Tuesday, October 23, 2018
All American Quarter Horse Congress 2018
It's been over 12 years since I attended the All American Quarter Horse Congress ("Congress") in Columbus, Ohio. Which meant that I had to get my passport updated, buy a big suitcase for all the shopping I was going to do and of course get American Cash.
I spent 10 days reliving the experience, comparing the old with the new. The Adequan 1,000 stall barn which housed the reiners was not there the last time and the hundreds of golf carts to be rented for $300 a week. Note to Self: rent a cart next time. I walked 16hr/day and got a sore knee after a week. I did loose weight though, which was great!
Cutting, Reining, And Ranch Horse
I always went during the 1st week of Congress to see the reining, cutting and now the ranch horse classes. I'd like to share some of my experiences here.
The Ranch Horse was new since the last time I was there. Being a big class here at the Congress, it was very interesting to watch. There was no bling on the saddles or anywhere else and the riders had amazing cow fur covered chinks and hats.
I went most mornings with my Greek breakfast and watched some of the cutting. I saw part of the Open Cutting, the Non Pro Cutting and the 1st Go of the Open Bridleless Cutting.
I want to give a shout out and congrats to Lynn Purdie of Shelburne Ontario for winning the $1000 added Amateur Cutting. How exciting to be a Congress Champion!
A Bit of History I Didn't Know
5,000 horses were there during the 1st week and an estimated 27,000 horses will visit the Congress over the course of the month long quarter horse show. You can read the stats on this plaque dedicated in 1996. It has really grown since then. Columbus made over $360million revenue last year from the show.
It brings back memories of when my family used to go and watch the Congress. I just had to phone my mother (since my father passed 3 years ago) to ask when was the first time I'd been to Congress. Wow! 45 years ago! My Dad loved to watch the cutting and I felt him sitting beside me. And an older gentlemen in his 80s who asked me for a date. I kid you not. I declined.
I Remember The Shopping!
As per usual, I went down with an almost empty suitcase and filled it up with clothes and shopping goodies. That part hadn't changed much.
Ontario Group of Reiners
One part that never changes is the closeness of the Ontario group. Everyone there was supportive of each other. We even have our particular section in the stands. You know how it is...There's something to be said when you're in a different country.
Highlight of Saturday Evening - NRHA Open Futurity Finals
Always a highlight is the Open Futurity Finals. 45 entries and a screaming crowd to watch.
It was a big time for me to see big names like Shawn Flarida, Casey Deary. And of course our own Loris Epis from Caledon Ontario.
I know I'm biased but I'd have to say that our Ontario cheering section in the seats was the loudest for Loris!
Though he didn't do as well in the finals due to an over spin, I do want to shout out to him for winning the NRHA Novice Horse Level 1 and 2. Another Congress Champion!
It's hard to believe I've been home now 2 weeks, the snow is lightly falling and I'm savouring the memories.
Putting My Spin on the Congress