In the closing feature, today's Animal Planet Cup, you could see John Madden's genius at work. This class is his creation. Seven riders earned their way into the Cup based on their record at the show. Limiting the numbers meant the competition was just long enough. The first segment was a faults-converted-into-seconds speed test; the second, a four-bar (a variation of a six-bar, with horses jumping four verticals two strides apart in every three rounds until the last one reached 6-feet, 3-inches.) The final phase involved a one-round grand prix-style course.
Last year's winner, Leslie Burr Howard, was first in the initial phase on Youp, with Beezie fourth on Conquest II. Then the tables turned, and Beezie went into the lead as she switched to Judgement (riders could use more than one horse) for the second and third phases.
Her victory in the class on her fourth try was a popular one, since she lives in nearby Cazenovia.
I hate to admit it, but my favorite class of the show was the Gambler's Choice in costume. What fun to see Schuyler Riley as the pirate queen and her Cincinnati Kid dressed to match, with a black patch drawn on his eye and "walk the plank" written on his rump. I wondered why Kim Prince chose not to wear breeches with her ballerina costume. And I got a giggle from watching Laura Kraut in a car hop outfit.
But my favorite was the winner, Candice King, dressed up like Raggedy Ann with red yarn pigtails and big red circles on her cheeks.
Although she dumped the pigtails when she changed into street clothes, she told me she forgot about her cheeks until she went out for drinks and the bartender gave her a very funny look! I guess he thought Halloween was over...
This was, believe it or not for those of you who are still reading, the short version of Syracuse. Come on up and see it for yourself. I must say, everyone I've met up here is very nice, which makes for a pleasant trip. One driver even slowed down so I could move from the center lane into the right lane ahead of her. Can't recall that ever happening in New Jersey, where I'm from.
Next up for me is the National Horse Show in Florida at the beginning of December. Be sure to check back here then for my last postcard of the year--I'm almost out of stamps.