Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Days are Long at Devon

A bright eyed foal poses under the lights in the Dixon arena.

Our Photographer crew, headed by Terri Miller with myself and Susan Stickle assisting headed out each morning at the crack of dawn and made our way to the show grounds. The volunteers were already assembling and the finishing touches of any ring grooming was being completed. We picked up our cameras and gear and made our way to our assigned rings for the 8am start of classes. On most days the rings continued with just short breaks until 5 or 6 and sometimes into the night til 8 or 9. We were on our feet most of the time, sometimes 12 hours or more per day.
The first few days of the breed show a familiar shout "loose horse!" could be heard from time to time. Everyone would scramble blocking exits and at times removing other horses from the ring until the free spirit could be caught. The week wore on and the feisty foals and other young horses gave way to sleek muscled FEI horses warming up in the ring. It was time for dressage!
The rain held off most days during competition save for just a sprinkling here and there. One night we ended early as a thunderstorm was approaching and a good drenching was in the forecast. The 6yr old materiale class for the Gold ring was the casualty of that storm. A big disappointment for those who had entered.

The Dixon ring with its new footing fared well for the next morning's Intermediare while the 4th level classes slogged through the sandy Gold ring until it could drain sufficiently which took until almost noon.
We prepared for the evening events that would bring the Friday and Saturday night crowds.

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