Monday, May 15, 2006

Getting Back to Normal

We are finally getting our computer back up to speed. For those of you who follow our exploits, I want to apologize for being out of touch. We just got out lost files restored (Thank you Jamie!) and I am back on the internet and blogging. I thought my photos with Lyle and Bill were deleted, but we got it all back. I am continuing my training with the chariot teams. They are Zeus and Apollo, a pair of 3 yr old Morgans as team ONE and Caesar and Spartacus, a pair of 6 year old Quarterhorse/Haflinger cross as Team TWO. Our other two quarter horses, which are 4 and 9 are now called Cees and Sparky (for now). They have had a hard time adjusting to becoming a driving team. They are father and son and great horses to ride, but when 4 year old gets together with his dad, he is a real stickler. I have photos I'll post soon of the teams. Training for chariots is not like a wagon. They are heavy, made of metal and make lots of noise. Plus, we want them to step up the speed and race each other, so the have to be comfortable with another team racing next to them. We debut them at Breyerfest in July and it is going to be a fun show. Hope to see you there.
Ride Fast... Take Chances!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

William Shatner Hollywood Charity Horse Show

Well, besides being a busy couple of weeks, we had an incredible time. We have been a bit out of touch, due to our computer hard drive crashing and then our cell phone breaking on us. I am actually updating this AFTER our California shows, because I couldn’t work the computer as it was being repaired. It is good as new now, but I missed a lot (We had 385 emails waiting for us!) We are working on getting back in touch with everyone., so thank you for being patient.
The Night of the Horse in Del Mar went incredibly well. The staff at the show, Lisa , Joy Lynn, and Kathie are awesome. They treat us well and put on a great show. This year with Tommie as the headliner, they had to add 10 more dining tables than the previous year and were 400 seats from a sell out. Tommie did a morning show with Rod Luck from San Diego and they said the phone lines lit up sold out the show. We wish more shows would work with their local media to do a morning interview. Most events overlook this, but it sells lots of tickets. Put something exciting on the posters for people to see and then blitz them in the media with “flash” and they will come. We prove it time and time again. Del Mar does it right. They have a great staff which is the key to their success. It was a pleasure working with Kathie Cox. She puts together top talent to give the people a class A show.
This highlight of the town was being able to walk on the beach and run the doggies. They love the beach. We made a trip to Tijuana and to see a bit of Mexico. The best place we ate at was NOBU sushi in Solano Beach. First off, we really wanted California Pizza Kitchen, which there is NONE in Sterling, IL. So we ate there one night. After the show on Saturday, we ended up going to a get together at someones house to unwind and meet new people. Michelle and the girls were great. Thanks for the hospitality and letting us relax with our doggies at your beautiful house. Everyone recommended we go to NOBU for sushi, So, we went and it was the best sushi I have had in a long time. First off, there were 6 of us and we always sit at the sushi bar. Watching the chef and interacting with him is what we like to do. As entertainers, we like to be entertained too. To fit us all, we sat at the far right hand side of the sushi bar. Our chef was this friendly smiling old man, so we knew it was going to be a fun night. Boy, we were right. It was even better than we expected. First off, he made these specialty rolls which were to die for. We asked him to make us something and for him to choose. He made this roll which was incredible with the request “DON’T USE SOY SAUCE”. So we skipped the soy sauce and Wow! We asked what was in it and he said “I don’t know?” He had the name NOBU on his uniform, and as the night progressed we figured out he was the owner (for 18 years). He is NOBU! He is 72 years young and a master at sushi. If you are ever in Del Mar, do yourself a favor and go to NOBU and sit in front of NOBU. He is there Fri-Sun. You won’t be disappointed. We left for Los Angeles and arrived at the LA Equestrian Center on Monday. They were getting ready for the reining show, so we got the horses settled in and started planning the weekend. We called up a few friends from LA and were hoping to get together over the next 5- 6 days. Well, my husband ended up spending 3 days getting the computer back on track. The hard drive with lots of important DATA crapped out. He got the blue screen of death and I heard him groan. So he was busy trying to recover and reinstall. I made a few calls and got hold of Christiana, who invited us to see her grandma, June Lockhart conduct a song written by her father at the LA Jr. Philharmonic. I was looking forward to seeing them. I hadn’t seen them since I was in Santa Monica with Cavalia. Before the show, I gave them a big hug as they anxiously got ready. Ever time I see them, I can’t help but feel good inside. They are such nice people. The concert was even more intriguing than I could ever have imagined. If I were to tell you I had a dream and the emcee was TV Game show host, Wink Martindale, Mrs. Brady (Florence Henderson) sang songs from “the Sound of Music”, Lassie’s mom was there as happy as ever, the voice from the original Mission Impossible (Peter Graves) was narrating, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) from Dallas was there looking as pretty as ever, and Captain Stuben from the Love Boat was there and they were all competing in the “Battle of the Baton” conducting contest. You would say It was a crazy dream. Well, that is exactly what happened and it wasn’t a dream. It was incredible to see all of these people who were a big part of my growing up still doing what they love to do. Dr. Getz, the creator of the LA Jr. Philharmonic which he started 69 years ago, was also there to conduct the National Anthem. What an honor to watch all of these incredibly talented people. It was such a different side of Hollywood. This was only the beginning of the week…
Well, my husband was getting the computer back working and guess what? Our phone gets dropped and we can't make calls on it. The flip part is broke and I can't even read the phone numbers I need to make calls. (I guess with good there is always the bad.) By this time it is late Thursday night and we are on the go until the weekend was over. The executive producer of our HD television series, Dafna Yachin also flew out to LA to start talking with her contacts and selling the show. So between the Hollywood Charity Horse Show and our own productions, we were going full throttle. Friday we had dinner with William Shatner and his wife, Elizabeth, along with their horse trainer, Dan Giraldi. We watched all of them competing during the day at the reining show. They are true horsepeople. They compete, but are more concerned with creating a synergy with their horses than winning. Sure, they want to win, but their main goal is get more out of their horse than the last time, to communicate better, and to work as a partnership. They are very talented and passionate about their horses.
Saturday, our producer set up interviews with us for our TV series. It was a beautiful backdrop with all the reining horses and LA sunshine. We wrapped up the filming and got ready for Tommie’s performance during the Charity Event. This is a wonderful show which William Shatner donates 100% of the proceeds to Ahead of Horses and Camp Max Strauss, to help needy children with therapeutic riding and to interact with horses. Bill started off the show by zooming in the arena in an Asten Martin convertible. Tommie came out Roman Riding full tilt on Joker and Ace as the crowd watched in amazement as he flew around the arena and jumped over fire. Bill then explained why everyone was here, “for the kids”. He brought out Piper Nelson who through therapeutic riding is now standing, and the story of a former “Camp Max Strauss” attendee who attributes much of his success to the dedication and commitment of the people who donate and made it possible for him to go. Horses do have this magical power to make people go further, reach higher, and love unconditionally. This really hit home.
Pokejoe was perfect during the Riding Instructor. Tommie was quite the character too as Bill even got in the act and went out to help Tommie by giving him a carrot for Pokerjoe. It worked! Pokerjoe was distracted enough and Tommie got the chance to jump on. It was short lived as Pokerjoe then proceeded to bionically buck Tommie off. Tommie returned to the arena with a beautiful liberty act, showing the connection he has with his Paint Horse Ace. Tommie then finished up the night with a lighting fast bolt around the arena and a big loop on the pedestal finish. The fun didn’t end there. Tommie did a meet and greet and I took care of the horses and got them set for the night. We then changed and made our way to the dinner show and auction. Bill was the emcee and raised money with all kinds of one of a kind items. Things like “having scotch and cigars” on the set balcony of Boston Legal with Denny Crane, to a gourmet meal for 10 people at your home and prepared by Chef Dino of Whole Foods were auctioned off. The night was capped off with a personal show by Lyle Lovett. I had an opportunity to get a photo with him too. He sounded great and to experience an artist like Lyle in a small room atmosphere like this was something extraordinary.
Just when I thought the weekend was over, we woke up on Sunday and took the doggies for a nice walk. Props to the Hilton in Burbank. It is a first class hotel with the best bed I have ever slept in (besides my own…) Soooo comfortable. Everything was wonderful, and they allow dogs!! We got to take the girls to the lobby for Starbucks and around without hiding them. They loved it! We got a call from Tommie who said to be ready. Bill and Elizabeth invited us to the premier of the new Dreamworks animation,“Over the Hedge” with them at Mann’s theatre west. We rode to the theatre in the limo with them and they even invited us to walk the red carpet with them as they were interviewed by ET, Access Hollywood, Extra, and lots of photographers. We saw all the stars from the movie too. Nick Nolte, Steve Carell, Gary Shandling, Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, and lots of others. It was crazy and hectic and something I could get used to…
Well, to review the movie, it was very funny. My husband was cracking up the entire time. It is a great movie to bring your family to. Very entertaining and well written. Go see it and bring lots of kids.
We came out of the theatre and took the limo back to reality (aka the horses). We started packing up our gear for the trip home and Bill and Liz called and invited us to dinner. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed it. The food was excellent, the wine was excellent, and the company was excellent. It was a nice to way to unwind, talk, and be ourselves. They are such genuine, generous, and caring people.
We packed up and left LA at 5:00am and headed home to Sterling, IL. Our overnight stop was at John and Josh Lyons Training Center in Parachute, CO. Josh is teaching their certification course so Tommie stopped by to give a “guest” clinic on Liberty and roundpen work. We also got a chance to have dinner with Josh, Janna and their boys, Austin and Johnny. I am writing this as we are just driving into Nebraska with about 900 miles to go. This was a bit long, but I had to put it all in. I didn’t get a chance to see most of my friends either. We will return soon and make more plans! Thanks to everyone for such a memorable time. Let’s do it again…. Well, time for me to drive.
Ride Fast… Take Chances!

Tommie Turvey performs with Pokerjoe