The Greatest Show On Earth!!!
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First time in history Curly horses were rode in the Showcase of the Breeds at the Calgary Stampede and our very own SS Marshal Dilon was in the center of the action!!
Hey, hey, hey! And Howdy!! Wow what a boy. Both boys, SS Marshall Dilon and Fools Gold, were super stars at the Calgary Stampede. We headed out Friday night after I got home from work. Anna had everything loaded into the trailer and ready to go. We arrived on the grounds around 10:30 PM, just in time for the fireworks! Next morning we are back at the barns for 7 AM and Dilon makes his first solo trip to the Agricultural building.
We have to walk through rows of motor homes, cars, trucks, lots of distractions, but Dilon does not care!
Then we have to head down past the tent with the huge draft horses and Dilon is happy to hear another horse amongst the commotion.
Thatís the Calgary tower in the background. We are basically in down town Calgary!
Then we head down behind the Ag building. Thereís every distraction available here. Cows, carts, people, donkeys, miniature horses, you name it. Dilon is so perfect!! Just follows Anna putting his complete trust in her.
Looks like Dilon is asking the cows if it is okay in here! Then we arrive at our stalls.
People are already heading for our Curly booth. Dilon looks out asking for someone to pay attention to him, Just one pat please!!
Calm as ever, he waits for the second wave of people. Then they come in droves. Dilon is the ONLY horse that sticks his head over the bars looking for affection in the entire building!!
One lady came by as she said she always felt better after being near a horse. She lived in the city and said that everytime she came close to a horse her arthritis felt 100% better for the next couple of days.
Dilon was in the booth until 2 and was absolutely fantastic. An awesome ambassador for our curly horses.
We were not planning on riding at the Stampede. But Ron asked if we would, so we brought Fools Gold (saddled!) and Anna saddled up Dilon to do the showcase. In the first picture he is asking "What the heck did you get me into??!!)
When Anna is taking Dilon out everyone wants her to stop so they can pet him!
They are heading out to the race track to warm up before their performance. Foolís Gold looks for his buddy for about 2 minutes then forgets all about him.
Foolís Gold did a superb job. Heís so gorgeous in his golden coat and flaxen mane that not one person could pass without looking at him. Plus he, like Dilon, had his head hung out looking for affection the entire time!
Most horses become cranky from everyone throwing their hand into their face, but both these guys were as patient as could be.
And they came both days, in droves. Foolís Gold was also the only horse in the whole building with his head stuck out the entire time!!
Look at the gentleness of this guy. Many little babies came along and he and Dilon were the only horses they could pet.
Then came a big moment for Sunnybrook Stables (and Anna!). Here is our superstar out in front of the grandstand of Calgary Stampede. Tons of distractions. Miniatures pulling carts, huge drafts pulling wagons, people galloping around, vehicles buzzing by, and Dilon cared less!!
That is Ron posing for his picture! I asked him to pose, and he asked "Is that good enough!"
Look at how proud Dilon is! And Anna! You two make an awesome pair. Thakyou Anna for doing such a fantastic job.
Anna wanted a picture beside the drill riders. The wind was very strong this day. Then still waiting for their entrance. Dilon is perfectly relaxed.
Meanwhile inside Foolís Gold is patiently waiting for more people! "Where are they" he says!!
Then itís time for the entrance into the big top tent!
Dilon says "Whatever!" What a trooper.
Thereís at least 50 horses inside the first trip in. Plus the carts, flags, people in the stand, and Dilon just carries on, quiet as can be.
Then they leave to come back in again.
This time is the real thing and Dilon sets an excellent pace and everyone follows along.
Look at them! Iím so proud. Thankyou again Anna!!
Sorry if you are bored with the pictures, but everyone is special, shows different situations, and gives a feel for the size of the ring, number of horses and Dilonís temperament.
Anna and Ron do a demo just for the curlies.
Then everyone is back in the ring for the finale.
Yup! Foolís Gold is still accepting visitors! Just pet me!
Look how gentle his is with the little ones. Most of the other horses stood in the corner away from the crowds, but not our Curly boys! Anna took the picture of the Herefords in yoke. She said they followed the fellow around without a lead!
And the miniature donkeys.
And the drill riders!
And now Dilon in the stall after his ride.
And more people.
And more babies.
A pet buffalo that comes in the house!
A Texas Longhorn and the miniature chuck wagon races!
Look at these little guys go!
We are back for another day and Dilon is still looking for affection.
And more babies!!
And itís time for Foolís Gold to arrive with the saddle.
Even he had no problem to come back alone. And heís a year younger than Dilon!
Anna unsaddles to saddle Dilon. People are poking him and petting him and heís so patient.
Shot of Foolís Goldís mane. And this time Anna must ride solo! Dilon cares less.
In the warm up ring, then in for the full demo. Look at his focus! Ears forward, tail swinging, and a nice steady trot.
Thatís Anna and Dilon in the center above. Look how balanced he is!
Then they leave and Anna waits for her solo.
And falls asleep!! And finally itís their turn to go solo.
Anna was a bit apprehensive to take Dilon in front of the crowds with all the music and activity, but he does awesome for her!! Hurray Anna! Youíve just performed a first solo at The Calgary Stampede for Sunnybrook Stables Curly Horses!!! And look at him go.
Anna put on such a performance that she lost her cowboy hat!! A ringmaster kindly brings it back for her.
Then everyone is back in the ring for the final ride of this stampede.
Anna smiles for the camera, proud of her performance and Dilon!
Back in the display area she must try to make her way out amongst the crowds. EVERYONE wants to pet our curly boy. Look at the crowds, Anna is thrilled she has such a quiet boy to make her way through.
A little shoot out takes place beside our booth.
And Dilon spends his last afternoon in the booth after his awesome performance.
And all afternoon itís the same, more and more people are impressed with our Curly horses.
Anna took in some of the Heavy Horse pulls while I went to get the truck and trailer.
These horses were pulling up to 3 times their own weight!!
Our departure from the grounds takes forever as there is so much traffic and the laneways are blocked. I have to back down the 300í lane twice with the truck and trailer and only have 4 inches of clearance on both sides. Then we are stopped for half an hour waiting for a train. We arrive home around 2 the next morning!!