Our fourth escape from Texas summer was the annual trip to the “Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, on the trail of the Lonesome Pine…” Well, more accurately on the trail of the Eastern Region Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Club annual show. I have been the announcer for the show for over 20 years. It is held around Labor Day at the Virginia horse center in Lexington, where VMI and Washington and Lee Universities are located, a quaint and ancient little town. The show has developed over the years into a quality exhibition of horses of Spanish and Portuguese bloodlines, some imported, But mostly USA born and bred.The club, on the other hand, is a group of the finest American horse owners in captivity. It is like old home week, like extended family without the dysfunction. Well, at least they keep the “fun” in dysfunction when it does creep up!
This year our American judge was Joan Harms of Illinois. She is a truly nice, positive person, and easy to work with and always smiling. But don’t be fooled, she sure picked out the quality horses, and did a lot of teaching. Speaking of teaching, we also got the straight story from our visiting Spanish judge, Mercedes Gonzales, and our Portuguese judge, Joao Ralao. Not only did they judge the purebred PRE (Spanish) and Lusitano horses, but they each did a seminar with live horses, on conformation and movement. Two of the best explanations I’ve ever heard on the subject!
The total number of horses at the show was only 33, which is about half the usual number. It was said that many, if not all horse shows held this year both in USA and Europe are seeing smaller numbers, but no one could explain the reason. However the quality sure didn’t suffer. We were sorely tempted to try to take some horses home. That is until we heard the prices. At least that part didn’t go down. So here we are back in the heat and humidity, but fired up with zeal for training our own four footed equines – watch out boys and girls, Glenn’s loaded for bear!