Once again, we start our yearly trek to Kentucky for Pony Finals and the Kentucky show before it.  This year we had eight ponies qualified and we took two jumpers, Butterfly Flash and Eamon, for the first week
     We loaded everyone up and were on our way with Fiona Ford in the lead, Clair driving and Charlotte and Maddy comfy in the back seat.  We made our usual layover at Blue Skies in Emerson, Georgia.  Sparkles always loves the stall AJ has ready for him and he keeps watch for everyone. 
     The kids have worked hard all year and this is the culmination of all the blood, sweat and tears.  This is two weeks of intense training for the ponies and their young riders.  This is the big stage, the pressure is really on.  Bibby Farmer Hill is with us again this year, part of our family, and helps us whip everyone in shape.  Bibby says,” no pressure, we’re here for the free ice cream!”     

      The first week, the Kentucky Summer Classic saw some new partnerships and some old.  Savannah Gregson’s week with Eamon was bittersweet.  This was the end of his lease and he was going back to Texas.  Sydney Wright was to show Butterfly Flash for the first time. Her sweet boy Enrico JS was out with an injury and Butterfly was a last minute lease.  These guys both did the jumpers and ribboned out of huge classes.  Avery Franke would show Woodlands Lightning Thief, aka Percy, for the first time. They were successful in the large green ponies, earning a fifth over fences out of a crowd. McKenzie Caspar would ride Tarry-a-Bit Sweet William for the first time.  The small ponies are always a large, difficult class, but Kenzie and William were third!  Holly Kobie’s medium green pony IC Blue Royal and Maddy Rubin were Champion in their division.  Royal and Maddy teamed up in Tryon for the first time.  Sunset’s Sparkle and Avery Zwirn, who have been together since February, were 3th over fences in the medium ponies.  All the classes were really big, everyone was there practicing for the next big week where there would often be over 100 in the classes! 

     I’m not going to tell you that we didn’t let our hair down just a little… Tim Gregson,  Bibby and the crew enjoyed making a bourbon bran mash for hoof packing. We met some new friends!  Coolville was the coolest! He kept us up to date on goings on at the gates and brought our friend Kim Crawford to visit in the afternoons, along with some awesome barbecue from Red State. We miss you Coolville!  We made a new friend at Ruby Tuesday’s across the street from our hotel.  We ate there so often, she had our drinks ready as soon as she saw us at the door.  

      The kids rode those ponies from daylight till dark and let me tell you, it paid off!   Tuesday was the big day, starting everything off with the Large pony hack and model.  We had Woodlands Lightning Thief and Avery Franke and Savannah Gregson and Take Note in the division.  The Kingsmeade Family all hung out at the VIP table to watch everyone go.  There were five days of showing and not a soul left that table. There was magic in the air and the butterflies knew it!  As you can see, one accompanied Avery Zwirn and Sunset’s Sparkle into the ring for their over fences. 

     The grooms at Kingsmeade, a big part of our family and our success, were recognized for their early and late hours and hard work.   IC Blue Royal was named, BEST TURNED OUT PONY!  

     This video is but a small sample of the ribbons and fun times, we had so many success stories.  These are things that memories are made of, all those hours hanging out at the VIP table rooting for each other.  We are so proud of all our kids and ponies! Can’t wait to do this all over again next year, what an experience!!