Being that this was my first time competing at NAN, I had no expectations for anything. I was just happy to be there and to have horses there that I had painted heading into the rings.
Getting to the convention center wasn't all that difficult once I figured out where to park. Being that I only had 1 tote I decided to just walk from the car to the doors instead of unloading my stuff then parking. I found my way in and ended up at the registration table. I got my packet, was shown which section to sit in and was on my way. I happened to find a familiar face to sit next time, which was awesome because I was so nervous that I didn't even know what to do.
After getting my table set up and all the horses ready for their classes, I had some time to chat and see how everything worked. For those of you who haven't been to NAN, here are some of the differences.
-They have an announcer, this was amazing!! She was clear and easy to understand, which was great when there are 18 rings going all at the same time. She was on time and kept everyone on track. She was amazing.
-The order of classes was a little different, but close to the listed order. Today had Custom, Artist Resin and OF Performance. They had several rings of each going and kept things rolling along at a good pace.
-I knew that they had pic of the champ/reserve horses, but I didn't thin that they had someone at the show to do them. In halter, you go pick up your ribbon and plaque (if you were lucky). When you went over they asked if you had champ or reserve. Then they take your model and place it in a cool photo set up and snap some pics.
In total I brought 20 horses in 31 classes. Like I said earlier, I didn't expect anyone to get anything, but I was hoping to walk away with something. Turned out better than I expected.
I had 3 rockstars in my group today and not 3 that I would have expected.
Augustus is the oldest horse in my group. He was painted back in 2008, making him 10 years old this year. I lovingly call him the old fart in my group, he fits that old, grouchy man personality. Augustus was entered in breed and workmanship. Both classes were rather large, with most of the horses in the classes being traditionals. But wouldn't you know that Augustus ended up getting a Top Ten in Breed!!! I was over the moon!!! My first Top Ten ribbon, won but not only the oldest member of my group but also the first custom I ever bought. Couldn't have been more happy with that. Then it happened.
Ever So Clever was one of the first micros that I ever did. I painted her with pastels into a softer dapple grey.To this da they are still the tiniest dapples I have ever done. I took my time on her mane and tail, made sure to get the shading the right depth and have loved her since the beginning. Apparently the judge liked her too because she ended up getting National Reserve Champion Pony. I was speechless!! I couldn't believe it, I still can't believe it! A model I painted, not only went to NAN, but got reserve. I'm not sure how long it will take for that to sink in.
And then if I wasn't on Cloud 9 already, I had another one of the horses I painted earn a Top Ten.
Someone Special was first on OF horse, but some hoof and ear rubs prevented her from doing very well. So I decided to pastel her to a dapple grey. She is a medium dapple grey with nice blue ribbons in her mane to make her color pop. She was also entered in both Breed and workmanship, but she brought home a Top Ten in workmanship and I couldn't be more proud.
Nothing from today has completely sunk in yet. I don't think it will for a while. Even though I didn't bring more home I am still very proud of what I did. To bring home a National Reserve Champion with something I painted is something that I will never forget. Tomorrow is The Resin Futurity, I plan on doing the halter and performance classes. Hopefully I will also e ale to take more pics, I was in such shock all day that I didn't get more than 5 pics.