You have been warned....
Yesterday was Spirit Horse Live in Southwestern Iowa. Being that the show was almost 6 hours away, I decided long ago that I was going to drive down on Friday and spend a couple nights in a hotel, then drive back home on Sunday. Best decision ever!!! Not only was I able to sleep in on Friday, but I got to pack everything up and in the car while it was light out and could think clearly. I also was able to clean the house before I left so when everyone got home later it didn't look like we got robbed.
The drive down was mostly fine. There was a bigish accident in Ames involving a work truck and trailer. Blocked both lanes of traffic so we were moved to the shoulder. The biggest headache of the weekend was trying to get to my favorite road trip food joint Friday night. I ended up at some Bar/Grill/Muffler shop in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska. By the time I actually got to where I was going I have added an hour to my already long drive, most of which was on back roads.
The hotel was pretty nice. There was a kids pool birthday party Saturday night, but they were younger so they were done by 9pm. Awesome. The hotel ended up being 11 mins from the show hall and walking distance from Hobby Lobby (which I of course stopped at) and about a dozen food joints. If I got back there next year, I plan on staying at that hotel again.
This show used the index card method for placing. I know that I was going to have to make cards for each horse, but I had to have the host explain it to me once I got there. Each horse goes up to the table with a card. If the horse places, they take the card and put them in order and into an envelope for later. It was great because there were no ugly strings and there was no waiting for the judge to write names. But, there was plenty of "This horse has no card" going around. Then, is your horse went up for callbacks, you had to make them another card. If I had been thinking, I would have thought it through ahead of time. Every time I went back to my table to get horses I had to write more cards for the previous class. Towards the end, the judge said that I didn't have to write callback cards anymore. She would pick champ and reserve then tell me who needed cards. It worked so much better and would have saved me so many cards if we had thought of it earlier. Being that I had 90% of the horses, I had most of the horses in callbacks. Which I was totally ok with.
The show was a little slow at first. With no OF horses and all of my stuff being Mini or Micro, I had to wait several hours before my first horse went into the ring. The show host must have felt bad I was waiting so long because she moved the Micro Artist Resin division up in the list. Which was super nice and ridiculously busy at the same time. She started judging performance about 30 mins after Micro started. In total I think there were 3 people in the MM AR classes. I had the most horses by a long shot. Which meant that most of the classes had only my horses in them. Which meant that I reached my step count, early.
Being that I had the only horses in most of the classes meant that it was kinda up to me to keep the classes moving. I had to bring horses up with their cards, they placed, bring up the next classes horses and the callback cards for the previous class. Plus at the same time keeping track of performance which required tack and prop changes for just about every class. i got super lucky that the lunch break happened just about in the middle of the MM AR section. So I got to take a break and get everything re-organized at the table and get a better game plan for the rest of the day. The MM judge let me keep the 1st and 2nd horses on the table so I didn't have to move everyone around twice. I just slid them to one end and brought up the next class. There were a few 1 of 1 classes, but not many.
Performance was a let down. There were only 3 horses that did multiple classes, one of which was mine. I ended up with a 2nd in one classes and all the rest were lower. I was kinda confused. I was up against 1 decent horse and the other was kinda thrown together at the last min with all borrowed tack. The props (if she used any) were all breyer released and she didn't have any references. Just a card with the horses info, her info and the class name. She won several classes over me. I was, and still am, really discouraged. I worked so hard on all of my performance stuff for the last 2 weekends and got nothing out of it. I had the tiniest of details. Bridle numbers for the needed classes, detailed class references, and more then enough props. Yet none of my entries seemed to do well. After the first couple classes I was told that the saddle was too far back, we are talking about 1/32nd of an inch. That was all it was moved. I don't know what to do anymore. I went all in on this performance show. I made a new horse (which placed well in a large Sport class) new props, references made for the horse and my best tack. I have seriously thought about giving up on performance all together. It's heartbreaking for me to feel that way because it is my first passion in models and to have it all go down like that sucks.
Ok, pitty party over. Onto the good stuff.
I had just about every single one of my micros each a NAN card. I think I had maybe 3-4 horses not get one. Out of the 14 champ/reserve ribbons that were handed out, 2 weren't given(no horses) and 2 went to someone else. I walked away with 10 champ/reserve ribbons in Micro Artist resin and 3 in Mini Custom. I am beyond happy with how well the halter horses did. I walked out with 32 NAN cards in Halter and 1 in Performance. Many of the classes had multiple entries. Only 2 of the Mini Custom classes had 1 or 2 horses. Like I said I am more than pleased with how they did yesterday.
I am over the moon pleased with the horses that I painted. My performance horse that I did in less than a week will get his own post in the near future. But all of the horses that I painted walked away with something. Many of them earned cards. 3 of them earned a champ/reserve. Go me!!
The icing on the cake was when Sunny Side Up won MM AR Overall Reserve Champion and Alistar Moody won MM AR Overall Champion!!!! Granted I had 10 out of the 12 horses on the table, I was jealous of the 2 other horses on the table. This also meant that I would have to stay till the very end of the show since the host was doing a 'Supreme' Overall awards. It ended up being worth it.
Alistar Moody was named Supreme Overall Reserve Champion of the show. SHOCKED!!! Totally shocked. I have never won an overall show award before. He won a Limited Edition Liam Horse of the Year model NIB. We all got a kick out of the fact that the biggest horse at the show and the tiniest horse took the top 2 awards. The overall champion was AMAZING!!! He was a HUGE dapple grey draft, way bigger than a traditional draft. Alistar and Sunny were the smallest horses on the table. The OF and CM micro Overalls didn't stay till the end. I wasn't going to either. When the host said that there was going to be an Overall award, I asked if she wanted champ and reserve or just champ. She originally wanted just champ but decided to have them all up to the table. So I put both of my micros on the table and everyone loved them. Most of the showers hadn't seen those molds in person before so there was plenty of how cute and tiny going around.
As promised, there are a ton of photos. I didn't get a single pic at the show since everything was moving so fast for me. But I got home early enough today to take some glamour shots for myself, the blog and to share with the people who painted them.
*Sorry, the pics are upside down. I can't rotate them without a ton of effort right now*