A few weeks ago I attended the Del Mar International Horse Show’s Grand Prix and experienced show jumping through the eyes of two uninitiated, non-horse peeps. Their observations and questions were amazing. Carey from Me Jump Pretty One Day brought her hubby and I brought one of my best friends, Heidi. Our “dates” unknowingly provided the funny material to follow. I cannot take credit for the LOL!s. I present to you now 7 Funny First-Time Spectator Remarks Overhead at Jumper Show.
1. “Do they have a Zamboni that comes in later?”
This comment came from the guy in our group. No, not a Zamboni–even better: a John Deere tractor.
2. “They could make a competition out of this! (giggle, giggle)” [the John Deere racing around the course].
My friend grew up on a dairy farm in Oregon. I can see how the tractors zipping around the course, in between standards and swinging dangerously close to the jumps would appeal to her. She has always wanted to be a racecar driver.
3. “It looks like a carnival is being taken away.”
You know, it never occurred to me before, but it really kinda does! (Where’s the bearded lady and cotton candy stand?)
4.”Those young girls compete against those old guys?”
One of the newbie attendees was amazed that Hannah Selleck (in her 20s) was in the same division as some of the more “senior” gentlemen. Yup, that’s right. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to Grand Prix jumping. Men and women compete against each other and it’s all fair and square.
5. “How do they train a horse to jump that high?”
I wish I could say I had a great answer for that, but since I’ve never jumped that high, I couldn’t respond very well. I mumbled something about starting over poles and then working over cross rails and eventually raising fences higher over time. (If anyone here knows how “they” train horses to jump that high, please share!)
6. “So do they get to jump it [the course] in a different order?”
For this one I had to explain the difference between the regular course and the jump-off course. And then a follow up question was about why some people started riding from one part of the arena and others started in a different area. I had to explain that what mattered was cantering past the timer as the rider started the course. Maybe some riders had taken different routes to the start point? I guess I wasn’t paying that close of attention to the first line.
(And now dear reader, enjoy a slightly blurry, very amateur video of Beezie Madden riding Simon. At least I think that’s who it is. I tend to only video my favorites for future riding inspiration. She won, by the way.)
7. “Why was that one guy doing dressage when everyone else was lined up?”
Kudos to the horse husband for bringing up a dressage reference!
What really happened was one of the horses who had placed and was in the line-up for the awards ceremony was prancing around and hot. It would not stand still and moved sideways and was taking nervous, steps. I could totally see how it might appear like dressage moves to the untrained eye.
Your Turn: Have you overheard any amusing spectator comments at a horse show? Any fantastic questions from the non-horse crowd?