Sunday, March 17, 2013

Off To The Races!

Here in North Florida the changing of the seasons can be indicated by a few things; 1. bipolar leaps in weather (37 low, 79 hi, I'm looking at you) 2. The sudden explosion of Crimson Clover and those tiny little yellow flowers, you know the ones and 3. The Red Hills Horse Trials.
The trials are a prominent event around the area as it leads to international competitions and some years has been a pre-Olympic event. The official site has this to say on the Friday through Sunday event:
"EVENTING is one of the fastest growing equestrian pursuits in the world. Riders of all ages and abilities can compete. Developed from cavalry competitions during the early 1900s, it is the ultimate challenge for horse and rider. It tests their partnership and athletic prowess in three disciplines: the grace and harmony of dressage; the rigors and thrills of cross-country jumping and the power and pageantry of stadium jumping."
"Tallahassee--Florida's capital city--is the site of the Red Hills Horse Trials, an annual United States Eventing Association Area III event. Named for the sloping terrain and rich red earth known as the "red hills" of north Florida and South Georgia, the Horse Trials features a challenging cross-country course newly updated and designed for 2013 by Scotland's Hugh Lochore."

I've been going every year since I was very young, first out of a sense culturing by my parents, then by a affinity for horses and events, and now by tradition, appreciation of riding, and the significance of the event....and maybe some half asleep Derby-esque dream of high society. I feel no regret!

The day that I visit is the day the horses run cross country and it's my favorite event without a doubt. Everything is very fast and interesting and the jumps are really wonderful as well as it being in natural terrain so it's a scenic piece as well. There are shops and food vendors as well, however. One particular hat shop visits every year and I love them. I wore one of their pieces this year, in fact. My outfits are always pretty elaborate for the event;

 I've been dressing up for it for a few years, since I've really been able to, on principle as well as geez, its an excuse to dress up. Who wouldn't take that? But that aside, it's a big event and maybe not Derby levels or anything, but its very prominent so I take pride in dressing appropriate for the height of the occasion, even if everyone else is sporting shorts and t-shirts.

Last year was a big deal for me, I had my picture taken and ended up in the city's newspaper! The photographer had approached me because of what I was wearing (I'll give you two guesses), interested in the fact I was so fancy looking, haha. It was so strange, all my friends and family and friends of family were calling me about it or messaging me on Facebook. It was really surreal for just a picture!

The same thing happened this year, though the picture didn't end up in the newspaper, which I don't mind. But I actually had more people take pictures of me. X_X Plus someone interviewed me, and boy did I screw that up. I forgot all my words which is so weird because I usually have no issue talking to people. Ah well, it happens. It was flattering either way.

If you ever are passing by the North Florida area around march you should definitely look into the event and try to attend. Its an experience for sure.
Till next time!!

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