Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Glimpse of Upperville

Today is the last day of the week-long Upperville Colt and Horse Show, the oldest show in America. I head down after church to catch the Grand Prix Jumping and some concentrated people watching. The show pulls in everyone: sunburnt and workworn horsemen and women, pillars of local society, wealthy equestrian wannabees and socialites seeing and being seen in the springtime sunshine. Festive hats are de rigeur. The crowds are thick and the sno-cone line outsnakes the the portapotty line.

Upperville showcases the horses, but also caters to
Washington's elite seeking a day in the country. They offer traditional performance classes, but tip their hat to family, tradition and fun with more unusual offerings such as Sidesaddle and Coach Driving. Last year I watch a reporter I've "known" all my life get bucked off in a celebrity charity class, then cheer on a quintet representing 4 generations mounted on matching grey steeds (they won the family class). Horses have always been a way of life in this area of Virginia. The Upperville Show keeps that spirit alive.

Vendor booths of all kinds line the narrow lines packed with equines, humans and the occasional oversize horse van labouriously squeezing through. Last year I try on some exquisite high boots and a lusciously long leather coat that evokes rambling along the misty moors. The salesman warms me to his wares with champagne and his lyrical Irish brogue. That's the way things are at Upperville.

1 comment:

  1. I need the hat... it would so go with my purse...