WOW! It was a whirlwind trip, but I'm very glad H&R sent me to the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. I've been to quite a few of the big shows, but as friends and collegues described, Congress is the show of shows. In fact, I needed at least two more days there to really soak it all in, but another deadline beckoned me back to the office.
I meet up with coworker Mary Watts at the airport, and we headed straight for the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Team H&R member Robin Gollehon and her husband Roger had a booth in "Stallion Alley," showing off 6-year-old stud Crashed The Party. They were kind enough to let us park our "stuff" (coats, purses, extra tripods, camera case, etc.) at their booth so Mary and I could "work" the floor. As I'd been warned, the shopping ops were out of control. "A lot of vendors" doesn't begin to do this trade show justice. And, obviously we won't know until the show concludes, but attendance seemed pretty strong to me...strong enough that I wouldn't know our current economy is not at its best. We noted scores of new, innovative products, many of which you'll read about on the pages of H&R. And, dogs, dogs, dogs...everywhere...even saw a baby crib filled with baby piglets for sale! (I really wanted one, but hubby would have killed me.)
We ran into other Team H&R members...Andrea Simons was there with her daughter and judge-in-training, Sarah Simons. Charlie Cole and Jason Martin with there with their massive entourage. I've rarely seen so many gorgeous, pristinely groomed horses in one place; not to mention the competitors. Color and lots of it is apparently hot, hot, hot right now as far as show clothes go. Never have I seen so many candy-colored chaps or brightly hued blinged-out blouses. We're talking tangerine-suede fringed chaps paired with a saffron-sequined blouse. Bright amethyst chaps, indigo boots...spin the color wheel and it was there.?
I got to watch some of the events, but truly wish I'd had more time. Will share more photos later, but included a sampling below. Enjoy! AND, while we're talking shows/events, can you guys let me know what events you've attended and enjoyed, either as a competitor or observer? ?Plus, if money were no object what event you'd love to attend or compete in? We're creating a wish list!