Saratoga in the summer is a revered place in the Thoroughbred world, and I was finally able to experience this New York city first-hand last week when I traveled to the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic I Horse Show.
I spent the week learner judging with veteran judge Julie Winkel, an amazing horsewoman from Nevada. As an apprentice judge, part of my training is to spend time observing and learning from those more experienced, and I was fortunate to also sit with Bobbie Reber, of Langley, B.C., and Jenny Fischer of New York, two other judges who freely shared their knowledge. Fellow apprentice Tommi Clark of California enjoyed this same adventure with me this week.
It was an amazing experience, and in addition to observing the lovely show hunters in competition, we spent time in town, shopping, dining (and watching the annual Flag Day Parade) and soaking up the Thoroughbred scene at the racetrack.
One of my favorite aspects of the week was listening to Julie, Bobbie and Jenny share the stories and experiences of their lives in the horse world. I’ve come to believe that some people are born with a “horse” gene, and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to deny the passion for these incredible animals. Even though we all come from different areas of the country (and North America) and different backgrounds, we share an instant rapport that creates fast friendships. It was a week I will alway cherish!