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Hard to believe our Devon experience was over Tuesday morning!!! Seems like everyone I know arrived yesterday and are warming up today. Someday, Waterford I will do the Performance Division. It’s a worthy goal! But doing one class in the Breed Division was a joy! And there will be more photos, I promise. These are just from our phones.

After dropping the Shelties to be boarded early Monday, I hit the road for an event I have been looking forward to ever since breeding Rafi. Waterford was having a major field trip. We were going to Devon. The drive went quickly enough with an audiobook to make light of the miles (Voyager ~ Diana Gabaldon…..a beloved series for me! Yes I’m addicted to the Starz production as well!). Usually, I’m rushing not to be late. This time, I beat the trailer from Blue Waters Farm by two hours! Yeah, I was excited. We were stabled with the Hilltop Farm group, so I easily found our stabling and took to wandering.

I love Devon. I love the town, the architecture in the area, the show grounds, even if the stalls are a little small, the ambience! And I don’t care if it pours! Because that’s part of the atmosphere as well. Luckily, although a bit gray, there was no rain Monday. And Tuesday was so glorious that you overheard everyone commenting on the weather, knocking on wood that it would hold. (By the way, it’s pouring today! I’m missing out…)

Soon the trailer pulled in and we unloaded. Linda surprised me by disenfecting all the stalls after we hunted for and pulled protruding nails and the like. I have forgotten what the biodegradable concentrate was called, but it is sprayed on with the hose to dilute, dries very quickly, totally harmless on wood or tent walls and completely safe for all uses. Smells like ammonia and shoud you get it in the buckets as I did, it foams up like bath bubbles. Just rinse!!! It’s something that I plan to add to my future show checklist and routine.

Martina and Linda then unloaded Doxology and Waterford. I was so proud of these babies. Except for Inspections, they’ve never gone anywhere, do not live in confined stalls, plus they were separated from their respective herds. Neither baby had spent time with the other before the trailer ride. They unloaded and went right into their respective stalls. Yes, Waterford called a lot. But no more than my mares do when they arrive at a show. And soon they were settled, walked around the arenas…Doxy in the Gold, Waterford in the Dixon.

We met up with Brendan Curtis, who would be handling the babies in the ring. Waterford’s Dixon Oval warmup went like a charm. And it was super busy. I was so proud of how he handled the buzz. After he walked out and back to the stable like veteran.

Linda and Martina had to go back to the farm and their families that night. So I did night check. And you learn so much about your youngster from the little things. I regret to say that Waterford has inherited a few of Rafi’s less wonderful attributes. He’s a slob. Just like mom. He braids his hay with urine and manure into rugs and mats, just like she does. And don’t get me started on his chrome! Just like Rafi, his hind socks are going to be the bane of my existance. Some day I WILL own a black stockinged bay! White on the face is fine….just spare me the chrome on the legs! On the great side, for a horse that is never stabled, he was remarkably well behaved about the manure bucket and my raking up the ruins of his stall! Bodes well for the future. He’s social and happy to visit all the humans that pass. Oh God! I’m so in love!!!

Tuesday dawns. The big day has come. I only entered him in one class. For the most part, that was to accomodate Linda’s busy schedule. And I did want this to be all about going to a show and having a happy experience. He’s not stallion, so I have nothing to prove on that front. He’s not for sale, so I don’t need a ribbon hunt. He’s for me. And I have promised myself to guide him carefully and responsibly. As it turns out, this was indeed the wisest choice. He had a great class.

He was very good being braided, the grooming was a thorough on without overfussing. Again, making his experience cheerful and safe feeling. 8:30 arrived quickly and we were number 7 on the roster, so by 8:45 wewere in the warmup.

Brendan traded off his previous baby and picked up Waterford. Martina, Linda and I hurried to the ring. Watching him entering the Dixon, was my moment. Tears filled my eyes. Even as I write, I’m still welling up a bit and feeling the shiver of goosebumps. This is MY colt. MY future. My connection to my past with Raphaela. I held the cup and tube for the vet during the embryo transfer, which means he passed between my hands as a morsel of promise. And now, here he was: a big, lovely moving, sweet tempered yearling! And now the performance journey will begin.

Janet Foy was the judge. That made me happy. I think she is a particularly fine breed show judge. I find her tough and fair. Waterford Blu placed Fifth in Class 104 with a 75.3%. More photos to follow!!!