I realized that I never really wrote a post that did full justice to our trip to Ft Worth in September. Honestly, no post can do it full justice...it was beyond words!! But, nonetheless, here are some pictures and stories to fill you in a little bit!
The day before we left....back of the trailer packed full!
Dressing room of the trailer packed full :)
And the back of the truck packed entirely full!!
We left Phoenix around 3:00 AM....5 girls and a 90 pound Lab in our crew cab Ford pickup. It was tight....4 of us girls are over 6 feet tall. Definitely needed coffee to get us rolling!
We had to stop pretty often to give the horses a break, fill up on gas, get food, walk the dog......
Dandy...our amazing travel companion!!!
We were dissolving into silliness by the time we pulled into Ft Worth around 3 AM. For the next 3 hours, we unpacked our stuff and set up camp.
Our dressing room/pantry/kitchen/hospital/tack room...you name it, it was in there!
The sleeping quarters...5 beds in a 10x10 stall. Tricky!
It all looked peaceful enough from the outside!
The first two days were spent relaxing and exploring the facilities. They have these amazing underground tunnels that connect all the arenas and barns. It feels like some ancient Roman building. Very fun!
One of the super cool things about this place was it's shower room!! It was in a building that they use for circuses, so it had rows of huge mirrors with crazy lights all over. We had a blast in there!
As you could tell from my crazy posts, we did extremely well. Mom and Design won or went Reserve class after class.
I even got to drive him in one class and went Reserve!!!!
By the end of the show, we had 3 Reserve World Champions and 1 World Champion....
But there was still one more surprise. Saturday night was the Grand class...they take all the World and Reserve Champions and put them in one final class for the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion. By this point, we were so thrilled and honored to even be in that class that we didn't care if we didn't get anything. In fact, we felt like we probably weren't going to and were totally fine with it.
We were wrong.
Design was the Reserve World GRAND Champion Country Pleasure Driving horse of 2012. It was flooring. This was my reaction when they announced it....
Everyone there was so unbelievably encouraging and helpful!! The whole time we were winning everything, trainers and breeders were congratulating us and were so excited for us. There was absolutely no hard feelings, no snobs. It was amazing.
To us, this show was proof that we are right where God wants us right now. When we were trying to decide whether or not to go, we just kept praying, "God, if we're not supposed to go, just close the door. Slam it. Hard. Make it really obvious. If not, we'll take it as a go ahead." Time after time, the door almost closed.
It was almost too expensive. Then that door opened.
My mom's best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and we thought I was maybe going to Oregon back in September. Then that door opened.
My mom was supposed to go to Mexico with our friend the same week as Worlds. Then that door opened.
We had a mare ready to have a baby prematurely and didn't know who to leave her with. Then that door opened.
And it happened again and again. Basically up until the day we left, we weren't sure we were going!!
But then we went, and God just poured out the blessings on us. The wins were just one way....He surrounded us with amazing people at home and at the show. He brought our baby horse into the world safely while we were away. He sold Design for us to the most amazing home we could have wished for. The whole trip was one miracle after another.
It was definitely the trip of a lifetime!!!