Hello, and welcome to August! Yes, I know this is actually the SECOND day of August, but it’s the first of the month, so I’m here to welcome it. I totally agree with Maureen about . Sigh. Better get out there and enjoy the summer while we still have it; Labor Day will be here before you know it.
Speaking of Maureen, I have to say I’m very sad to see her leave this space. She is a talented journalist and a fine writer, as well as one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet; I love her turns of phrase and sense of humor. I owe her a debt of gratitude for allowing me to share this space, and will keep a place open for her if she ever wants to come back. Good news is, I still get to see her on a regular basis, so I won’t have to miss her in person!
So for the past week, I’ve been following the exploits of three talented Concord girls as they competed for Pony Club gold at the US Pony Club East Championships in Lexington, Virginia. Isabella Caruso (CCHS senior), Kylie Thomas (CCHS junior) and Olivia Ross (CMS eighth-grader) had the unmitigated joy of spending five whole days with their horses, riding hell-bent-for-leather in Games competition, a riotous rally that combines speed and precision while mounted on a horse. So much fun to watch, I can’t even tell you!
They qualified for this wacky competition back in early June, when they competed at the Central New England Region Games rally. All three girls ride at Hybid Farm in Acton, and are part of the Pony Club Riding Center there. The cool thing about Pony Club is that it emphasizes horse care and management in addition to riding techniques, giving the kids a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to own a horse. One of the side benefits of Pony Club is that it requires the participants to do the work, so parents really get to sit on the sidelines and watch. I have to say, it was an eye-opening experience for several of the mothers to see their girls wiping pony butts and shoveling manure without any adult supervision, something I can assure you does not happen at home with any regularity.
The girls are judged on how well they take care of their horses and equipment, how organized they keep their tack and feed rooms, and how well-groomed they and their horses are at formal inspection. And of course, how fast and furiously they can compete during the games themselves.
At the end of the day, they all did very well: Isabella and Kylie’s team, Blackout, took first place in horse management and second place overall, and Olivia’s team, Sparks Fly, took second in horse management and third overall. And the ponies got a lovely trip to Virginia, prime horse country, and are already back at work as camp ponies over at Hybid. I wonder if they’ll lord their medals over the other ponies?
We’re at the midpoint of summer, when the new has become routine and people are getting a little antsy, trying to think of ways to keep the kids and visiting friends and relatives happy. Don’t forget our local library!
There’s a Family Movie this Friday, August 3, at 1 p.m. over at the main library – Muppets from Space, which is rated G for everyone. And on Monday, August 6, at 4 p.m. the Fowler Branch will host the teen movie, Star Trek, 2009. And then on Wednesday, August 8, there’s the always popular music on the lawn at 7 p.m., featuring Annalivia, a four-person group that performs a blend of acoustic and traditional music. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, and your own refreshments and take advantage of music al fresco. And don’t worry: if it rains, the whole event moves over to the Emerson Umbrella.
Enjoy the weekend!
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