Heading off to England
Friday August 24
My day got off to a great start. I took a 9:30am plane to Minneapolis. I was originally booked on a 1:10pm flight, but the Sioux Falls airport is actually closed for the next 6 weeks at 2pm on Friday until 8pm on Monday for runway restoration. I decided that 1:10pm was just too close to 2pm for my taste, so I got on the earlier flight.
One of the benefits of leaving early is that I would be able to go to the Minnesota State Fair and steward for the afternoon session. The Minnesota State Fair is such a fun place to visit and work, full of people, events and livestock. The horse show is well attended because they mix disciplines and breeds and advertize that it is free to all Fair-goers. The regular scheduled steward was stuck in traffic, so the show was able to start on time because I had the necessary license to officiate. I was at the in gate most of the time, as the crowd has to be contained behind gates and fences so they don’t get tangled with the horses.
I so enjoyed my afternoon of work. My 2 favorite classes were the Draft Horse 4 Horse Gelding Hitch and the Draft Horse 6 Horse Mare Hitch. WOW you talk about horse power; they just took my breath away. The Coliseum will comfortably hold 4 hitches, so it took 2 groups of 4 to get each class run. The ground just rumbles when they get moving. Just incredible! It takes a small army of equipment and people to get one hitch put together then multiply that by 8.
Everything went very smoothly with the exception on the lineup of the gelding class. One of the wheel horses on a young driver’s hitch decided he had to take a pee. The other 3 horses moved and pulled him over. In typical draft horse tradition, he just laid there until he could actually get up when enough harness and equipment had been removed. He was re-hitched and continued on. I went to the barn after the show session and had a good talk with the driver. He was really pleased with the hitch, it had been one of his better drives of the year until his horse got pulled over.
Watching a beautiful sunset over the airport, as 9:45pm is nearing for my flight to London. The last time I was here at this hour was when I was flying home after John R. died.