It was a day of smiles and laughter, full of palpable energy. Children, families and donors thronged to the center to watch parade, games and dressage classes, as well as demonstrations
For those who have never attended the annual Xenophon Horse Show, you have missed out on one of the highlights of the year. Over eighty percent of Xenophon’s riders participate each year in the horse show. It is their opportunity to demonstrate the strength and skills they have mastered throughout the year. Be the accomplishment big or small, the applause is no less great as each child takes their moment to shine in the spotlight. And what a treat for each one to see their families and friends turning out to cheer them on.
The preparations started months in advance, with staff carefully planning classes, sprucing up the center and transforming the place to regal show grounds with the help of pop-up tents, chairs and tables loaned to the center. Over 70 volunteers graciously showed up at 7:30 in the morning, with several arriving much earlier than that to make sure our Xen horses were polished, shined and braided. The Xenophon Board of Directors planned a BBQ lunch for all the attendees. Mike Miller and Mike Christiansen, from Phillips 66, volunteered their time to bring the P66 industrial BBQ and head up the BBQ team, joined by board members Bryan Goldwyn, Trudy Presser and husbands, Ron Wichmann and Scott Parsons. The Rolling Hills Chapter of the National Charities League (NCL), with their teams of mothers and daughters provided delicious baked goods and coffee for our bake sale and helped staff our check-in table and baked goods table as well as helping with crafts and helmets for our riders. They were joined by members of the Lamorinda Chapter of NCL. Bridget and Kiki Immel generously donated our trophies, and helped pass them out to all of our classes. Those trophies are coveted by our riders.
Traffic control was a breeze with year, with the ability to park cars in the pasture across the street and with the help of Jim Taylor, Ron Bass, Brian Mathews and Keith Donahue. A new group joined us this year. Clipped Wings, a group of retired United Airlines stewardesses, came to help prepare food for our donor tent. We were so grateful for their time and expertise. A new line of “Xen wear” was launched at the show with the help of Julie Taylor and Sue Bass. If you were not there to purchase your new navy hoodie or T-shirt, some are still available.
The day sailed by seamlessly, made even more interesting thanks to the effort of our MC, Michelle Bushong. A highlight of the day was our class in which our instructors had to be the students and our students got to be the instructors, challenging our instructors with a ribbon race and making sure their equitation was correct! Those commands of “sit up tall” and “put your heels down” sounded very familiar. It was exciting to see some of our instructors ride a Quadrille, which is a group of 4 riders performing precise movements to music. Of course, our horses were an integral part of the show, being their dependable selves during the entire day, with many performing in 6 classes.
A big thank you goes to so many people who worked behind the scenes, cleaning, helping with planning, donating or loaning all the supplies we needed, setting up, taking down and hundreds of other jobs that were done before someone could blink an eye. It was a hugely successful day for all involved. Don’t miss it next year!