It was very exciting to be asked to represent the sport of Eventing at Can Am, and Selena and I were both looking forward to it. It was also fun to have Selena at home for a weekend since we don’t get to see each other much in the winter. The drive to London seemed interminable and I was really glad I was not unloading and bedding down a horse at the end of it. When we got there our beautiful horse was in her stall, munching hay and looking very pleased with herself. She is a big 16.3hh chestnut and she was taking everything in stride. Dana and Samara Balfour had brought her and were there waiting on us. They had also brought everything we needed for Ginger’s care.
We shared our tack room with Cindy Ishoy who was representing Dressage – or rather we took up a little tiny space in one corner and Cindy’s tack trunk took up the rest of the stall. Boy these Dressage Diva’s sure know how to travel. Actually I am just green with envy. It was a huge metal thing on casters, with doors on the front and a lid that lifted up. It was HUGE, bigger than the team trunks that went to Hong Kong.
Once we had been shown all the ins and outs of
Ginger’s routine and feeding schedule, Selena and I went off and booked ourselves into the (wrong) hotel. We powered off to the Econo Lodge and found ourselves a room that allowed pets (2 dogs), only to find the next day that we had been pre booked into a Delta Hotel which was very swish and surprisingly, also allowed us to have the dogs with us.
Selena had hoped to ride in the arena on the Friday night when we arrived. The barrel racing clinic was meant to finish at 9:30 but they were all going strong at 9.45 and looked like they were having way too much fun to stop anytime soon. Thus, Selena and I found ourselves getting up at 5am the next morning and hot footing it over to the London Fairgrounds to nip into the arena before everybody arrived. After all, at this point, Ginger and Selena had barely been introduced. No problem, there were a few people milling around but nobody actually in the arena. Selena jumped aboard and she and Ginger had a ‘getting to know you’ ride. After the first quiet ten or fifteen minutes more and more people joined them in the ring. They were all Quarter Horses there for the reining, the ‘Canadian Cowgirls’ or the ‘Wind Riders’. As a result, Ginger looked like Gulliver amongst the Lilliputians. However, Ginger kept her cool throughout and although there was no question of being able to try her out over any fences, all in all, it was a good first get together.
The next time they got together was in the ring for the performance. I went in and blurbed a bit about the history of the sport, then about what Selena was doing on the flat – we changed tack and Selena changed her jacket while she talked to the crowd about her ride. After that she did Stadium, another change into Cross Country gear and she worked over a skinny. It went very smoothly to a packed crowd. The following day we worked up to a corner instead and Ginger was a superstar. I believe Gail Rogers who owns the stallion ‘A Fine Romance’ (Solo’s Dad) owns Ginger and has bred a foal by ‘A Fine Romance’. It must be gorgeous! The crowd on the second day was much smaller but enthusiastic and we saw lots of faces we knew in the audience.
They made up cards for Selena to sign autographs on and I have put one here to show you. It’s ‘Ena’ at the Royal last November.
The other photos are Selena doing the autograph signings and riding Ginger while wearing the headset so that she can talk as she goes. I bundled Selena back onto a plane on Monday morning and I myself will leave in the next day or so for The Fork and the trek home.