Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gucci Gucci Gucci!!!

Yes, you heard me, GUCCI!!!  The Giant Steps Charity Horse Show (also known to us as Week 2) was presented by Gucci.  Did I make that clear enough?  One more time: GUCCI!!!!  This was the first time in history that fashion house Gucci was involved with an American horse show, and to have it be at our home was truly an experience!  The week was a whirlwind of events: from hunter derbies to ride and drives, a grand prix and a Gala!  It was hectic but it was so cool.

The Horse Park has truly never looked more beautiful, with staff going above and beyond, the place was truly transformed to host this historic event.  We had many of our barn members competing and I don't think anyone has enjoyed themselves more.  With incredible footing, highlight events every evening, wine tastings, food trucks, fantastic shopping (including a Gucci tent up on the VIP berm) and sold out competition, it was quite possibly the best horse show of the year.  Also, let's not forget... those amazing Gucci ribbons and Championship coolers!!!  Have I said Gucci enough yet?

The Color Guard during the Gala

Maybe easiest is to go day by day?

Wednesday:  First day of the show, mostly known as a "Pro Day," this was our quietest day of the week.  Competing most of the horses, FCF Pro Chelsea earned top ribbons in the hunter ring with Square One, Baloutel, and Scotch and Soda.  Jumpers were also ribbon winners with Monte Carlo, Remonta Galeon, R Lobo, Coppacabana, Charmeur Van de Begijnakker (Peter) and Dusty Z all jumping impressive rounds in their respective classes.

Thursday:  Ok now the fun is starting to begin.  Hunters continued their winning ways, with Square One dominating his division with outstanding scores of 85 and 90!  Baloutel, competing in his 2nd ever Hunter Derby (his first being the previous week), solidified a 6th place finish which included a handy round score of 84, earning him a coveted Gucci ribbon!  Scotch and Soda also clocked in 2 flawless rounds with scores in the 80's.  Good Hunter boys!!  Jumpers, not to be outdone, all put in beautiful cleans, with high ribbons for Remonta Galeon (Brittany Shehi now aboard), Monte Carlo and R Lobo. Thursday was also the first night of our highlight evening events, this nights being the Battle of the Sexes!  The outcome?  Girls rule and Boys drool of course!!!

Brittany Shehi and Remonta Galeon on course
Friday:  Now it's time for our clients to all join the fun.  Brittany and Remonta Galeon continued their clean and ribbon-winning ways, not a fault in sight for these two!  Hannah Cooper and her newfound partner from last week, R Lobo, again turned in clear performances, I'm quite certain these two haven't come near a rail since first teaming up.  Check out his videos on youtube folks! http://www.youtube.com/user/FullCircleFarmInc  New partners just this week, May Seto and Scotch and Soda earned blue ribbons in the equitation ring with some impressive rounds.  Friday night had two highlight events, first the $15,000 Eden Valley Stables Open Jumper Classic, second the Vespa Ride and Drive!  FCF Pro Chelsea and her incredible partner Nickel contested the Open Classic, with Nickel of course delivering a clean first round.  Now, this was a highly competitive class with close to 50 entries, 14 of them (including Chelsea and Nickel) advanced to the jump-off.  Going somewhat early in the order, Chelsea and Nickel knew the competition to follow them was stiff and Dusty (our fearless leader) advised them to leave it all on the line.  Boy, did they ever!  Turning in mid air and galloping as if it were the Kentucky Derby, they threw down a time that proved to be unbeatable. Winners!!  Add another Gucci ribbon, and now a cooler to the list!  Last up for the evening: Ride and Drive.  This is always and exciting event, meaning: many crashes and burns!  Tonight was no different, several people took hard falls off the Vespa (victims of trying to go to fast!) and a couple riders followed suit.  Our entry, Chelsea on Monte Carlo and Monte Carlo's owner Sean Leckie on the Vespa, turned in a fantastic trip, but some unfortunate luck with the starting of the Vespa, tricky things, kept them from the top spot.  Next year!

Nickel and Chelsea, happy campers!
Saturday:  This was a big one for the Horse Park, as this was the night of the Charity Gala.  Rings were  set to finish a little earlier, in time to set up, so we luckily had a fairly easy schedule.  Yet again Brittany and Galeon clocked in clear performances, as did Hannah and Lobo.  May and Scottie continued their winning ways with, I believe, 3 more blue ribbons to add to the list.  Giana and Dusty Z turned in a beautiful round in the Morning Star Open Classic, as did Monte Carlo and Chelsea.  Monte Carlo strutted his stuff in an extremely fast 18 horse jump-off, earning him a 6th place finish and his very own Gucci ribbon (the truly important thing).  That evening was the beautiful Charity Gala, with proceeds going to the Giant Steps Therapeutic Riding Center (based out of our very own Sonoma Horse Park).  The VIP berm was transformed for a night of auctions, six bars and general merriment.  What an incredible cause and we applaud everyone involved for putting on one of the most amazing evenings the Horse Park has ever seen.

Monte Carlo enjoys the Victory Gallop

The Gala Set-Up

The Gala Table!

Sunday:  The final day!  What a great day it was, too.  Brittany and Galeon ended up Reserve Champions in their division, after a week of consistent, ribbon-producing riding.  I see these two moving up in the near future!  Hannah and her new love Lobo reached their ultimate goal: a win in the uber-competitve Low A/A Jumpers.  Riding with abandon, they beat out 25 other competitors for the top honours.  May and Scottie, not to be outdone, were themselves winners, cementing their Division Championship.  For a new pairing, I'd say it couldn't have gone any better!  We're so proud of our clients for meeting their goals and riding so beautifully.  Sunday afternoon brought about the final event of the show: the Grand Prix of course!  A challenging course was set by designer Peter Grant, probably the biggest Sonoma Horse Park has seen to date.  This certainly was the biggest Chelsea and Nickel had faced.  These two showed no nerves, floating around the course with ease, only one misstep in the triple combination caused them to place 11th and kept them out of a jump-off.  Next time, next time!
Brittany and Galeon

May and Scottie

Like we said: a whirlwind of a week (actually two) but what an amazingly fun week this was.  We are so grateful to be a part of such a progressive venue and can hardly wait for next year!!!!!

 We love Nickel!

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