Monday, July 25, 2011

A trip down memory lane

I recently got around to emptying out some boxes from when we moved in (like 18 months ago, shush!) and found a couple of items that brought back some memories.

In 1995 when I was doing my undergraduate degree, I rode on the Western IHSA team for my university (there was an English team too, but the trainer was an absolute beotch, so I figured I'd have more fun doing Western). I qualified for regionals and went to Denver for that competition, and then I qualified for Nationals in Los Angeles. (NOTE: I am not a great Western rider by any standard, and I'm still not sure how this all happened.) Nationals were held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, which also happened to be the site of the 1984 Olympic Games.

Here's my polo from the LA Equestrian Center.

Speaking of the 1984 Games, a friend of mine returned a bunch of videos last week which included my VHS tapes of the 1984, 88, 92, and 96 games. Fortunately, my copy of the 2000 Games are on DVD, 'cause uh, I don't seem to have a VHS player any more! Also, does anybody remember the water jump in the 84 Games, where they jumped into the water, then went up TWO WATERFALLS, then jumped out? That's like the coolest water obstacle EVER.

In 1996, the Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, and my mom managed to finagle tickets. I got to watch the cross-country up close and personal - HOLY CRAP those fences are HUGE when you're right next to them! Then I sat in a stadium with 30,000 rabid fans (ok, the rabid ones were the Brazilians) and watch the Grand Prix showjumping. That was an incredible experience. I also remember Lendon Grey doing a dressage demonstration ride where she was showing the audience what was correct and what was not. Her poor mount was SO UPSET when she asked him to miss lead changes on the tempis - he clearly knew that she was doing it wrong! Too cute!

And here's my shirt from the Games. I wore this shirt for years for some clinics that I attended, and for a while I remember it was all the rage to wear your 1996 Games shirts to functions like that - especially if you had one of the volunteer shirts. At one point I also had a hat signed by Bruce Davidson, but that seems to have vanished somewhere along the way.

And speaking of hats, in 1998 my roommate and I went to Dressage at Devon and I brought this home.

We met up with a friend of hers who had purchased two (TWO!) horses from Iron Spring Farm, and she took us with her on a tour. They brought several of the stallions out for us to see, and I remember watching one of them stand himself up, arrange himself just so, and then gaze off into the distance. He knew he was gorgeous and showed himself off to his best advantage! I also recall watching the Grand Prix Freestyle where the audience's favorite ride was done to the Macarena (canter/passage/piaffe) and Don't Cry For Me Argentina (walk). Sadly, I can't remember what the trot music was. I also ended up buying a Neidersuss saddle at Devon, which is what I rode Cash in for several years.

I still use the Devon hat, but I don't wear polos any more, so I tucked them back into a bottom drawer. I thought about giving them away, but decided that for two small shirts, they carried too many memories to get rid of.

Do you have horsey things you've collected along the way that carry lots of memories?


  1. Very cool memories!

    I have a Tevis volunteer shirt from last year, but it's way too big and bright yellow and, uh, it became a house painting shirt. If it actually fit, I might've worn it to rides, but it was like wearing a tent. :)

  2. Cool!! My friend in Portugal and I flirted with the idea of going to the 2012 games (she will be in London for university) BUT tickets are a wee bit expensive for a college student, and I'll be having enough trouble wrangling plane ticket money as it is. That sounds like such a cool experience to have been able to go to those games and participate in the IHSA finals at the LAEC.

    About the only big thing I got is the picture I had taken with Steffen Peters. It was really cool because I met him first in the hotel lobby while we both happened to be eating breakfast, and then again at the clinic and he remembered me. A very nice, genuine guy, and Shannon Peters was very nice too. It was a cool experience.

  3. Also, I am trying to find video of that water complex! I can find SJ and dressage footage from the 1984 games, but no XC or eventing! Bummer! Sounds like an amazing obstacle.

  4. I saw an equestrian event at the '84 Olympics in L.A. What I remember most was the beauty of the arena (Santa Anita Racetrack, if I recall) and the Budweiser Clydesdales who were stabled there.

  5. Nan, yes, they converted the infield of the Santa Anita racetrack into the Stadium Jumping arena. It was gorgeous!

    Dressager, it's a bummer that video of the water complex isn't on YouTube, but if you want to see it I do have the VHS tape... if you have a way to play it! And it would be AWESOME to go to London for the 2012 games - I hope you get to go!

    Funder, LOL, why is it that the t-shirts you want to wear to show off your experiences either don't fit or are a hideous color? It's not fair!

  6. Memories, memories! I have a sweatshirt from 1996 that I got from Congress, but I still wear it. Other than the color (now a dirty gray), it still looks pretty good! :)

  7. in2paints, please tell us about the 1996 Congress on your blog! I'd love to hear about someone else's trip down memory lane!