Monday, November 17, 2008

Great to Be Back in Florida!

We just finished a big run here in Florida. Tommie started out performing at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for the Paso Horse Federation Nationals. He performed Friday and Saturday Nights. He said it was an incredible time. The horses are the ones who do the steps on the walkway to hear their gate. It was one of the first shows he saw where the judges really take their time and effort to find the winner. Some classes took an hour or more. There were 6 judges who would put the horses through their paces to come up with the best of the best. Our good friend Richie Wingfield was there too. He works with gaited horses as we had him as a featured speaker at the Central Florida Horse Expo in Ocala this past weekend. After the Jacksonville show, which Tommie wanted to thank the Paso Horse Federation for having him there and treating him well with incredible hospitality. The Jacksonville Equestrian is growing as well. Tommie has been there 4 times in the past 5 years and it has grown into a huge top notch facility with everything you need to put on an expo or show. We are scheduled to do a show May 30th there so mark your calendars! We'll be back to put on another fun an exciting horse show.
The expo at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala was produced by mother and a partner. After the 2007 show there was a disaster, they decided it was too nice a place to not have an expo, so they put their plan into action and produced their first show there. We helped them out where we could and got them on the right track. We wanted to make sure we featured respected clinicians and awesome entertainment, so I think we did that very well. With the likes of Lynn Palm, Tommie, Matt Mclaughlin, and Richie Wingfield we had a top-notch line-up. We also added Caroline Williams who is an amazing entertainer. She is from a 7th generation circus family who has been working with horses her entire life. Add Matt Mclaughlin, who toured and was the head trainer of the Royal Lippazzaner Stallions, and is the most incredible dressage and high school rider, and Lynn Palm and you got an incredible show. John Wearley and I suited up and performed an all out chariot race. The horses were ready to run! They really let loose and gave us a great run. We like to add a bit of culture too, so our friends from the great cherokee nation, the Laughingwolf family come and do their traditional hoop and fancy dances. We even brought in our favorite rider, Lizzy Traband to perform and do clinics as well. This girl is amazing. She not only inspires you with here act, she also did a demo each day and sounded like a true professional. (She is only 10 years old) I was truly impressed. She talked about show jumping and such and was very knowledgeable. If you ever get a chance to see her, go check it out she is also You-Tube as well.
We had lots of great vendors and exhibitions too. There were some lots of great stuff to see. The new Gulf Stream Coaches, Featherlite Coaches & Trailers and Merhow trailers were there to see and touch. It is really cool to be able to see the newest trailers, tack, fashions, and equipment at these events. Our next step is to go from a 6h LQ and a Sport Chassic truck to a Full Blown Freightliner with horse hauler and a motor coach with support trailer. This will get us down the road in comfort and peace of mind. I still drive a 2000 Dodge dually diesel that just doesn't quit, but my 6h trailer keeps getting heavier and heavier, and it's the transmission and the brakes I worry about most. On Saturday night we had a country singer who was recommended by the local radio station to come and sing before the show. We thought since it was "Shane Wooted", that it was a guy who sang to a track or a small band. Well they showed up with a full blown band! That was good, but they took an hour and 20 mins to set up, so they started at 6:30 instead of 6:00, so they played until 7:20 which set us back 20 mins from the start of our show. I also thought it was a country band, but 4 of their 8 songs were Lynyrd Skynyrd, so I guess they were a LS cover band too. I don't think they sang any country, pretty much Southern Rock. Oh, they did sing "save a horse..", so I guess that counts. Friday Night was really cool, because during the show, Tommie was performing his Liberty act and he stopped to add his second horse Ace, and as he did the space shuttle was launched and you could see the rockets light up the sky. It was cool. The timing couldn't have been better. A very memorable moment.
Our announcer was Wayne Williams. He has worked with us over the past 6 years and really knows how to work a show. It is always nice to work with people who know the business.
Well, it's late and we've been non-top since last tuesday when we got here. We hit the road back to home at 5am, so I better get some sleep. Thanks again to all of you who came and supported our Ocala show. We;re already making plans for 2009! Ride Fast... Take Chances!

Tommie Turvey performs with Pokerjoe