Just have to share the wonderful and classy thing that Eric Lamaze did for one of our barns school pony riders!
This girl is about 9 years old and decided to send an email to Eric. She included a picture of herself on the school lesson pony and asked him a bunch of questions and told him about herself (a typical fan mail letter). Anyway, she recieved a reply back from him and he told her she had a lovely seat and hands and to keep at it as obviously she was being taught well. He also said to come and introduce herself at Spruce! So she did
She went during the National and patentially waited by the hitching ring (where anyone can) until he was finished talking to the people just down from her. He saw her, came up and said "hey, you're the girl that sent me the email with the picture". He chatted with her for a while, had obviously asked somebody at Spruce about our barn and told her she was at the right place and in a great program and to keep at it. Then said that if she comes back during the next show and would like her original picture signed that she'd emailed him he'd be happy to do it and to let her meet his horses.
Classy, classy move Mr Lamaze! You have made a kid giddy with excitement and a memory she'll never forget!
Now, I'd like to hear of some other good stories any of you have!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
I've been a huge Eric fan for a long long time. I find him to be a class act and very approachable. Had a nice convo with him at the Royal Winter Fair a few years ago when I was hand walking my mare as he was warming up Hickstead. She knickered at him, he laughed and told me my mare has good taste, and we chatted for a few moments.
Love and Laughter - 2005 TB Mare - Boss Mare
Foxfire Lacey - 2007 Half Welsh Superstar
New Sensation - 1986- 2014 Love you to the moon and back
My daughter was about that same age when McLain Ward gave her the bouquet of flowers they gave him at the Penn National horse show to commemorate his Olympic success. She is now 17 and still worships him!
I also have my own story from, ahem, over 10 years ago now!
The first time Edmonton Northlands moved from Rivervalley (which it's now back at) to the Northland racetrack I went! I was NOT having a good show, the smaller jumper ring (1.10m and below) was awful (shaped like a triangle and tiny) and the warmup area hard as rock! There was one warmup area for all the jumpers, so the lower levels used the same fences as the Grand Prix ring!
Anyway, on the 2nd show day, I happened to be warming up on the fence next to Rich Fellers. It was the first time I'd seen McGuiness and he was doing the 4ft3 classes! I kept trying to approach my warmup fence and wouldn't you know it, Mr Fellers would land off his fence and turn directly behind mine......every.single.time!! My mood finally snapped and out came (loudly) "would you stay the hell out of my way"
He was very gracious, appologized and waited while I warmed up....my trainer was at me! The rest of the week, everytime I saw Rich he would ride up to me, slow down, smile and say "so am I in your way today".
I know he will never remember that, but everytime I see him I giggle to myself!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
Rich is a class act, for sure. I, as an adult, ran into him several times at the Bend shows and once at Hunter Creek in Oregon. Always willing to say hello and ask how your show was going when you saw him in the barn aisle. I got to stable behind him once--and had the chance to walk his aisle and see his horses. Swoon....!
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
Well, not a pony kid story... I was in my late 30's at the time. But I was showing in Ocala for a few weeks and struggling a bit with my TB, who was unused to being stuck in a tent stall without his usual turnout routine. To help him blow off a bit of steam, I would hack him in the big field in back of the barns every morning for a while before starting any real schooling. As luck would have it, Ian Millar was often riding some of his string in that same field, and I got to watch him school a bit, which was obviously very cool.
I tried to time my rides so that I was finishing up my hack/walking my horse cool just as he was really getting started on his schooling, the better to watch and learn It meant getting up reallllly early and I was definitely struggling, as I didn't have a lot of help back then, and was doing all my own care etc.
After a few days, he actually made a point of walking next to me and made a very nice comment about seeing me out there working every day, and encouraging me to keep it up, "because that is a very nice horse you have there, and the good ones are worth it."
I think I beamed for the rest of my trip after that, and I rode better, too... there's nothing like the confidence that you get when someone of that stature tells you that you have a really nice horse!
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
We used to be in the permanent barn right next to Ian Miller at HITS, loved watching him school he had one jumper that used to size up the paddock fence (thinking about jumping out). One of us kids always had to run and tell on of his grooms before that horse jumped into one of our paddocks or field (we felt very important haha)
We did ask if we could watch him school, he was very gracious and allowed it but we did not move a muscle or talk/whisper!!!!!!! Our trainer would have killed us!
Also not a little kid story, but a few years ago (in my early 20's) I was invited by my mom's client to come spend the day at her barn, which happened to be Ri-Arm, Mark Leone's home base. I, of course, jumped at the chance to just hang out and watch Mark teach lessons all day. He was super friendly and chatted with me quite a lot all throughout the day, and it turned out we knew a lot of the same people. A couple hours into the day, my mom's client offered to let me hack her suuuuuuuuuper nice hunter... he was doing pretty well in the reg. working hunters at the time. I got all goggle-eyed and said that I had half-chaps in my car, but no helmet! Ms. Client said that's okay, you can borrow one. So I got dressed and climbed on top of what was probably the nicest horse I've ever sat on in my life, and hacked around while Mark taught, trying to absorb every word while simultaneously attempting not to ride like a drunk monkey.
Then, icing on the cake, Mark Leone said I was a really nice rider and was giving the horse a great, soft ride, and was doing a beautiful job with him. I almost fell off in awe. He totally MADE MY DAY.. week.. month.. life!
Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique
I can't remember the exact year...I think it was 1986 and I was about 8 or so and I met Katie Monahan (now Prudent). We went to Devon to watch the American Gold Cup and I was sooooo excited because all of my favorites were competing.
My parents started chatting with a couple at the conclusion of the jump off, sharing how much I liked riding and how I was excited to be there. Turned out that couple was Katie's parents! They were so nice and sharing stories about Katie's career thus far and how they supported her and how they made it work. Eventually Katie came up to the stands to see her parents and I got to meet her as well. She autographed my program and was just so nice. You could have knocked me over with a feather I'm pretty sure I drove my parents crazy babbling about it for weeks afterwards!
I can assure you....that 9 year old will never forget her meeting with Eric. It's been what....26 years for me and I still remember how exited I was
When I was around 11, my mom took my best friend and I to watch the American Invitational in Tampa (around a 5-6 hour drive for us!!). We went to the grounds early in the day and we met Margie in the concession line!! She was my hero at the time and invited us to watch her school before the class. She then posed for a picture with us and autographed our program. Told us to keep up the good work riding and one day she'd have to worry about us being her competition
Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
My equine soulmate
Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding
I was working for a former BNR/T who happens to be McLain Ward's dad, McLain was around 8 at the time and a really cute kid, I digress.
Mr Ward senior was showing Ian Millar some sale horses he had and I was there chatting with them talking about Big Ben and BW said he couldn't run his farm without me. Ian offered me a job on the spot. I should have followed up on it and who knows where my future would have taken me. Not a huge thing but I've always been a big fan of his. He always struck me as a total class act. Same for Bill Steinkraus. He helped me with my young OTTB when I worked for one of his boarders, took time out of his morning to help me out.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
I was a teenager showing at Spruce one year and I kept running into this nice gentleman everyday in the warmup ring and the in gate and we started chatting everyday, and he always asked me about my ride, ect.. I was walking back to the parking lot at the end of the week with my trainer when we passed the nice gentleman and he stopped to say hello and ask how I was doing. My trainer was standing there with her jaw dropped. When we walked away asked me since when had I been buddies with Ian Miller! At the end of the week I was tickled pink to be getting second place in one of my classes and have Ian Miller and Eric Lamaz behind me in the victory gallop!