The excitement is mounting!
So are all the riders!
Saturday is going to be a very exciting day at TMF. It's our first annual Thunder Moon Farm Derby Day, in which a small group of my riding students will be participating in games and races that don't just test speed, but also precision and accuracy. Throw a little bit of luck and a bunch of dollar bills, some celebratory wine and food, and you've got a darn good time, folks. Even better, the lessons and competition here will be over just in time for the Run for the Roses! (My pick? Conveyance.)
Anyway, I have a rundown of the competitors for Saturday's Derby Day, just in case you wanted to throw some money down on one of TMF's fierce riders.
1. The Dark Horse: Alan
Alan is a newcomer to riding, but men have a penchant for picking up on all things athletic a bit faster in women - this is true with riding too. Ask Matt, who was posting like a champ during his first lesson. Alan works in Bristol CT, the home of ESPN - he's been found lurking around ESPN grounds, hunting down footage of the Triple Crown to study technique.
2. The Surprise: Arliss
Arliss last had a lesson when I was in diapers (which happens to be 1981), and after just one lesson with Siggy and I two weeks ago, she's ready to show the field how easy it is to come back after a horsey hiatus.
3. The Convincer: Aislinn
After chattering away with Topaz for her entire lesson last time, Aislinn is quite the animal whisperer. I've no doubt she's been on the phone and sending emails to Topaz, forming a strategy for their ascent to TMF history.
4. The Wild Woman: Kim
Kim is convinced the faster, the better. She's one with a game face and with stirrups or not, she's not taking any prisoners. She has a leg up with her Long Island friend Lynn, also a horseperson who an "in" with Jim Gaffney, who happened to be Secretariat's exercise rider. Lynn's been feeding her tips all week, I'm sure.
5. The Unknown: Kathy
Well, she really is. She is a friend of Kim's who hasn't been to TMF yet, but is joining in on the fun and spirit of the day. Rumor has it she's got some riding skills under her belt, but can she top the Convincer and the Dark Horse? Either way, she gets points for willingly jumping in headfirst on Derby Day!
6: The Whirling Dervish: Madeleine
Our youngest competitor, who has just reached 7 years of age, brings another year of experience and a belly full of birthday cake to the playing field. Also in cahoots with Topaz, despite her young age, I predict a photo finish for this little lady. Don't mistake her quiet demeanor for being shy: she's just plotting her fellow competitor's downfall.
7. The Bombshell: Cynthia
Being blonde has its bonuses, and one of them is charming Siggy into doing her bidding. Cynthia brings extra time spent with her mount, her own brand new helmet and roper boots to scare the rest of the field. Cyn also has a knack for making the Official Judge (moi) double over in stitches and is no doubt planning to use this tactic to distract the Judge.
So, there you have it. Who will take home the first TMF title? Tune in after Saturday to find out!