This year's Geauga County Fair was the debut of our Percheron girls in their driving classes. As you can imagine, it is a monumental event to move our big girls (2000 lbs each) and, of course, their side kick, Licorice (300 lbs) as well as Lizzie's bunny brigade to the fair for a whole week! It took us three days to pack all of the equipment, harness, carts and food needed to take this show on the road. Fortunately, the girls' biggest fan, Marvin Decker of Ridgewood Transportation, provided a large semi, so it was a one load operation. We just needed the Moreland Hills Police Department to help us stop traffic to move the semi in and out.
Once we arrived, we broke camp. The girls had standing stalls and Marvin helped us arrange for a box stall for Princess Licorice, who is now the official mascot of the Percheron barn at the fair. Derek insisted on spending the night with the girls, as they surely couldn't manage alone by themselves. Good thing, too- the first night Tammy woke Derek up at 3:00 am to tell him that her buddy, Camlyn, had untied herself and was standing in the barn aisle, checking out the competition!
Our good friends, Emery, Rachel and their daughter Tessa came to help us on Game Days. Emery taught us how to braid an 18 hand horse on Tammy, with Lizzie and Derek's help.
We spent a lot of time running between the bunny barn and draft barn; Lizzie was also competing in the Jr. 4-H rabbit activities, including showmanship, where she won third place out of at least 50 kids!! Lizzie was so excited to dress up in her Beatrix Potter/Peter Rabbit outfit for the costume class. Once of her English Lops, Flopsy, also went Best Doe and Litter, which was exciting as well.
The Percheron girls competed in the conformation halter classes as well as Ladies and Men's Pleasure driving. I won third place in a huge, highly competitive class which was really thrilling for me as it was my first Ladies Pleasure Drive. I couldn't have done it without Emery as my "wingman" and Camlyn in the lines - she was absolutely fabulous!! We found out that this sport requires a ton of people and support to do it well - by the time you get these horses harnessed, hitched and to the ring, it is truly a group effort.
We are also really proud of Lizzie who showed Licorice in several driving classes against much larger ponies- they rocked! Lizzie is becoming quite the driving enthusiast as well as quite accomplished. This is a great family sport for us; we feel so fortunate that we all share this interest!