All In The Family
More than 1,800 horses entered the 155th edition of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show (June 2-8). While the $100,000 Budweiser Jumper Classic caps off the competition, there is another event which is every bit as competitive. On Saturday afternoon, tiny equestrians and their “handlers” (parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, trainers, and grooms) congregate at the gate waiting for the leadline class to begin. This event has become so popular through the years that it is now divided into two section: ages 1-3 and 4-6.
While waiting for the first class to begin, little Billy Swift (of Washington and Upperville) caught the eye of at least a half a dozen photographers. He and his brown and white spotted pony, Twinkie, had a grand time posing as the cameras clicked. Then it was time to enter the ring, and Billy had second thoughts. There were tears.
The other 20 “riders” made their way into the great enclosure, filled with giant old oak trees. Someone offered Billy a piece of candy. “No.” Someone else told him he would see his mother, Claire Swift, and his grandmother, Mary Swift, a lifelong equestrian who rides with the Piedmont Hunt. Finally, led by his father, William Swift, Billy gave it a go.
While Billy did not come away with the blue ribbon (that went to Francesca Calamari) he did receive a multicolored ribbon. We feel certain the blue is within his reach next year. Meanwhile, Monica Greenberg, who won many blue ribbons riding side-saddle in the horse show, presented the blue ribbon and Rutledge Farm Perpetual Trophy to Susan Sisco, on Warranty, in the Ladies Side-Saddle Hack class.
Name That Tune
Later that evening, Monica and Hermen Greenberg hosted a garden party and candle light dinner at their Rutledge Farm for the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet.” Those in attendance included 29 dancers in the troupe of the Paris Opera Ballet School. Earlier that afternoon, they had performed at the Kennedy Center as part of “Proteges II,” their biennial showcase of the world’s greatest ballet academies. Other guests and patrons included Washington interior decorator Reginald Wolfe, Judy Esfandiary, Elisabeth Platel (director of the Paris Opera & Ballet) and Hal J. Witt, director of the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet.
Speaking of opera, we forgot to mention this year’s winner of the $100,000 Upperville Jumper Classic: Pavarotti, ridden by 2007 Pan American Games bronze medalist Todd Minikus, took first place. Second place went to a horse named Sinatra.