Well y’all, we have had an incredible weekend in Lexington. We’ve eaten delicious food and watched spectacular horsewoman accomplish some amazing feats.
I’m just going to recap the highlights.
The food. This year we did it right by choosing some awesome restaurants.
On Thursday we ate at Pepe’s. It wasn’t special, just a Mexican restaurant, but it was yummy. The next night we hit Red State BBQ. It’s a local little place with writing all over the walls. Our server, Stephan, was fantastic despite being incredibly busy. My pulled pork and sides and Judy’s chicken were all delicious. The homemade sauces were so good that I’m bringing some home to my husband.
On Saturday we returned to the place we found in Georgetown last year: Fatkat’s. Ohmygosh it was sooooo good! Cheesy garlic bread, caprese salad, and baked spaghetti. Mouth wateringly good.
Tonight we went to Pies and Pints in downtown Lexington after having a drink at an Irish pub. The KY basketball game was on, so the bars were sort of intense. Our server and the food were all great. We didn’t realize until we got back to our hotel that we actually have this restaurant in Birmingham. Weird. But good news! I also found a beer I like (I HATE beer). It was Grand Mimosa by Ciderboys and I can’t wait to find some when I get back to the Ham.
So clearly we ate well. Really well.
Today was the final day of Road to the Horse and it was everything I hoped it would be. On Friday I decided that my favorite rider was Vicki Wilson, the underdog from New Zealand. She’s only really an underdog because she rides English (she’s a jumper) and everyone else in this competition rides Western. A lot of Western riders don’t believe English riders are as tough, but this chick has some freakin’ grit, let me tell you.
On the first day in the round pen she fell from her colt while riding bareback. Unbeknownst to the crowds (especially since at the end of her round she through her obstacle barrels over the fence), she dislocated her shoulder. Amazingly, she got right back in the ring on Saturday. Not only did she get back in the ring, she got back on the dang horse. Her mandatory breaks were spent sitting and icing her shoulder.
Y’all, I can’t express to you how awesome these ladies are! This competition–to reiterate–is the world championship of colt starting. They have 3 1/2 hours to work with previously unhandled three-year-old horses. And then on Sunday they go through a ridiculous obstacle course. (You can see some of the course in the picture above). If you ride, you know this could be tough on a seasoned horse, so imagine it on these young colts. Add in the crowd, the lights, the fact that they’ve had a bit in their mouth maybe twice, and a saddle and person on their back no more than maybe an hour.
So today, Vicki worked her horse through every obstacle–every. single. one.–with her healing shoulder. The competitors have mics, so we can listen along the whole time. I loved getting to hear her talk her horse, who she named Kentucky, through the obstacles. She smooched him along, soothed him when he got freaked out, and encouraged him by leading him from the ground. When she had several minutes left at the end, she took her saddle off and freestyled bareback. She went through some of the obstacles again, jumped some barrels, and generally made the whole audience fall in love with her and her horse.
Okay, all that to say…SHE WON!!!!
Now I am not one to get emotionally involved in competitions and sports, but I SO wanted her to win. SO, so, so bad! And she did! It was fabulous.
AND! She is buying her horse and taking him home with her to New Zealand which is so awesome!
Talk about celebrating the cowgirl! Day-um!!!!
Whew, now we’re relaxing in our room watching The Proposal and then heading home tomorrow.
I hope y’all have had a good weekend because mine was fan-freaking-tastic!