Thursday, April 23, 2015

Friday Afternoon of World Cup Week: Dressage Showcase

Friday afternoon's dressage showcase was mostly just fun. It started with an exhibition by two "rising stars", including Steffen Peters on Rosamunde. Truthfully, my photos are not fabulous and there are much better ones, with commentary on all the "acts", here:

But, for what they're worth, here are a few photos anyway. Rosie is blurry in this one because my camera focused on the head of the woman in front of me. This 8 year old mare can piafffe on a dime. Amazing for any horse, let alone an 8 year old.

Then the fun began, starting with Shannon as Poison Ivy on Weltino's Magic and David Blake as Batman on Ikaros. Poison Ivy gave a beckoning finger to Batman at the start of the ride. My camera caught a leering Batman later on. Their horses were well-matched and were my favorites of the three pas de deux "entries" because I love Magic and Shannon. But the "judging" was all in fun. To see the others, go to the link I mentioned.

Then the frivolity took a break for a very short retirement ceremony for Wizard. In attendance was Brentina and Wizard's owner, Parry Thomas. The very wonderful program we bought at the World Cup told us that Adrienne Lyle, Wizard's rider, had hoped to ride Wizard in the FEI World Cup Final, but it was decided that the 16-year-old Oldenburg had done enough and it was time for him to enjoy relaxing in the pasture. Wizard did not seem to agree at his retirement ceremony, dancing about, apparently reluctant to be unsaddled for the last time.

  His 90 plus year old owner, Parry Thomas, stood by. In 2009, he also watched Brentina be retired here at the Las Vegas World Cup. Adrienne was quoted in the show program as saying "... what he (Parry) has done for the sport of dressage is incredible. He had horses in three consecutive Olympics, and he took a big chance with me, I was just a working student. He had a lot of faith in us to let us prove ourselves." Debbie McDonald, Brentina's rider and Adrienne's coach was also in attendance. She was quoted as saying: "How can you even start to describe what he's done for so many lives? He's been like a father to me since I was 14. He's always been so generous. The whole family sponsored some of the best horses we've ever had in the country, all the way back to Olympian Hilda Gurney with Willie the Great."

 And then it was back to showtime and the most crowd pleasing act: Guenter Seidel as Elvis with three showgirls in a quadrille riding to Elvis tunes, of course.  Again, my photos were lousy, but you get the idea.

The showcase was very short, followed by an impressive eight horse team pulling a stage coach and wheeling around the stage in impossibly tight maneuvers. My photos show nothing but a hazy blur.

Ruth and I spent the rest of the afternoon on the Univ. of Nevada at Las Vegas campus, where we spent most of our down time. It's a lovely campus and I'll do a blog with those photos someday, so I have them in a place where I can find them again. We found a most wonderful Mexican restaurant near campus for supper: Cafe Rio. We hit that one again on Saturday.

Next up on Friday evening was Round 2 of the jumping competition...

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