I was really excited to score some tickets to Fantasia.
Getting tickets was among the first things I did upon arrival to the Eastern States Exposition Center last Friday.
The trade-show ends at 7:00pm and I was busy visiting booths and shopping right until the very last minute.
I purchased a few buckets and walked them out to my car. When I got back I walked over to the food vendors. The venue has a number of wonderful vendors making food choices difficult but I knew precisely what I was going for that night. A gyro! Among the bread bowl soup, loaded baked potatoes, desserts, taco bowls, steak sandwiches, the gyro always calls my name. I also visited the fruit and nuts booth to grab some dried mangoes instead of a bag of kettle corn. At this point in the evening I was ravenous, I drank a protein shake at 7:30am and snacked on a Nature Valley granola bar around lunchtime. I was too busy to recognize that I was hungry.
With a gyro and my mangoes I found my seat and prepared for Fantasia which began at 7:30pm.
A 6-horse Belgian driving team from Morrisville State College began the evening bringing with them two veterans. We all saluted them in thanks, the anthem was sung and the show begun.
I didn’t take photo or video of every performance but I managed to get quite a bit. The battery of my phone was dying quickly and I still needed GPS for the trip home.
I didn’t get a program so when I saw a large blue tarp get dragged out to the middle of the arena I held my breath. All I could think of was an AMAZING YouTube video I saw a couple years back.
Lo and behold and to my happy surprise it was her!
Lindsey Partridge has won the Thoroughbred Makeover competition multiple times. You may remember her original performance with Trivia Time riding through the big blue tarp. She also posted a video of her walking her horse into a hotel (posted below as well, it’s just too funny).
Lindsey performed her routine with Trivia Time right in front of my eyes. I was overcome with emotion watching the magic happen. Thoroughbreds get put down so often with slams like “they are all crazy” “they’re only born to run” and “they have no brains.” The reality is they are such an incredible breed of horse. They are athletic. They are smart. They are terribly misunderstood. As a kid I listened to all of this and since finding Blade I’ve come around to truly love the breed especially now that I am home to three thoroughbreds.
Watching the performance and seeing the bond and quietness of this horse made me verklempt. Lindsey demonstrates some excellent horsemanship and does such good for the world of horses.
You can visit her site at http://www.harmonyhorsemanship.ca/
I saw a large mat placed in the arena. When I saw someone walking out with a few boxes I knew that meant a trick roper. I’ve been to rodeos and I’ve seen trick roping before. I am impressed by the talent it takes but I was hoping Fantasia would have given us more.
I was wrong.
Loop Rollins dazzled me with his skills in a performance that I rank among my favorites from the whole evening. He used an assortment of ropes each for different tricks. He also brought out whips and whipped in rhythm. I cannot say anything to do him justice nor did I capture the most exciting parts on video.
You can check his act out at https://www.looprawlins.com/
The Ohio Halflinger Driven Drill Team also came out for Fantasia. Drills teams are always impressive because it requires precision in timing. The driven teams I felt were even more impressive since there are so many moving parts. Despite being hitched to the carts the halflingers could haul. The routine is dependent on every horse listening intently to it’s driver. I think in one part of the video you might even hear me say “Oh dear God” as they weaved back and forth about each other.
We also had a chance to see the Trixie Chicks Trick Riders in action as they performed harrowing tricks from horseback. While most of us have a goal to stay upright and in the saddle these ladies purposefully throw their bodies in and out of the saddle, sometimes with their head dangerously close to four thundering rock hard hooves. What some people may not realize is the level of fitness required to properly perform these stunts. You need to have excellent balance and an incredibly strong irradiated strength to hold yourself in position…especially at a gallop!
Oddly enough they didn’t have any posts to hold the ribbon up for the lane so three men stood there holding it for them. The horses all tried cutting the corner and the poor man at the end was always jumping out of the way to avoid being hit.
Visit their site at https://www.trxchx.com/
In a brief but cool performance we saw the International Jousting Association perform. It was really cool to see but it all happened so quickly. It easily could have been drawn out a bit more to have more content or maybe a story to follow.
As we all love to see soft horses and liberty work we saw Luke Gingerich and his horse Rio. Luke demonstrated some time in the saddle and some liberty work on the ground with his horse.
The Young Guns Equestrian Drill Team also came to Fantasia and performed another thrilling routine. As I stated before I’m always so impressed by the teamwork and cooperation from all involved with drill teams. The Young Guns team consisted of 12 horses and riders. Each horse listened for it’s cue exactly in order to perform the close passes and changes in direction without collision.
It the final performance of the evening Shawn Drentwett, daughter of another performer in the evening came out on a lovely Fresian horse. She rode without her hands and guided the horse with her legs and seat. In only a couple of minutes she had done 3 costume changes, though I missed the blue outfit that was under the phoenix. It was simple and elegant.
After a good show I walked back to my car and made the rainy journey home. I’m lucky to live within two hours away because I was exhausted. When I safely returned home I crawled into bed and slept soundly (for once).