By: Liz Rigby
If any visitor had come to the MMSC this morning they would have been witness to a whirlwind of activity as we all prepared for our afternoon event: a luncheon for the National Horse Center, hosted by the Fresian Association and the Paso Fino Association. This luncheon included 50 people, seven MMSC staff, three Paso Finos, four Friesians, and a catering crew.
Before I continue, let me tell you about an ingenious plan I recently devised to ensure all interns work to their full potential and receive recognition at the end of each day. Every afternoon, one lucky deserving intern is crowned ‘Intern of the Day.’ I took the initiative and voted myself President of the voting committee. To date, there are no other members of this committee. Also, to date, I have won the coveted title four days in a row.
The MMSC was abuzz with activity preparing for our guests; barn crew sweeping, knocking down cob webs; office crew polishing furniture, cleaning bathrooms and the like. I was assigned “flower arrangement” duty. I spent the morning foraging through the rose bushes outside the office for possible contenders for what I was hoping would turn out to be a Martha Stewart look-a-like bouquet for our front desk. I ended up with two mismatched bouquets in vases, which I half filled with rocks from our driveway (Susanna told me I cut the stems too short and needed to add height), two hands full of thorns, and a few bare looking flower pots around the farm which I had ravaged for blooms. I learned today that flower arrangements are not my forte.
As I fought with rose bushes out front, Catherine conquered the large John Deere tractor and harrowed the arena for our guests’ demonstrations. She even managed to back the large machine into the garage when she was finished! When the morning began I was winning the race for intern of the day, however after Catherine’s success, she was only behind me by a hair. Shelby spent her lovely morning mopping every moppable surface of the MMSC office, including the bathrooms. And for that, I voted that she received ‘Honorable Mention’ in this nose-to-nose race. Our new intern Kiley was summoned to spit-shine the barn. New intern hazing at its finest. I’m proud to say that when she was finished, the barn looked stunning for our arriving horse guests. As Today was Kiley’s first day, she did not receive one of my nominations.
At noon the Secretariat Center opened up its doors to all luncheon guests. After eating, mingling, and enjoying horse demonstrations, all of us were greeted at the front of the MMSC by two horse carriages, each pulled by two stately looking black Friesians from the draft barn here at the Kentucky Horse Park. Our great neighbors gave visitors rides around the property, the four veteran Friesians were perfect gentleman! They stood as still as statues as visitors climbed into their carriages, were gentle enough to pose for pictures, and they willingly endured the hot sun so everyone could have a ride.
We all also had the privilege of watching a demonstration by the Paso Fino Horse Association which is located in Frankfurt, Kentucky. They even allowed all spectators to ride any of the three horses that they had brought. Riding the Paso Finos was a very unique experience, especially for this intern who was unfamiliar with the breed’s distinctive gait. Compared to our large strided Thoroughbreds, the Paso Finos moved like professional tap dancers as they toted member after member around the arena. What great sports they were as we all tried our best to become accustomed to their smooth ride and swift feet!
As the last car rolled down the drive way, business as usual picked right back up at the farm. The horses were fed, stalls were cleaned, and who do you think won ‘Intern of the Day’? Yes, shocking to us all, my winning streak continues….