Friday, May 22, 2015

Pony Past Perfect - Toy Story

Some famous horses and ponies had humble beginnings.  Toy Story's history is worth remembering. 

Toy Story, or "Bug" as he was known outside the show ring, has an interesting story. On a summer day, looking for something to do, a woman named Cynthia took a trip to the New Holland sale (in Pa) with no intentions of buying anything. Then, she spotted "Bug" tied to a fence. Feeling sorry for the pony, Cynthia arranged to purchase the pony and give him a chance at life. Legend has it she paid less than $1000 for the small dark bay pony.  Several years later, he stormed on the pony hunter scene with rider/owner Maggie McAlary. His career includes many wins, including:

Champion Small Pony Hunter and Best Child Rider at Devon 2000
Winner 2000 Pony Equitation Finals
Champion Harrisburg 2000
Champion Washington 2000
Grand Pony Hunter Champion - Old Salem 1998
USEF Zone I - 5th Green Pony Hunter 1998
Numerous other Championships

 Toy Story is now in his 20's and he's still showing little girls how to ride.  I was lucky to see him last weekend at a show in Washington, DC.  He looks pretty good out there.....

D is for Devon

Memorial Day weekend is synonomous in the horse world for Devon. If you show hunters you'll be at Devon.

The show started yesterday and runs until May 31st just outside of Philly on the Main Line. The show grounds are tiny but its prestige factor is not dictated by its small acrage. It's the best of the very best, you must qualify to get to show here.

I only had one horse to go to Devon and that's the only time I visited the horse show.  I must admit it was fun to attend and to watch your own horse compete and yes, we did come home with ribbons! That's my boy, Dandy, with Mary Lisa Leffler on board.  He was such a sweet guy.  He came over from Germany and he loved junk food!  It was a sunny day but I remember the mud well.

Devon has it's own traditions like tea sandwiches:

 There is also a country fair:

And the shopping there is endless.  If you live nearby you should make the trip. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Belmont Bash

Saturday's test of speed at the Preakness, in the mud and slop no less, is proof that American Pharoah may indeed beat the odds and win the Belmont. There's been so much buzz about this horse even before he won his last three races in style.  So, it is on the Belmont and why not have a Belmont Bash and celebrate in style?

Start with these invitations which can be found on Etsy:

The perfect background music, pre-race, is New York, New York.  You'd need Frank singing it in the background.  I love it when the horses parade on the track while someone famous sings.....

This would look great on your table. See it here.

Cookies anyone?  See these here.

A great wreath for the door to great your guests:
See it here.

Or this one...
See it here.
And I would use these glasses.  These were made by Old Morgantown Glass in the 1940's for Gulfstream Park in Florida.  You can find them often on Ebay.
I like these from Horse and Hound too.  See them here.

These linens are perfect! See them here.

 And this would be a great addition to your table!  See it here.
Looking forward to the Belmont in three long weeks!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gary Stevens Defies Everything

Who says older isn't wiser or you must be young to be at the top of your game in the sports world?  Gary Stevens has defied the odds, again and again and again and I expect him to be a real threat as he rides Firing Line in the Preakness on Saturday.  You gotta love a man, who in his early 50's, could retire and live a cushy life but instead, chooses to hang out with the youngsters.  This is a wonderful piece about him in The New York Times.

 You go Gary!  Pulling for you on Saturday!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Art of Clara Blalock

A few people in my family have the artistic gene, the most obvious being my father's aunt's daughter Clara Blalock. Yes, we are related somehow.  She has the gift and I am lucky to own one of her paintings which she created for our living room in a past house.  Her work is abstract now and I love it!

Here is her studio.  I am reading The Swan House and I imagine Clara's studio to be much like the one talked about in this book.  Both are in Atlanta, hmmmm.....

You can learn more about her work here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Picks

It may be a little late as Mother's Day is this Sunday but for those who haven't shopped yet (and there is always express shipping) here are a few ideas for your mom!

Who does not love Herend bunnies? If your mom does not have a collection then maybe you should start one for her.  See this one here.

 Any mom will love new clothes.  I am partial the aqua jacket below.  See it here.

Does your mom also ride or does she follow you to shows? She might like this cute bracelet:

Handbag?  This cute clutch will go with everything this summer.  See it here.
Something for her bath? Or a lotion or better yet, her favorite perfume.... See this here.

And I love these necklaces. These also will go with everything. You can find all kinds of great finds here.

Happy Mothers' Day to everyone out there who is a mom!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Horse Care Products - Where to Shop

I'll let you in on one of my horse-related secrets.  I love to buy products from T.T. Distributors in Ocala, Florida. I find their prices are almost always cheaper than anywhere else and they have unique products (for the horse racing industry) that no one else has. It's not a fancy place but I went there for the first time almost 20 years ago when I went to HITS in Ocala.  Every time I go to Ocala, I stop in.  They will ship and you can shop off their website here.

The other "go to" place is Farmvet. Farmvet caters to the horse show crowd but they have all the products you will ever need for hunters and jumpers:  boots, leather cleaners, supplements, ear plugs, brushes, lead ropes, stable supplies.  Neither place sells a lot tack or riding clothes, but they have everything else. Farmvet gives USEF members a 5% discount.  Shipping is free if you buy more than $50 or $75.  You can see their site here.

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