I was up till midnight on Easter, loading out from the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes. I did some after the finals Saturday, then I was back before daylight. I had a private sunrise service, and the sermon was excellent. Then it came to pass that Buttermilk picked me up at the Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC), took me to her people’s for Easter supper and brought me back to Will Rogers. It was good.
All shows are different. This one was really different. My concierge “stuff” that Circle Y (Penny Youngblood and Nancy Pearce) provided was smooth. Worked like a clock. Some was a little frustrating, mostly because of Will Rogers’ policy (or rather, non-policy). It was mainly parking – because no one is told what the rules are, many do not see themselves as a “them” and there’s no one to enforce them. I hate being the one to do this. Please learn the rules and just follow them.
A trend is happening in what WRMC calls the “VIP RV Lot.” For the first time ever, there were days of 100 percent occupancy. This show had considerably more than in the past. There were more living quarters trailers and coaches, which has been happening, but fifth-wheel RVs are the growing thing, both as rentals for the Triple Crown events and outright purchases. Gypsies we are. Or maybe Comanche is a better description.
In my opinion, the last week’s cattle were the worst I’ve ever seen in a Triple Crown event. The consensus is they were too big. We have detailed contracts with serious “cures” in them. Nothing I know leads me to think anybody failed. It was the “perfect storm” scenario. Unforeseen, exposing a situation not anticipated. I am sure there will be a “post mortem” evaluation. Please don’t pass on rumors.
The silver lining was we got to see some amazing things, to see several people rise to the challenge and shine like the sun in July. My personal favorites, the Francoises and Ashlocks. Wes and Lindy Ashlock, who can’t be mentioned without including Lindy’s dad, Tom Merryman, are known and respected to those who ask the important questions, like, “Who started that horse?” Wes started the horse Holly Francois won the Limited Non-Pro on, the horse Lindy won the Non-Pro on and the horse he was the high marker on with a 222 in the Open semifinals.
Wes starts a lot of 2-year-olds. All three horses handled some poisonously bad cows, thinking horses turned loose to do just that. Think. I saw many feats of outstanding athleticism. Granted some were by cows, but it was still a thing to behold. I will say there were some good-looking cows in there. Body builders spend their lives trying to get muscle definition like these cows.
Many cutters have taken time to do other things. Spring branding is popular, with women doing most of the dragging to the fire. Aussies Edan and Kev Wilson rented an RV, saw a lot of the show and the “No Hoodie” sign, and left to tour the Southwest. They’re going to many places all Americans should.
The Cowans, Coopers, Dufurrenas and Chartiers (R.L. and Mica) are in Mexico. Coincidentally, so are the Kardashians. Pictures of foals are covering Facebook. People and programs are shining. These are the best horses and trainers we’ve ever had, and they seem to be growing exponentially. That means two people begat four people.
FYI – good 2-year-old programs are like rich kids’ private schools; you best reserve a slot the first spring day your mare lays her ears back at your old gelding. Three years early is not early enough for some. While you are planning, be a hero to show secretaries everywhere and enter early, especially aged event nominations. A prudent person would even check to make sure they got them.
Those hauling for the World are going hard now. Rigs are stocked with all the essentials – everything they own made from leather, steel, fleece or cotton. Straight jackets have been picked up from the dry cleaners, goodbyes made to the normal people in their lives. Bankers alerted. Pros and cons of whether it is better to chase or be chased are being reviewed. Pressure affects different people different ways. Some thrive, others go all to pieces. Look for them.
Cornbread Thinks: The greatest show on Earth… go see it.