light bucks and a few small leaps at the start of a ride is not that out of the ordinary.  It has never lasted more than a few minutes, and is generally on the silly, non-threatening level.

But this weekend Simon took his silliness to a new level.  Two friends, Mitchell and Jessie, both hopped on him and he truly tried to get both riders off.  Very uncharacteristic for Simon who generally has an impeccably easy going nature.  We ascertained that he was ramped up by the wind and it was multiplied with his young age, and having had two days off at my parents house on grass.  But it was still a bit shocking to see him carry on and sustain this level of acrobatics for more than twenty minutes.

Jessie even rode him into the ring for the start of my first session and took him through the first few races.  She lined him up at the start, along with the other ponies, and it was like watching a switch flip.  Simon went from hot, to not.  Jessie swapped out with me and I continued the session, at a ridiculous non racing speed.  I kicked and I yelled and I pushed, and I flapped flags like whips, but Simon just plodded on at an even slower pace than usual.

It was so discouraging.

The outstanding excitement and general naughtiness I could handle, but the complete switch from that to the blah of a pony he turned into was just too much.

Simon has been actively playing games for two full seasons and taken part in over 25 competitions of varying levels.  Although I do feel he really enjoys it, he just does not have the drive to go fast.  He has helped me gain my confidence back and he has learned all I have to teach him.  It is time for me to move on to a new project that I can turn into a fast games pony and for Simon to have a new job playing games with someone interesting in going slower or other fun jobs outside of the games ring.

So I kicked Simon off the team.

Which means the pony hunt has gone from max, to extreme max overdrive.  I have even lifted the restriction of ‘gelding only’ to include mares.  EKKK now that means business!

I have two auctions lined up to attend and one pony I am going to try next weekend.  Wish me luck!

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