Saturday, April 29, 2017

Willow Tree swag

I vaguely knew that the Overall Champions at the Willow Tree Live were going to win Breyer gift certificates, but I had no idea they'd be this big. Thank you again, Garret. This was a nice surprise!
It looks like I have some shopping to do. What should I buy?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Willow Tree custom and resin halter

Because performance was my main focus at the Willow Tree Live, I brought a smaller halter show string than usual
And when I say smaller, I don't just mean fewer in number. I literally mean smaller. Nearly everything I brought was a foal...
or a pony!
Only a handful of "big" horses made the trek over the mountains...
but the ones that did were well rewarded.
You know you're having a good day when your performance horse wins his halter class!
Here's the rundown of my top placers: Sweet Side was Reserve Champion Foal,
Vigilante Justice was Reserve Champion Spanish/Gaited, 
and Raton Cebo (Rat Bait) was Reserve Champion Stock Breed.
Liam Bray was Champion Draft Breed...
and Cuter Than Pixel was Champion Foal. 
Cuter Than Meeka was Champion Pony and Overall Reserve Champion.
Hoka Hey was Champion Stock Breed and Overall Grand Champion.
Congratulations Sweet Side, Vigilante Justice, Rait Bait, Liam Bray, Cuter Than Pixel, Cuter Than Meeka and Hoka Hey. Congratulations also to the artists behind the models: Carol Williams, Simrat Khalsa, Stacey Tumlinson, Caroline Boydston, Jennifer Scott, Sheila Bishop, Kristina Lucas Francis, Adalee Hude, Kitty Cantrell, Mindy Berg and, of course, Tiffany Purdy. These awards are yours as well as mine. Thank you for sharing your talent with me! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Willow Tree fun classes

After the Willow Tree Live performance champions had been named, we moved on to the really important part of the show--the Fun Classes. 
This non-NAN qualifying division included a Cattle class...
and a Liberty class.
Hoka Hey won Liberty.
The last and best class was Pets. 
I could have filled this class a dozen times over, but I somehow limited myself to just three entries. 
The most important one was my model of Abbie, displayed with some of my favorite photos. Her tag read: Abbie the Best Dog Ever
 Well, she may have been the best dog, but at Willow Tree she was only the second best pet.
Top honors went to my Purdy... kitties, Pixel and Aeh, who were shown with their scratching post.
Thank you to Garret for including Fun Classes in the Willow Tree Live. They were really fun!

Willow Tree performance

The performance division at the Willow Tree Live followed a somewhat unusual format. Instead of being divided into the standard English, Western and Other subdivisions, there were simply thirteen classes, followed by callbacks for the Overall Champion.

The first class of the day was Harness. Alison Martin's stablemate was the sole entry.
My first class was also my worst class. I do own a dressage doll, but she has been living with Erin since last year's Breyerfest. My huntseat doll was pressed into duty, but I really don't like the way he looks in this set-up. The judge didn't either. Formal Attire placed third...
behind Teresa's Invitation to Unzip...
and Fabian's King of Sorrow. These three horses dominated the Willow Tree performance division and competed in nearly every class. 
The combined Hunter/Jumper/Cross Country class was next. Formal Attire won this one...
and was third in English Trail. At this point, it looked like Teresa, Fabian and I would be trading the top placings all day.
Then Formal Attire won three classes in a row. These were English Pleasure,
Other Performance,
(this Versatility Challenge entry was my single favorite entry of the day!)
and Costume/Parade.
The winning streak came to an abrupt halt with Stockwork. Fabian won this one...
and Rita Tupa placed second.
The best Formal Attire could do was third. Oh, well!
Barrels/Poles/Games was next. 
This was a nice big class with several new faces, including Teresa's Some Kinda Flirt...
and Carra's Mellow Yellow Fellow.
I recycled Liam's hide race entry for this class, and it placed first. Hurray!
That was the start of another winning streak. Formal Attire also took the blue in the next three classes. These were Western Trail,
Western Pleasure...
and Other Western.
With eight first place finishes, Formal Attire was the obvious pick for Overall Champion,
but the competition for the Reserve title...
was really tight.
In the end, the certificate went to Teresa's Invitation to Unzip, making it a BHR Loper sweep.
This was a small but tough performance show. Fabian and Teresa made me work hfor every placing, and I am proud of that Champion certificate!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Grand Breyers

In Grand Junction, even the Breyer knock-offs are grand.
Teresa, Fabian, Kiersten and I spotted these full sized metal sculptures within a roundabout near our hotel.
We couldn't help but notice a resemblance to Breyer's Fighting Stallion... 
and Semi-rearing Mustang
We might have chalked it up to coincidence, but there was also an entire herd... 
of galloping Cigars just a block away. 
They were accompanied by the world's biggest Stablemate Scrambling Foal.
I wonder if there other Grand Breyers scattered throughout Grand Junction. Next time I'm there, I'll be sure to keep my eyes peeled!