Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Caturday at the Races!

Happy weekend my friends! Tally ho! Giddyup! Whoa Nellie and all that horsey talk! I had quite the interesting, new experience last week about which I can’t wait to tell you! The best part was that my whole family went along with me …or did I go along with them? Mmmmm..either way, we had quite the good time!!
The day started off with a loooong drive out to North Carolina horse country. Mom and I had spent the whole previous night working on a fabulous hat to enter in the infamous Stoneybrook Steeplechase hat contest, and I spent most of the ride putting the final touches on our creation – and making sure no one squashed it! By the time we arrived at Carolina Horse Park my hat and I were ready to become one with the horsey set.
Since cats are always around stables to help control the rodent population, no one seemed to notice me milling about with everyone else. They did, however, notice my friend Butterscotch, my Mom’s pony. She is a beautiful palomino pony with a flowing blond mane and tail. From the moment we emerged from the car, she was drawing stares from everyone we passed. You would have thought horsey people would have seen beautiful ponies before, but evidently Butterscotch was exceptional.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at a steeplechase, so I was amazed at the variety of people and events going on all at once. The best part of all was that hats seemed to be one of the important elements of the event! Everywhere you looked, there were women in big beautiful hats. There were hat vendors everywhere. I though I had died and gone to heaven! Butterscotch and I went from hat vendor to hat vendor trying on their wares.

I made several purchases and had to head back to the car to put them in the trunk. On the way back to the private tent my parents’ employer had setup for clients and employees, I ran into Tristan and Briana. They told me I just had to come see the limousine they had passed a little ways back. I had seen limos before, so I figured I wouldn’t be impressed, but I must admit it was a doozy!

It was a Hummer limo! We asked the driver if we could take a picture with his cool vehicle and he said sure. The poor guy had to sit in the car the whole time. I felt bad for him and later on brought him a funnel cake and lemonade.
We all decided we needed something to eat and headed to the tent. The food was catered, so there was a delicious selection of meats and sides. I piled my plate high with fried chicken and rolls. We all chowed down, then sat back to do a little digesting!

Before I headed back into the festivities I had to take care of some “business.” Being that I’m potty trained, I was not about to dig a whole in the middle of this beautiful event and relieve myself. (Though there were MANY great spots in which to do so!!) Being the high falutin’ outfit my parents’ employer is, we had our own port-a-potty. Now that’s classy!

I had never been in a port-a-potty before and honestly, it’s not much different than a whole in the ground!
With that taken care of, I was feeling refreshed and ready to go explore some more. I headed back to the tent to find Butterscotch since everyone else seemed busy doing their own thing.
Butterscotch and I were just wandering around when we came upon some of the jockeys who were going to be riding in the races later in the day. They were very friendly and were patient in answering all of our questions. They had on such fabulous, colorful shirts that I commented I would like being a jockey if they always get to wear such great clothes. They all laughed and one of the nice jockeys gave me his jockey cap and told me I should be riding Butterscotch in one of the steeplechases. They told me they could arrange it if I wanted. What do you think? Would I want to?

The jockeys gave me and Butterscotch a crash course in what to do. After watching the first and second races we felt confident we were ready to join in the fun. I jumped aboard Butterscotch and headed for the starting point.
When the starter let us go, Butterscotch bolted off, almost unseating me! She ran hard, trying to keep up with her longer legged competitors.

The crowd was cheering like crazy for us and Butterscotch was feeling confident. Then we came to the first jump. While Butterscotch could have wimped out and gone around the jump, she was feeling her oats and kept on her course toward the large brush fence. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and hung on for dear life as Butterscotch launched herself at what was now an obviously HUGE wall of bushes…

I think I was still yowling when I realized we had stopped. The other horses were disappearing around the turn, but we were still at the jump. I looked down and realized that Butterscotch had gone at the jump with such gusto that, while she couldn’t get over it, she could jam herself quite solidly into it. We stayed put and waited for the horses to come by for the second time before we started calling for help.
Butterscotch must have given it her all, because no one could dislodge her from the jump. The park officials finally had to bring in some equipment in a last ditch effort to extract Butterscotch and resume racing.

The crowd erupted when Butterscotch finally had her hooves back on the ground. She was a little embarrassed, but the Steeplechase officials presented us with a special trophy – for courage and heart.

The trophy seemed to make Butterscotch feel better, especially after we put it in our tent for all to see.
After the hubbub had subsided, I realized I had missed the hat contest! Oh no!!! I ran to find Mom to tell her. When I found her she was wearing the hat we had made. She told me she had entered the contest for me but had not won, nor even placed. I knew that if I had been wearing the hat, I would have worked it and won the whole shebang, but I told Mom it was okay and we would win next year.
By now I was ready for a serious catnap. I curled up in the corner of the tent and napped until it was time to go home. Then I napped all the way home. When we arrived home, I went to bed. It’s tiring living such an exciting life – and I needed my beauty rest.
It was funny, but the whole time we were at the horse park, I felt like someone was watching me. I don’t mean people in the crowd at the race, but someone following me around just staring at me. It all made sense when I saw one of the pictures that Briana’s Mom had taken…

Preston! I knew it! I had heard that he had gotten a job out of town, but I didn’t know it was racing horses. It’s just as well I didn’t know. I would have been paranoid all day!
That’s all for this week. Have a great week, and if you ever have a chance to go to a steeplechase, I would highly recommend it. It’s more than horse racing, it’s an event!

Love & kitty kisses,

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