But, today watching with Wayne, I think I knew ONE player. All of the old greats have either stopped playing, can't keep their game up or passed on to greener pastures. Just a wee bit depressing.
I had Memorial Day off and my good friend Mary and I went down to the LA Equestrian Center to watch the Memorial Grand Prix Classic. Now, horses I did all of my life, so I know many of the people jumping. At least, I used to.....
Our first stop was at Vivas. I have been going to Vivas for some 30 years or more. It is a Mexican restaurant right on the edge of the equestrian center. I have a favorite waiter/owner by the name of Joaquin. He is no longer at the restaurant and the restaurant has gone down hill. Almost sacrareligious without Joaquin's big smile and me leaving him an astronomical tip.
Thankfully at the Grand prix they still sing the National Anthem and present the colors. I thought it might be like the schools where you can't say the pledge of the allegiance to the flag. But, they saved grace here.
When we looked over the now very cheaply done program...there was ONLY one rider out of 20 that I knew. Arrrg. I must be older than dirt at 63! There was a lovely lady sitting in front of me about my age and she echoed what I was thinking. We talked about old times when Susie Hutchinson, Ann Kursinksi and Hap Hanson were riding. The jump offs were insanely wild. Everyone would be going nuts and cheering. I chatted a bit with her about selling my last jumper to Susie and Jimmie. Jimmie has passed on, but Susie is still around. I know Hap is still jumping and Ann is back east. That gives me some comfort.
The up and coming younger generation of Grand Prix hopefuls.....
We enjoyed the jumping. It was tame in comparison to many years ago. Now most of the horses are of warm blood descent that could almost walk over the jumps. I liked it when there were more running quarters and TBs in the competition. I think the riders of the expensive warm bloods are afraid to put the pedal to the metal. There were time faults on most of the rides. They were jumping the Grand prix like it was a 'hunter' class.
I could have or would have taken this horse home with me. :0)
The whole event was pretty anti-climatic. NO jump off. We almost had one...a clean ride, but the kid rode like he had time to kill. He didn't. He made huge wide sweeping turns at the end of the course while the clock was ticking precious seconds away. That would have never happened with Susie, Ann, or Hap!
Mary and I like to wander around the barns and look at the beautiful horses. Sometimes we go and watch a lesson being given. NEW CHANGE...no no one is permitted to walk around the barns without being a member. Geez. So I bought an LAEC (LA Equestrian center) hat and strolled with Mary around the barn area with my new hat on my head. We only got talked to once about being there. We kind of just moved on and ignored the lady.
Mary reaching out to a beautiful gray horse.
I think this was my most favorite photo i took of the day.
CHANGE...we all have to roll with it, make the best of it...doesn't mean I have to like it. :0)