Ok where were we…oh yeah it’s been several months since I have had the discipline to sit down and write my blog!

Let me tell you, life on the road is rough. More so, following your boyfriend’s journey with his once in a lifetime horse to all of the fall World Cup Shows is psychosis inducing. After the somewhat traumatic 2nd week they had at TBird, we had a few weeks to regroup and relax before we headed up to the Sacramento International Horse Show.

Actually scratch that, Colicchio and the Dane had a few weeks to relax. I had made the deranged decision to go set up a booth at Tryon for the beautiful disaster that was WEG.  Everyone was so worried about the hurricane destroying the show, but it was in fact the show management itself that created the perfect storm of catastrophe. I spent over 2 weeks in the mud, working like a dog, sweating like a pig, and eating like a horse.  Have I mentioned I tend to self sooth with exorbitant amounts of food when I am stressed?  So there I was drowning in Caroline barbeque, and flushing money down the river that flowed through vendor row after the hurricane.  My PTSD from having a booth at WEF kicked into high gear, and I nearly lost my shit. Ok I lost my shit almost everyday, but I got it back again! 

Finally flying out of hell on a Saturday, I spent all day Sunday with my doggies and Cagney, and then come 5am Monday morning, we were on our way to Sacramento to set up our biggest booth of the year.  Did I mention being on the road is rough?  Even though it was close to 100 degrees when we arrived, after the North Carolina humidity, I was downright chilly. I will never complain about being hot at a California horse show again. Seriously you don’t know hot until you have been stuck in an un-air-conditioned tent for 2 weeks in the south after a hurricane.

I was actually thrilled to be at the Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center for the next 2 weeks. It is by far one of my favorite show facilities in Cali, and the indoor arena is fantastic for show jumping.   The stallion and the Dane seemed relaxed and ready to take on the challenge of the Welcome Week, testing the waters before the main event week 2, World Cup Week. 

Now because it has been a few months, I don’t remember all the details of that week.  I do remember the pair going clean and on to the jump off round in the Grand Prix. Oh yes, and I remember they were towards the end of the jump off, and there was only one clean so far.  And I remember thinking he better not do anything stupid and just ride for the clean round, securing a top 3 placing in an over 50 round class.  That’s right, and I remember there was a stupid rail!  Ok my memory is not as bad as I had anticipated, which is not a benefit for the Dane. But one rail and a decent time got them a 7th place finish, and purple is my favorite color, so not all was lost. Note to Dane: yes, I know it’s not all about me, in fact I know it’s never about me, I say sarcastically with my tongue figuratively sticking out at you!

Either way it was a great start to the show, and the pair looked ready for round 2. As luck would have it their old friend Olaf Peterson Jr was designing for the World Cup Week, and the Dane has already had several big wins on his courses this year. Moving into the 2nd week looked promising for their redemption shot in a World Cup Class.  And just like that they were 4th in the 1.50 Qualifier, looking once again unstoppable on their way to the top.


Now their recent success did not completely block out the Dane’s Tbird ordeal, and there was some hesitation about diving into another 1.60 challenge.  He decided to have a chat with Mr. Peterson Jr, and see what his thoughts were about the little Stallion’s chances of having a positive experience in the Saturday night class.  After all he has seen the duo climb up the ranks in the past few years, and would offer an unbiased and educated opinion about the horse and his abilities.  It seems there was no doubt in his mind that Colicchio would be a welcomed and competitive addition to the start list in his World Cup Class.


The reassurance solidified the Dane’s decision to take his second shot at a World Cup class. Of course the decision threw my mind and body into anxiety over drive, in anticipation of the big night.  And I think to myself, why are we doing this to ourselves again…And then I eat.

Luckily for me I didn’t eat what the Dane did, because in the middle of the night prior to the big day, he suffered an onslaught of some serious food poisoning.  He was up all night, so I was up all night, partly worried for him, partly worried it was going to hit me too.  But alas it staid glued to him and clear of me, and I went out early that morning to get some much needed electrolytes, liquids, and stomach meds, to hopefully get him through the day.   When I left him to go to the show he was looking rather pale and pathetic, certainly not strong enough to maneuver through a 1.60 course.  A part of me was sad that the show had to end like this, and a part of me was relieved I didn’t have to go through the worry of watching them that night.

To my surprise the Dane came in the afternoon to get on the Stallion, and see how his stomach would hold up.  Again he looked pretty sullen and worn out, but I think the desire to get in that arena and see once and for all if the 2 had what it took to conquer a World Cup Class was outweighing the stomach pain.  In the end, he decided he was going to suck it up and do it. With just a handful of crackers and some Pedialyte in his system, the Dane got in his whites and hoped all of the fences would stay up, and all of the crackers would stay down!

There was just around 30 or so in the daunting class, and they were smack in the middle of the line up. I was back to dealing with my standard bundle of nerves, hoping that by some miracle the Dane’s adrenaline would take over and drive his undernourished weak body through the course.  The class was upon us, the arena was full, and the fences were freaking colossal.   

Every horse and rider combination came into the electrically charged arena, and every one of them hit something, or hit many something’s, or stopped, or fell off, or all of the above.  The course seemed impossible to tackle with a razor tight time and a handful of technically formidable obstacles.  I was getting more worried by the second, and had images of a sick Dane losing his crackers over an oxer!

However, the one thing I haven’t learned yet about the Dane and Colicchio, is that these two anomalies always surprise me and everyone else when we least expect it.  And surprise us they did, with a beautiful fault free round! Ok almost fault free round. Not a single rail came down, the first pair to go over the fences clean, but alas .02 seconds over the time. Let me say that again .02 seconds.  Not even seconds, nanoseconds, invisible seconds, maybe the timer made a .02 mistake kind of seconds!   But it was truly a glorious moment for the duo, for the crowd, and for the remaining riders who now knew the course was rideable. In fact, one of the 9 riders who went on to have clean rounds thanked the Dane for giving her the confidence that it could be done. I was just thrilled that they proved to themselves that a World Cup Class could in fact be done, and be done on an empty stomach to boot. Top ten once again and his first World Cup points on the record!

Phew! Ok 5 weeks on the road, now time for a break.  Oh wait, no that’s right I have to pack up our booth, drive home then wake up the next day and drive to Del Mar to set up again.  For all of my friends that see my posts on Facebook and tell me how jealous they are that I lead such an interesting and glamorous life, you have been duped once again by the falsehood that is social media!  It’s Facadebook people, when will you ever learn.

Ok reliving these shows through this blog is exhausting.

So now let’s wrap up the second half of our fall line up, short and sweet.  We went to Del Mar, then we went to Thermal. There was a mass shooting very close to our home, then a fire that nearly destroyed our home, and a few bad classes for Colicchio and the Dane somewhere in between.  Instead of heading to Vegas, the Dane made the right decision to give the little Stallion a much needed vacation, and brought him up to his favorite green pasture in Santa Ynes Valley where he is currently enjoying the art of doing nothing. 


Before I close up for the year, it needs to be noted that bringing up only one horse is hard enough doing 1.40-1.45 Grand Prix’s. But once you get to the World Cup level you learn very quickly it’s actually nearly impossible. And remember the Stallion is still a newbie to this scene. He got a late start in life do to his unfortunate surgeries, and that one ball of his still holds enough weight to make him a sensitive young man! 


But with that said I think these two had a stellar horse showing year, and their future looks brighter then ever.  As for me, after all of my binge eating this fall, I will be hiking my ass back to it’s normal size before I have to get on the road again in January.   I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, and thanks for sharing this wild ride with me!

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