I’m back from Wellington, stomping grounds of the rich and famous pony people, and had a fabulous time. It’s really like submerging yourself in another world where the rules of my former reality do not exist. Some of that is thrilling (getting lunch right next to Reed Kessler and seeing George Morris at the grocery store!) and some of that is kind of stressful and exhausting (feeling like the lowly TX pudgy amateur local shower among the world’s elite equestrians). It’s all thrilling though, especially taking photos shoulder to shoulder with photographers I have admired for years and years.
I have a whole week of Wellington inspired blog posts full of pictures (which did come out quite nicely if I do say so myself), but I still need to upload all the photos to flickr and continue to edit them. That’ll get done slowly though, because after being out of work for a few days things are a bit cr-azy. But for now, I’ll give y’all the rundown.
I landed late afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, took the train to a train station up north where my friend picked me up. Then we went to a tasty little restaurant on the water that has amazing crab cakes and rum runners… especially rum runners. Good time had by all!
My friend is a groom/rider for a smancy farm in Grand Prix village, and on Friday morning I got up (much later than she did though) and meandered around and helped with the horses a little bit. We then headed to the tent for lunch, and I stuck around the horse show to shoot some hunters and meander while my friend and their team got ready for a client to show. Later I met them at the ring for the .8m Training Jumpers, where I realized that I can eventually get through a 2’7″ course of training jumpers and Simon would look adorable in jumper gear. Lauren and Simon at WEF 2020? Who knows!
Saturday I spent a lot of time meandering at the horse show while my friend finished up work. I saw lots of tack that I can’t afford, bought a few shirts at the WEF tent and then settled in the grand hunter ring to watch and take pictures of the Hunter Classic round for the Hunter Derby. I love the hunter derby. I’m addicted to all things hunter derby. I must do a derby before I die. After the classic round, I caught back up with my friend and we got ready to go to the Grand Prix. It was the $500k final grand prix of WEF, and every major rider was in with their top horses. I got to see McClain and Antares, Reed and Cylana, Beezie and Simon (her Simon is somehow much scopier than my Simon) plus many more. Full post on that to come.
Easter! My friend took a half day, and late morning we headed over to her dressage friends for an amazing potluck Easter brunch. They are such a nice group, and it was nice to do something Eastery since it’s a holiday I don’t celebrate much anymore now that I don’t live in NC with my family. After brunch of goodness, we headed over to the big grass ring to watch the handy round of the Hunter Derby finals. Again, I love the derby. Took photos next to all the big whig photographers, and got sunburned on the back of my knees… random. After the derby we headed back to the horse show to do a little more shopping after the vendors were closing everything up, and watched the final class of the Winter Equestrial Festival – a USEF Pessoa Equitation Medal.
On Monday we just got breakfast and chilled out before I she took me to the airport. It was a fantastic trip. The weather was beautiful, and after watching all these top equestrians compete I feel inspired and ready to get back at it!
Don’t forget to enter the custom logo giveaway if you haven’t already. I’ll pick the winner tomorrow as I post more about my grand Wellington adventure!