This week we went to the Upperville Horse and Colt Show, a AA rated horse show which means it is one of the most competitive in the country. It is also the oldest horse show in the U.S.celebrating its 162nd year. It was an amazing event with beautiful horses and tack as well as lots of vendors. It was so large that we had to rent a golf cart to get around. (Some people brought their own scooters.) The RVs for some of the humans were three bedroom homes on wheels. It was a new world for me.
We were there to take my horse for the first time to compete – it was for us a chance to introduce him to the jumping world at the highest level within easy driving distance (Wellington in Florida may happen someday, but that is a long haul!) The first day his eyes were popping out of his head. He jigged and jagged at everything – although he did have a perfect jump round, but his heart was pounding. The second day he was much calmer and by the time he had gone around the jumps twice, he was totally calm. One of his trainers rode him bareback through the crowds back to his trailer without any problem. She even cantered his past our golf cart and he could not have cared less. We succeeded in our goal of de-sensitizing him. Next year we’ll actually be more serious about competing.
We stayed overnight at a wonderful inn in Middleburg. The Goodstone Inn is privately owned and is a true find. The main house has a few rooms that used to be horse stalls, but the rest of the rooms are scattered throughout the over 120 acre estate in different buildings such as Spring House, Dutch Cottage, the Bull room, etc. It also has a superb bar with one of the best margaritas we’ve ever had (all made fresh with no bottled mixer involved) and the food was stupendous. Lobster and chateaubriand were wonderful dinners and the eggs benedict were divine with absolutely perfect Hollandaise and poached eggs. The eggs are laid by their own chickens and are collected every morning. There is a pet pig that was rescued from a local animal society who is the “clean up” brigade for the property. He is adorable – and clearly well fed.
Even if you are not a rider, going to this show is fascinating and if you need an excuse to stay at The Goodstone, use the Upperville Show as an incentive……and look for Carni’s Last Stand in either the Hunter or Jumper rings next year!