Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Our journey to show at this year's US National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show began with Ian picking up Renoir from Lonesome Dove Training Center (LDTC) on Friday afternoon, October 22. Since LDTC is 2+ hours to our northwest in Pequot Lakes, we decided to bring Renoir closer to home so we could cut some travel time hours. Renoir was a guest at Wildflower Farm in Pine City, where our other stallion, Goldmount Royal Design, lives. On Sunday, we spent the afternoon with Wildflower Farm owners Cathy & Jim giving Renoir the perfect show clip and bath. There are so many tricks and tips to learn to showcase Renoir's finest Arabian features. Finished, we swaddled him in a stable blanket to dry and rest.
Wet, and smelling like bubble bath, Ian and I returned home to finish packing the trailer and eat dinner with Richard, who is now living with us, working at the local casino and caretaking the menagerie while we're gone.
We returned to Wildflower Farm at 8 p.m., loaded Renoir and began our trek south. We traveled I-35 south through Des Moines, Iowa, on to Kansas City, Missouri, where we took I-435 toward Joplin, then I-44 into Oklahoma and Tulsa. After 700-some miles, we arrived at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. We stopped in the wee hours at a roadside rest to sleep and for breakfast at the Waffle House outside Kansas City. Renoir travels so well. I, on the other hand, arrived achy, not having found the best position for sleep in the back seat of the Ford F-150. It was wonderful to find Tulsa bathed in sunshine and 80 degrees, after leaving home in rainy 50s.
Population-wise, Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma and the 47th largest in the US. It is located in the northeastern quadrant of a vast state and, according to Wikipedia, is near the heart of Tornado Alley Luckily, October is well past tornado season.
US Nationals is being held at a huge facility, Expo Square. We were too road weary to have a good look around and I don’t know the stats regarding how many horses and people are estimated to be here, but it’s quite the venue! It was easy to find Renoir’s stall and our hotel, which is also located on the Expo Square grounds. What was really fun was to have our aisle neighbors so excited to see Renoir and ask to have photos with him – just like a rock star!