I drove the road from Middleburg to Sure Fire Farm with the hopes that I would get a dose of that well-known Middleburg charm. You know, the rolling hills dotted with grazing horses, lush vistas stretching to bluish mountains fading into the distance. The whole kit and kaboodle. Well, I got it. Middleburg is a horse-lover’s paradise. And Sure Fire Farm is an eventer’s paradise.
It was also bustling with competitors and horses on their way to and from dressage, cross-country and show jumping.
I even ran into new friends as I bustled around. Including Trav, the cross-country builder at Sure Fire Farm. We hung out by the water combination for a while and he told me about life on the road as a course builder (one day in Washington State, next in Virgina: talk about weather whiplash!). He was rad and I hope we’ll get to hear more from him. Important Note: All the folks working at Sure Fire wore matching polos with the farm name and logo. It’s like my dream come true!
And you know me, I’m always stopping and talking to everyone on the grounds. Including Tom and his two dogs Echo and Chi Chi. He was a self-declared horse husband and made sure to point out his wife’s jacket and drink in hand. He didn’t draw attention to his two very well-trained golden retrievers but I noticed them too.
I was serious when I said I stopped and talked to everyone at the competition. And that includes Hannah and Kelty. They were looking so snazzy in their Sure Fire gear I had to get a shot. Hannah rode her horse Consider It Dun in the Novice Division on Saturday and they clinched a 4th place finish ending on their (incredibly impressive) dressage score of 35.50. As it turns out Hannah and Kelty are both Three Days Three Ways readers which made it even more fun to meet!
All the horses at Sure Fire looked sharp and well-groomed. But this horse’s two-toned tail caught my eye. Are we looking at a particular breed? A neat expression of the Paint gene? Whatever it is, that is one neat looking horse.
Here are some more friends that I made: Andy and Kayleigh (a two and a half year-old Chesapeake Bay Retreiver. That hat was perfect for the unrelenting Virginia Summer weather.
Adorable eventing pony alert! The only things that could make a tiny, cute pony even cuter is if you put boots on it and run cross-country. Mission accomplished. A tiny, roan, eventing pony? Yes please.
Since I was worried about Josh melting into a puddle out there in the sun I scampered off to get him some waters. Sure Fire Farm treats their volunteers right. Look at this line up of coolers. Wait, it gets better. They were divided up by type. Sodas in one, Gatorade in another, juice and water in another. There were also snacks and a welcoming picnic table in the shade. Well done.
I know, I’m a sucker for event fans and our dogs. These two were taking a break in the shade. It wasn’t until later that I learned I’d take a photo of one of the most incredible high performance event horse owners in this country. That’s Dick Thompson, owner of the great Biko. Sylvia, his furry friend, has shown her street smarts by getting out of the sun and into the shade.
Sure Fire Farm again in fine form, a tent had been put up by show jumping which made all the difference in the world.
It was such a fun say full of eventing, event fans, and event horses. All set in the Virginia countryside. I’ll take seconds of that!