Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Sunday, April 2, 2017

FEI World Cup Jumping Finals~

Since the best laid plans have a way of going astray - plan B - which had originally been plan A - went into effect & went to Omaha!  The twenty-five minute drive was easy!  Parking was easy - we're loving the accessibility!  So different from the hours in traffic that going anywhere near Seattle required!
Our first time at Century Link Center
What a nice facility, even with the gray skies, everyone was friendly & in no rush.  We arrived early, I'd heard rumors about the exhibits & shopping - so we wanted plenty of time to look around.
The signage was Grand!
Once inside, the rows of vendor booths were amazing!  Lots of high end products for the horses & beautiful jewelry, clothing, equine artists, accessories - you name it!
Grand Hallway~
We moved through to the S&W Public Warm Up Arena to watch as the horses came out to play :-)  High spirited, beautifully fit & impeccably tacked out.  There was a coffee shop open at the Tailgate Restaurant, we sat a while to watch.
Having fun!
Next, we toured the informational exhibits!  The one below was amazing!  In case you don't recognize it - this wall display was of a horses digestive system!  Equine Guelph was responsible for some wonderful, educational displays.
Very interesting :-)
Another - very creative way to explain the differences in horses shoes!
Shoes on display~
Of course we finally wandered in to the Boutique Shopping Village.  There - I had to stop several times to admire the amazing high end saddles on display!
Bling anyone?
The ladies at the Back On Track booth took one look at my swollen wrist & insisted that I try one of their wrist braces.  Within minutes the swelling had gone down.  I bought one & am now sold on their products.  Every vendor we spoke with mentioned how much they were enjoying the venue, the friendliness of the people & the atmosphere of the event.
In the arena~
The time flew by, the crowd increased in size & soon it was time to get into the line for a security check & to find our seats.  We were just above the 21st. row & ended up with a bunch of rowdy kids behind us - of course.  When one of them popped a plastic bag, I had to ask for a bit of quiet.  At least now we know where we'll want to sit next time we visit.
Let the jumping being!
Watching this caliber of horse & rider teams is awe inspiring & breathtaking!  The first round I thought the course was difficult, there were gasps of disappointment the few times that a rail went down.
It was a thrill when McLain Ward riding HH Amur - finish the first round in first place!  At intermission, it was amazing how many people were out in the arena, moving jumps, putting up bigger, larger jumps & re-working the course for the second round!
Winners of both rounds!
Watching as each team cleared the amazingly huge jumps had everyone on the edge of their seats!  As McLain & Amur started their second & final round - you could have heard a pin drop! I was too busy enjoying every jump to take a photo.
The winning team!
As they cleared the final jump - the audience went crazy!  Everyone jumped to their feet & the cheers were deafening!  Amur had that look that some of us know very well - the;  "OK, I'm the Greatest - where's dinner!"
Final scores~
Eighteen attempts to bring this talented equestrian to a win!  That's determination!  To see a mare best the competition was of course very personally satisfying :-)

Shannon had spotted Butch across the arena - she texted me;  "Is Butch wearing a black hat & vest?"  Yes - he was :-)  We went to dinner afterward & had the pleasure of meeting Shannon's grandson, who's the same age as our eldest grandson Ben.  Great way to end the week!

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