By: Brittany Bevis
You probably remember the first time you met Gordon Downey, aka “G-Man.” It might have been at a local weekend circuit or a World Championship event, but we’re pretty sure the interaction is the same for almost everyone.
Exuberant excitement and overflowing happiness at making your acquaintance, punctuated by numerous photo ops while holding the magazine, which all takes place so quickly that you probably didn’t even know it was happening. What followed was probably a conversation about your horse, your interests, and your goals for the rest of the season, leaving you feeling like you’re the most important person at the horse show.
Elizabeth Whitt had a similar experience at the recent Martinganza Quarter Horse Show. The interaction left such an impression on her, and her family, that she wanted to share it with us.
“Years ago, I would look at the magazines and say, ‘One day, I’ll be in one of the pictures with The Equine Chronicle!’ Well, it was my lucky weekend, because I had the pleasure of meeting Gordon at the Martinganza. He was such a pleasure and so great to talk to. We have a foal, out of The Krymsun Kruzer, so he got a photo of me with the stallion’s ad as well. Swoon!”
Below is the message Elizabeth sent to Gordon shortly following the show. We thought it was so kind, appreciative, and truly illustrates what being a part of the horse show industry should be about.
“I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to meet you. I have done Open and 4H shows since I was little and finally got to do a little AQHA a couple years before college. I’ve always heard of you for many years now and, after my 17-year hiatus from the show ring, it was so wonderful to meet you! Your personality and kindness are infectious, and I know the rumors about how fun you are, are true!”
“When I was little, I always dreamed about getting my photo taken at the horse show, so you made my day. But honestly, your kindness and enthusiasm was so heartwarming and appreciated. We’ve had so much fun getting back into showing, and the people I’ve met have been so wonderful. My husband is new to all of this, and he has been so impressed with the kindness we have been shown. So thank you again. I’m so glad we met and are friends now!”
“Thanks for the support in the horse industry and the welcome we have received. It’s the healthiest my family has been- getting back into what I breathe, dream, eat, and sleep!”
This is what we should strive for: welcoming newcomers, or those coming back after a hiatus, with open arms. These interactions are how we preserve the horse industry for future generations.
But you don’t have to be Gordon to do it. At the next horse show you attend, keep an eye out for someone who looks like it might be their first show, or someone who needs a bit of encouragement, or simply just say hello and give a friendly smile.
If you have a great story to share with The Equine Chronicle, email Delores.Kuhlwein@EquineChronicle.com.