This past evening was the $100,000 Grand Prix National Horse Show in Del Mar, California. This actually included an olympic observation, analyzing who would make the 2012 Team USA in Show Jumping! I went with my non-horsey boyfriend and two non-horsey friends, none of whom had ever been to any horse show before. This was a great introduction! Before the competition, they had a for-fun charity “celebrity ride and drive” where a team of rider and driver compete for their own charity.
The driver is some sort of celebrity who stands by a car. The rider rides a course of about 3’6″, where at the end they leap off their horse, handing it to a holder, they run full speed in tall boots to the car, hop in while the celebrity races around a trafic cone course. One of the riders was one of the Spielburg kids, so the car had Steven Spielberg in the back seat! Of course, this was so he was conveniently invisible to all. Unfortunately, his girl was the only one who fell off in that competition. No worries for a Spielburg daughter! She was offered a complete do-over! That’s not all. One of the teams had Billy Ray Cyrus as the driver! Best part was he walked around the stadium afterwards, and let us take a picture with him!
The competition itself was incredible. I have never seen a more beautiful show facilities. They had a screen hovering so you could watch replays and detailed footage! When they had the course walk, a group of toddlers on stick horses were brought out to play over a flower box! Great fun! The national anthem was sung by a semi-famous singer from the celebrity drive, with the Marine Corps color guard displaying the flags on palomino mustangs. Everyone got into the physics and math behind the rides. We got to meet some of the horses and they even had an after party with autograph signings (that we unfortunately were not able to stay for). This was a great day!