PHOTO GALLERY: THE DECONSTRUCTION OF A BUDWEISER CLYDESDALE HITCH

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And it can happen faster than you can have a Domino’s pizza delivered.  We missed their arrival and hitching for the parade honoring the Newark area veterans, and their Hometown Heroes program.  Families can purchase banners that will hang on light poles in downtown Newark, honoring their veterans.  Matesich Distributing, and Budweiser supported the event with their Mid-West hitch’s appearance.

http://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/2017/07/14/hometown-heroes-budweiser/480328001/

 

In the time we were there, the hitch arrived back at their three custom trailers around 3:30 in the afternoon, and were ready to hit the road by 4:00 on the way to their next appearance.  To say it’s impressive, to watch the break-down of such an icon, is an understatement.  The horses and their handlers make it look downright easy…

 

Their custom rigs, ready and waiting

Arrival at the parking area

Coming to rest

Classic white, feathered feet

Enjoying a nice neck stretch

Clyde is safely returned to land

One by one, unfastened from the wagon

Each patiently waiting their turn (notice not even being held)

Harness to the left, horses to their trailers on the right

Up the ramp, into the shady trailers where fans wait to cool them down

Are we ready to go yet?

Hey, where’s my hay?

Getting sleepy

Once the horsepower is safely stowed, handlers remove ribbons and rosettes from the manes and tails

Finally the iconic red Studebaker wagon is hand-walked to it’s ramp

Then winched into it’s trailer

 

The entire operation runs so smoothly, it’s so well-rehearsed, when it’s all packed up, you think, is that it?  It doesn’t matter how old I get, at heart, I’m always going to be the little girl who loves to see the ponies.  These boys make me smile every time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL’S FAIR

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This time of year is all about fair season.  Many of the counties in Ohio host their own fairs, other independent organizations host their own, but they’re all “home turf” to their respective local 4-H clubs, and often the last hurrah of the show season.  Beyond that, should your success have reached it’s peak, competitors can qualify to compete at the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show.

 

 

I bet you thought the state fair was just ferris wheels and funnel cakes…   In the week leading up to the main fair, horse showmen from all 88 counties who’ve qualified are invited to bring their A-game to the Ohio Expo Center and compete for state titles.  For the kids who only compete on the 4-H circuit, this is A VERY BIG DEAL.  While they don’t get the benefit of the full state fair crowds as spectators, they do get some pretty impressive bragging rights!

 

 

The state fair is typically the first two weeks of August, which means the Junior Horse Show is almost here!  Hopefully if you or your child is competing you’re already registered, but more information can be found on their website:  http://www.ohio4h.org/events/ohio-state-fair-junior-horse-show

 

In addition to the opportunity to compete against other horse and rider teams from across the state, it’s a chance for our young riders to see the bigger picture, and meet more like-minded young people.  I’ve always felt horses helped raise me to be a respectable adult, I still believe that to be true.

 

 

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your family at the end of the month, this is a great event to check out.  The competitors always love a nice crowd to cheer them on, and the certainly deserve it for all their hard work and effort.  Go see another side to the state fair you maybe didn’t even know existed!

 

A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO RIDE

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While it seems a foreign concept to me, not all of us were born with the desire to spend our days in the saddle.  Some find this desire develops later in life, and they may find themselves wondering, where do I start?

 

The industry outreach program, Time to Ride, has recently hit the 100k human-horse connections milestone, in the very business of helping newcomers take their first strides on horseback, or in a horse-related business.  All this just since 2011!  Their goal was simple, but casts a wide net,  to increase participation in the horse industry in the face of major economic, demographic and cultural changes and challenges.  They’re making it look easy!

 

 

Everyone is busy.  It’s kind of a four letter word in my opinion, one that we often use to avoid engaging in something we don’t care for, or to put off something we’d rather not do, but at the end of the day, we’re all busy.  Nobody gets to “win” the competition, nobody is more important than another, but we can stop using it as a crutch.  Sometimes when you think you’re the busiest, it’s actually the best time to come up for air and take care of yourself, if only for a little while.  If you’ve ever considered adding horses to your life, but didn’t know where to begin, this is your opportunity to get a different kind of busy.

 

http://timetoride.com offers many ways to connect to existing horse owners and facilities in your area.  Their ever-expanding network can connect you with lessons and camps, trail rides and ranches, competitive sports like rodeo and showing, as well as clubs and organizations.  Age and experience are only details, there’s a horse in their program, waiting for you to saddle up and begin a new journey with you.

 

 

If you’re already involved with horses, but looking to make business connections, or considering launching your own horse-related business, they can help you with that too!    Learn about the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance and Time to Ride.  Create your own business listing with them, and take The Challenge, a contest that rewards businesses for introducing newcomers to horses.

 

 

You’re never too old, or too young, or too busy to try something new.  You just have to make the time to do it, and now seems like as good a time as any to get started, so giddy up!

THE CLYDESDALES ARE COMING, THE CLYDESDALES ARE COMING!

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It’s nearly the Independence Day weekend (seriously, how did that happen?)!  What goes hand in hand with celebrating our Freedom, better than a parade, featuring the iconic, fire engine red Studabaker wagon, pulled by it’s team of Budweiser Clydesdales?

 

I’m often guilty of forgetting just how easy it is to find out where one of the three traveling hitches will be shown.  The best place to start is the official website:  http://www.budweiser.com/en/clydesdales/hitch-schedule.html (remember, you must be 21 to view this site).  Once you know a hitch will be in your area, remember, as their schedule permits, they often fill time with smaller events.  I’ve had good luck searching local news websites and social media with just the words “Budweiser Clydesdales.”

 

For example, I was just told a hitch will be in Newark, OH on Friday, July 14th for a parade honoring Active Duty and Military Veterans.  The event is sponsored by Matesich Distributing, also in Newark.  Through that post, I learned they’ll also be on Put-in-Bay island on Sunday, July 2nd!  http://www.millerferry.com/events/2017-07/  For this, they’ll actually have to travel by ferry, which would be quite a spectacle!

 

Please remember, on our holiday and every day, to thank our Veteran and Active Duty service men and women, First Responders, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, and the like.  They work hard every day to ensure the good life we have here, we owe it to them to not take our Freedom for granted!

 

 

Happy Fourth of July, and God Bless America!

CHEERS!

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Today, I am 40.  An age that seemed so far away, not so very long ago, yet here I am.  I’m not sure if where I am in life is where I expected to be, but it’s good all the same.  I’m happy, I’m healthy and I am loved.

 

In the spirit of celebrating, here’s to 40 more years of the wild ride of life, and a little piece I found shared on Facebook that also seems appropriate, here’s to the girls raised in horse barns:

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/girls-raised-horse-barn

 

Happy Birthday to me, and make a reason to celebrate you while you’re at it!  Cheers! xo

 

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

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When the illustrious career ends, usually not long after it begins, the young boys of the Thoroughbred racing world often have a second career to “fall back” on, as a breeding stallion.  To most human men, that life seems pretty fantastic, put in a few years working at a job you’re created to do, then spend the rest of your days entertaining the ladies.  What’s not to love?  Well, given modern breeding technology, there’s even less “love” involved than one might think.

 

This reminds me of a phone call I got from a friend once, on her way home from a stud farm, with a child’s thermos containing “straws” of semen from the chosen sire, praying to not get pulled over and have to explain what she was transporting.  “Never breed to a stallion you can’t drive to in a pinch!”  Solid advice.

 

Decades ago the typical number of mares a stallion might cover per annum was in the range of 40 to 50; during the explosion in breeding numbers in the 80′ and 90’s this number escalated to 150 to 160 and in today’s realm of the breeding shed covering as many as 200 mares is not uncommon.  That’s just the ones he actually meets in person!  Imagine how many samples of him are being shipped all over the world, in the hopes of hitting the equine genetics lottery.

 

More impressive though than the number of opportunities to produce offspring, are the fees incurred for the honor of a chance at one of their babies.  To my knowledge, Thoroughbred stallions are the highest earning for their task, and the numbers are remarkable…

 

Tapit, Leading Sire in North America, 2014, 15 and 16  $300K

 

War Front, Northern Dancer offspring, 2006 winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap  $250K

 

American Pharoah, 2015 Triple Crown winner  Private Treaty only (so you know that’s a hefty price tag, if they don’t even advertise it!)

 

Curlin, 2007 Preakness winner  $150K

 

Storm Cat, Leading Sire in North America 1999 and 2000, Leading Broodmare Sire in North America 2012, 13 and 14 (unsure of the distinction there?)  in 2007 a record setting $500K

 

I guess Daddy really does bring home the bacon.  Wow.  Not that the stallion has an idea what kind of tax bracket he falls in to, or what kind of impact he’s making on the racing world.  To him, it’s just another day at the office.  Be sure to show your favorite “big daddy” some love this weekend, remember how hard he works too.  It isn’t easy carrying the future of a breed or industry on your broad shoulders, but they handle it well.