I was supposed to be at Devon last night, covering Sapphire's retirement and the Well Fargo Grand Prix of Devon, but a nasty stomach bug laid me low. I can't complain about losing 5 of the pounds I've gained since I fell off last September, but I'm not thrilled with the timing.
Thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, at least I got to watch the events on my laptop. Sophie and I curled up on the couch together, my little girl smelling of green apples and clean little girl after her shower. We both started sniffling as McLain walked Sapphire around the warm up ring, and had segued to fall on BAWL mode by the time she entered the ring.
She looked fabulous, and was on her toes the entire time. Soph and I loved when McLain rode her to the side of the ring and let some children say hello to their idol. What a gentlemanly thing for McLain to do. Sapphire, for all her excitement, was very good for the kids, standing still and letting them get a good look and a few pats of the famous nose. My daughter ached to be there, and was a bit sad that I wasn't, as she'd harbored hopes that I'd be able to get her Sapphire Breyer horse autographed.
Sapphire looked as though she couldn't quite figure out why she was being untacked, why she and McLain weren't jumping the fences in the ring with them. That was so good to see -- the fact that she was still in form, that she would have loved to have been out there, that her fire was still lit.
It was a perfect ending to the evening that McLain and his new mount Antares F, a high energy horse as different from the placid Sapphire as it is possible to be, won the Grand Prix. I think we could call that coming full circle, don't you?
Be well, Sapphire. Enjoy your donuts, and have fun being a momma.
My favorite photo from last night, taken by Rianne Berker.