Even if you don't like football, it's worth watching the 2014 Super Bowl just to see the commercials, the Clydesdales to be more specific. You can see one of the commercials at the link below, just a little inside information if you will. The Budweiser Clydesdale Team was kind enough to reach out and share this with us, ahead of time. Makes me want to go out and buy a six-pack. Enjoy!
Some people collect shoes, handbags or even Hermes scarves. My issue is coats. I tried to adopt a rule, that every time I bought a coat I had to dispose of another, but it did not work, Goodwill's loss for sure. This is an adult phenomena; don't recall having this fetish when I was an adolescent and I could have cared less for clothes as a little girl. And lucky for me, I live near the real J Crew outlet where coats can be had for $100 most days. A hot pink collarless model was purchased there late in 2012 followed by a lovely black melton.
(not sure who made this but this looks like my 15 year old Max Mara camel coat; yes, I still wear it)
(Barbour be damned, the knock offs look pretty good, love them all; this is Joules.com)
And I don't discriminate. I'm an equal opportunity coat craver - quilted, waxed, wool, fur, long, short, medium, vest, cheap, expensive, ugly, pretty, fashionable or just plain sensible. And it's 8 degrees outside, again, so I guess it's a good thing I have a lot to choose from.
With today's "balmy" weather here in the East, again, a good laugh is in order. This may make you laugh or it may make you cry, depending on your profession. If you are an English professor, you may not laugh so much. It's pretty clear that are schools are failing in a huge way. Coursera anyone?
I'm starting my FREE course on Equine Nutrition this evening, straight from the towers of education of the University of Edinborough. Gotta love it. The world of knowledge is at your doorstep, literally.
The cold has crept into my bones, I'm tired of barn chores in frigid weather and grumpiness is setting in. So it's a perfect day to rant about some random things I really miss, things that I'd love to bring back to the horse show world.....back in the "good ole' days."
Velvet collars on riding coats. I know they are starting to come back but these are just lovely in every way.
I miss some of the old venues like the Cap Center just outside Washington, DC which is now a shopping mall. I never got to show there but went there to see WIHS a few times. What a great place.
Recognition for our sport beyond Town & Country. Even The New Yorker and the Times used to report on the horse show world. Could you imagine that happening today? Not ever. Betty Reynolds, now Betty Oare is one of the best ambassadors for the horse show world. Now in her late 60's or even early 70's and still going, and still winning. What a class act.
A more recent photo of Betty. She lives here in Virginia.
Top hats. I know this is so politically incorrect but we need to bring these babies back for formal occasions like hunter classics and Derbies. If I'm going to be killed from a head injury falling off a horse at least let me look good.
Big jumps. We have SO MANY 2', 2'3' 2'6, 2'9 divisions it makes my stomach turn. If you are going to ride at a certain level at least learn how to jump normal sized jumps, without ground lines like we used to do. Horses and riders need to be able to jump at least 3' jumps IMHO at the rated shows. Everything in America has been dumbed down, everything.
Outside courses. See the rant above.
More Thoroughbreds. This is my friend Bill at Devon. He loves the old thoroughbred types. I think they are coming back.
Fancy ribbons. We spend so much time and money in this sport. At least produce distinctive, nice looking ribbons that will last into the next decade. Enough said.
Please take a look at Jeannie Carlton's Pinterest page here. She has a wonderful stash of vintage photos. Most of these photos came from her treasures.
Christmas will be here before you know it. Right? Well in needlepoint world, yes. There are so many Christmas items I want to do, and you have to get them to the finisher usually in September so you'd better get going........... Now only if I had time. You know that four letter word? Here are some of the items on my wish list.
Liberty of London fabrics have always caught my eye and they've become popular in the U.S. since J Crew started using the fabrics in their collections. I hope they continue the trend.
I like shirts from the fabric but there's a lot going on, so maybe not pants or blazers. It's expensive but there are some good deals right now on the J. Crew website for the shirts.
Liberty has been around a long time. Since 1875 to be exact. Arthur Liberty’s intuitive vision and pioneering spirit led him to travel the world looking for individual pieces to inspire and excite his discerning clientele. The brand grew and it's as popular today as ever.
If ever in London, you must make a visit to Liberty's iconic store. You won't be disappointed. And I hope you'll come to love the lovely Liberty patterns as much as I have through the years. I have a shirt from the early 1980's that I still wear!
For those who follow thoroughbreds, you'll certainly know Northern Dancer (May 27, 1961 – November 16, 1990). He's one of the most famous and most influential thoroughbred stallions in history even though he did not win the Triple Crown. Born and bred in Canada, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and never ran lower than third in any race winning 14 of his 18 races. In The Blood Horse ranking of the top 100 US thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, Northern Dancer was ranked #43.
Northern Dancer stood at stud at E.P. Taylor's Windfields Farm in Ontario until 1969, when he was moved to Windfields' 2850-acre Maryland farm (bypassing Kentucky), where he remained until his death. His breeding rights were limited to 36 mares (50-55 mares were typical) which some account for his longevity as a breeding stallion.
Northern Dancer was the most successful 20th century thoroughbred sire. His offspring have earned more money and won more major stakes races than those of any other sire up until the 1990s era of shuttle stallions. He sired 147 stakes winners. By early 1980, Northern Dancer and his son Nijinsky II had combined to sire the winners of almost US$20 million in stakes.
But his life did not start out so well. No one wanted to buy E.P. Taylor's small bay colt, he was only 15.2 and looked like a quarter horse more than a Thoroughbred. Offered for $25,000 at the yearling sale, no one wanted him so he went back to Taylor's farm to begin his training. No one made fun of small stature when he broke the 89-year track record to win the Kentucky Derby in 1964 and he became known as the "pocket battleship." His racing career was cut short when he endured a tendon injury after winning the Queen's Plate at Woodbine that same year. Ironically, Taylor had been told by the Kentucky cognoscenti that breeding a champion racehorse in Canada was "as likely as pigs flying."
(Northern Dancer winning his last race with EP Taylor and his wife, Pinterest)
In the 1980s, Northern Dancer's stud fee reached $1 million, an amount four to five times his rivals and a record amount that as of 2009 has not been equaled. And although he has been dead for over 20 years, there are more Northern Dancer-line Breeder's Cup winners than any other horse. He is the great-grandsire (on both the sire and dam side) of Big Brown, the winner of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He is an ancestor of the winners of all three U.S. Triple Crown races in 2009—Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby, Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, and Summer Bird in the Belmont.
(Statue of Northern Dancer in Toronto, Canada, Wikipedia)
He was retired from stud in 1987 at the age of 26. He died in 1990 from complications due to colic. Five years before his death an oak casket had been secretly commissioned for him and he was placed in the box covered with a turquoise cooler offset by gold piping with his name on it. A refrigerated truck transported the casket to Canada for burial. He's buried at Windfields Farm in Ontario.
The farm was closed in 2008 and the Taylor family partnered with developers to build residential homes on the east side of the property. As part of the downsizing, large portions were sold to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, which erected parking lots on the southeast corner of the farm.Some of the barns, the grave of Northern Dancer, plus a trillium forest where 15 of the famous Windfields horses are buried, have been preserved as a commemorative park.
(Windfield in Ontario, now gone, Pinterest)
(Northern Dancer's Grave - Pinterest, Toronto Star)
Northern Dancer was placed midway between the barn where he was born and the barn where he learned to become a champion race horse. Windfields' Maryland operation is now the site of North Stallion Station and Rowland Farm.
During the past forty years, a number of books have been written about Northern Dancer. One, by respected pedigree authority Avalyn Hunter, author of American Classic Pedigrees (1914–2002), recounts how Northern Dancer and his sons have established a royal dynasty that has profoundly dominated the international bloodstock market.
In 2012, Breyer released a portrait model of Northern Dancer sculpted by Jeanne Mellin Herrick.
He was, by some accounts, the greatest thoroughbred of all time. His legacy will live on and time will tell. He stamped his prodigy with the will to win and they're still winning races even today.
The business of life is the acquisition of memories....
I'm not certain who said that but how spot on. As you get older and things start slipping away (and I'm not referring to my waistline) try to recall all of those memories you tucked away somewhere. At least the good ones...........
Maybe you pull out some old photos with meaning and place them on a prominent spot where you will remember every day....even some events you may not remember like your parents' wedding day or your own christening.
I have started an old photo wall in a back hall, really unused space, that is now really special and reminds me every day of places, people and special moments. I won't forget.
When Sega dies her halter, a lock from her mane and tail, a shoe, some special ribbons and a few photos will be made into a large window box frame that will have a prominent place in my home for the rest of my life.
Don't toss those memories, savor them and relive them every day! Use them to remind you of the special times as life can get so mundane.
Below is an old photo from my own collection. That's my older sister on the left, me in the middle and my younger sister holding Smokey, our beloved cat. Not sure when this was taken but it looks like it was at my grandmother's house. I have special sisters, I'm lucky. We're all happy and healthy. But we have some wonderful memories.
Cherish your memories today and every day. Hug your family, spend lots of time with those you love and pull those mementos and photos out and relive them. Life is short. Time is sweet.