Xenophon’s annual horse show is the biggest event of the year for the center, and one that is awaited with excitement and anticipation. For months, riders work to hone their skills for that special class at the horse show in which they will be participating. We had an opening ceremonies class, a hippo parade, Walk/Trot and Novice and Advanced Trail courses. Last but not least were our dressage riders. Every child knows their horse will be freshly bathed and braided with shining ribbons. They know their family and friends will be there watching them. And they know a trophy awaits. Oh, the smiles!
The day is big for riders and families alike. From the BBQ lunch to the between-class demonstrations, it is a day filled with fun and food. This year did not disappoint. Our BBQ team, with the help of Mike Miller and Mike Christensen from the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery, joined by several board members and volunteers, cooked up over 150 hamburgers and 75 hotdogs. Julian Passmore was on hand to sell his specially designed “purple horse” T-shirts, the proceeds from which he donated to Xenophon. Between classes, our audience was entertained by members of Zulu’s TLC Agility group. Numerous members of the club brought their canine companions and their equipment to show off the enthusiasm their dogs have for jumping fences, leaping through tires, running through tunnels, and weaving through poles. The audience participation was the best, as everyone counted down the required 5 seconds that these energetic canines have to spend sitting on a “table”.
Next up were are resident “horse whisperers” Danielle Coburn and Christine Raddeck, who did a lovely liberty demonstration with our therapy horses, Ranger and Ozzie. Danielle and Christine showed how close the bond between horse and handler can be, by having Ranger and Ozzie perform a series of patterns in the arena without any tack, simply using hand signals. It was quite the highlight at the end to see the horses come to their handlers when called and bow to the audience.
A day this big would not happen without the help of many, many people. From the set-up to the take-down, many hands made light work. Over 70 of Xenophon’s regular volunteers spent the day sidewalking and handling horses. Other volunteers arrived at 7:00 am to braid manes and tails. Members of Boy Scout Troop 810 came to help park cars. The National Charity League provided snacks for our volunteers, and mothers and daughters from the local club came to work for the day as well. Clipped Wings, a group of United Airlines flight attendants came to help prepare food. Members of Xenophon’s Board of Directors were here to greet guests. The United Steel Workers Union at the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery purchased the trophies.
Of course, the day would not have been complete without our resident photographer, Jim Pire, who was here to capture the magic and spirit of the day. The images clearly capture what a special event this is, and how truly magical it is for our participants. Horse show pictures can be viewed and purchased(!) at http://photos.xenophontrc.org.
Your photographer humbly suggests you purchase a few large prints. He thinks the images look best at 8×10 inches or more. Basically, the LARGER, the better!
Any profits from the sale of these images goes directly to Xenophon Therapeutic Riding.