pony up for hat wars

It’s here! The sport of kings everyone heralds Memorial Day and the first minutes of summer in with: hat wars at Devon Horse Show.  “Ladies” Day is May 31, and I am certain it won’t disappoint.


“Buy your reservation now”? Seriously are they paying someone to write this stuff? What happened to “make your reservations now, purchase tickets today?”

But please note The Devon Horse Show category of “Best Jewels of Devon” – I shudder to think about that bedazzling that will be done…can’t you just see bedazzled Lilly LOL?

Sigh….remember the genteel days gone by that once was Ladies’ Day? It used to be so civilized and nice. Today’s Ladies’ Day is just not for me.

I have lovely friends who are still stalwarts of this event.  But even they do not care for the element of Nouveau Devon it attracts.  It’s that whole faux society of it all.   Some of these women think that because they can throw a few fake flowers on the wrong color straw hat and layer on fake pearls that are so cheap they look like pop beads, and buy new Lilly dresses that they are instant society. And the irony is how many of them have ever ridden a horse, how many of them are in fact afraid of horses?  How many of them actually know what is going on at equestrian events?  (I do not pretend to be an expert, but I rode a little as a child and I have a general idea of what’s going on because I have a lot of friends who are horse people for lack of a better description.)

I have always loved horses. And I used to love going to the Devon Horse Show.  But what Devon has evolved into in recent years makes me wish and hope it returns one day to what it was. 

In my mind’s eye I see the Devon I personally remember best. The Devon of the mid 1970s through the 1990s. That was the Devon where you still saw the real Lilly Pulitzer and Vested Gentress dresses and spring/summer ladies pants outfits, and gentlemen had their khacki pants (lots of “Nantucket Reds”) and boaters.

What always sets the vintage Lilly apart from the modern Lilly are not the patterns, but the fabrics.  Today’s fabrics are cheap looking and feeling for the most part.  The fabrics of vintage Lilly and vintage Vested Gentress had weight to them and body. The cotton material was of such a high-quality and weave that it would hold up to heat and humidity.  Modern Lilly has fine patterns but the actual quality of the fabric cheapens the whole deal.

What will be interesting to watch this season at Devon is the society coverage. My money is on Caroline O’Halloran and her Savvy Main Line society glam squad and what will be their coverage.  

Caroline has added a real society column to her super popular website. Caroline’s columns feature a team of ladies who actually used to work for the society pages, and real coverage of events. And with their photos and Caroline’s columns you don’t just have people lined up for well-dressed society mugshots, you have well styled photos, an actual description of the event, what it’s benefiting, and so on and so forth.   It’s old-school and delightful in a modern website format and for those who chose to advetise it is a superior platform and I am not compensated to say that, it’s my opinion.  I find Savvy a much more polished and comprehensive a product when compared to what Susan Scovill puts out, unfortunately for Susan. While Susan pioneered the idea of a local website with event photos when she and the Main Line papers got their divorce a few years ago, her website in my opinion needs to evolve.  

Here is hoping people are better behaved at Devon this year, right? Last year and the police stuff wasn’t very Devon was it? And here is hoping that the people who attend Devon Horse  Show behave better than the people who attended Radnor Hunt, right?  People who are members of Radnor Hunt have been chattering about those who were guests at this season’s event which is at a private club who behaved liked early Animal House Frat House and if this is true, how could they show such casual disregard for Radnor Hunt?

It’s a lovely day for Devon today, however, so go buy a hat, see the horses and have a lemon stick!

chester county day turns 75 this october!

Radnor HuntFrom the time I was a girl, Chester County Day is something my family just always did every October. It is always a gorgeous day and well, who needs a better excuse to travel through Chester County when fall foliage is exploding? Pack a picnic lunch and have a splendid day.

This year the tour launches at the Radnor Hunt Club and heads into the Borough of West Chester. If you have never taken the time to do this tour, I do not see any better year to start a new tradition on the 75th anniversary of a fine Chester County tradition!

See press release below.  Tickets should be ordered early and in advance.

chester county dayLongest Running House Tour in the Nation – Chester County Day – Celebrates 75 Years

West Chester, PA – Chester County Day originated in 1936, when Mrs. William A. Limberger and her fellow members of the Women’s Auxiliary to Chester County Hospital hosted “West Chester Day,” a house tour that for $1.00 allowed admittance to 22 homes. Now the longest running house tour in the United States, Chester County Day has benefited Chester County Hospital from the start.tour 1

 

Over its 75 years, the tour has been designed to feature the four quadrants of Chester County with each section taking turns being featured on “The Day.” However, this year, the event planners are returning to its 1936 roots and focusing their attention on the Borough of West Chester. With hundreds of years of history, the Borough is the perfect spot to celebrate the 75th year, and everyone is welcome to celebrate the anniversary of this Chester County tradition on Saturday, October 3.

tour 2

The Day begins with the pageantry and excitement of a fox hunt. The Radnor Hunt will set off promptly at 9 am on its beautiful grounds. Afterward, a short drive to the Borough of West Chester will lead you to the start of the 75th Chester County Day tour. Located on West Chester’s oldest road, High Street, visit the oldest inhabited structure in the Borough, which was built in 1712 and then renovated by a well-known author in the 1920’s. Stroll through the neighborhoods of the north section of West Chester to visit charming mansions where your imagination can take you to a bygone era of the Great Gatsby lifestyle. Stop by the home of former builder Henry Price, and then see how a newly constructed home fits into the historic mix on East Marshall Street. Listen for the sound of the horse-drawn carriages as they make their way through the shaded and wide streets of the north end of town. Swing by the West Chester Public Library, one of the Borough’s most impressive public buildings, built in 1888 in Queen Anne style.

tour 3

Continue your tour on South New Street and tour a historic bank barn and manor house, where you will be enchanted by the magnificent trees, pond, historical buildings and serene atmosphere, all while refueling yourself with one of Arianna’s Gourmet Café’s boxed lunches. From there, visit a nearby horse farm, a spectacular house and restored mill overlooking Crum Creek. See Historic Sugartown, a rural crossroads village dating from the late 18th century. Stop by the General Store, Carriage Museum and a book bindery. If you arrive hungry, Arianna’s offers a second refreshment stop here with additional delicious boxed lunches.

 

Whether you begin with the first house on the tour or start with the final home in the tour – your day will be full and filled with the beauty and history of Chester County hundreds of years in the making.

 

WHEN:    Saturday, October 3, 2015 @ 10 am-5 pm

WHERE: Borough of Chester County

TICKETS: On sale from September 2-29 by mail, online, or at the satellite locations listed on our website.

  • $40 purchased via web, phone or in person
  • $100 VIP Tickets, which includes a VIP Reception and Preview Cocktail party at historic Vickers Restaurant on Sunday, September 27 and a private tour of a special VIP house with a gourmet boxed lunch served by White Horse Tavern.

CONTACT: 610-431-5328

MORE INFO: Organized by The Women’s Auxiliary to the Chester County Hospital, Chester County Day is a 75-year autumn tradition. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Women’s Auxiliary pledge for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab project, a $4.8 million replacement project for Interventional Laboratory 3. This room is used for complex ablation cases, laser peripheral vascular intervention and other complex peripheral vascular procedures. Learn more at one of the free public preview lectures throughout the county. For a list of dates and locations, or to download a podcast visit: www.ChesterCountyDay.com

the worm turns in horse rescue?

DSC_0004Is it true what they are saying on the Thoroughbred Breeders/Owners/Trainers Hall of Shame Facebook Page?

Has there been a cat fight over horses and has Barbara Luna from Turning for Home really removed all the rescued race horses she doled out to  Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue? This all started on this page yesterday when people noted  horses were on the move.

Then I saw this earlier this morning:

truth

tfh

Of course there is reported drama over who actually “quit” and who was “fired” and are you surprised? What is it they say about truth being optional for these people?

So what the what?  And if Barbara Luna and Turning for Home are moving horses does that mean all these people worried about all these horses for all this time were right?  And if Barbara Luna is moving horse around like pawns on a chessboard so they finally have their paperwork together?  And what does Barbara Luna and Turning for Home have to say about all of this?  After all Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue never magically just clapped their hands and twitched their nose for horses to appear, right?  So what does Barbara Luna have to say for herself?  Does she track all the stipend money doled out along with the horses?

And where is LAPs on this?  You know the mythical Large Animal Protection Society?  Do they have a handle YET on horse rescue in Chester County or are they pretending that probelms with horse rescues in Chester County isn’t really like problems with puppy mills in Lancaster County?

trip d

And speaking of LAPS, can someone please explain to me this brand new horse rescue over in Oxford that popped up on Facebook and loves everyone but doesn’t take donations?  What rescue doesn’t need donations? For real? Are they on some unknown DuPont estate with a giant endowment running them or are they over maybe on the fan heiress’s farm?

trip d1

And here I thought Triple D was only Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.

This of course begs the question once more of how many horse rescues exist in Chester County and how are they regulated?  I ask because my horse friends tell me one sick horse coming into a barn can put the entire barn at risk.  Other animal rescues are regulated so how exactly do horse rescues get regulated?

Finally, someone sent me this photo.  They described it as “horse training” at a horse rescue? So are these kids even old enough to drive or vote that are handling this horse? Looks dangerous, but what do I know, right?

horse training

Horse rescue remains a great mystery of life to me.  I just wish anyone seemed to know what the rules and regulations were, right?

horsegate…oh, the drama!

Photo courtesy of Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue and their public Facebook Page

Photo courtesy of Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue and their public Facebook Page

Here I was minding my own business, moving onto other topics, taking care of my family, seeing a dog through chemo and WHAM!  I get sucked back into Horsegate, not yet a movie.  As in Much Ado About Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue.

When last I heard about all this stuff, I heard from the owner of Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue, Jessica Troxell Basciano. It was 12/8/2012.  She sent me comments she asked me not to publish.  I decided to honor her request for the time being (as in not forever).  I am beginning to regret that as it seems this blog is being contacted by her posse, her protégés, her employees or her pals? (Just a hunch, yes?)

I am generally speaking an experienced blogger and tolerant and understanding when people get upset or heated about a topic.  I also know when to call a spade a spade when comments cross the line.

Yesterday the comments on “the funny thing about asking questions about horse rescue” exploded.  So I nosed around the horse community and someone tells me there was some sort of court date yesterday?  Possibly near Oxford PA? (I am asking because I don’t have the docket so can’t say definitively – if I did have the docket which is indeed public information I would post it.)

Anyway, comments from a Christina, Alice, and I don’t remember who.  At first I thought they were comments threatening towards me for writing about this in the first place.  That in and of itself kind of pissed me off in the whole First Amendment of it all.  I saw crazy ads on Craigslist, so why couldn’t I write about and ask questions about them and a horse rescue? But the comments as per a clarification by the poster Christina (thank you for apologizing to me by the way), were directed at someone else – someone who must have testified in court.

I said to “Christina”:

I wrote about this topic, I have moved onto other topics and for a topic that is purportedly such a “non-issue” it seems to be a problem. ….If you took in horses on the up and up, have all the records, have those coggins things people talk about and so on and so forth you are good, so why respond to anyone anywhere in a threatening matter?

I have been patient with people on both sides of this issue and have tried to be fair to whomever this Jessica is.  As a matter of fact at her plea, I did not post some comments she left when obviously upset.

Then there was a post by someone named “Heather” who told someone else she wasn’t angry and couldn’t care less (but she still felt the need to comment.)

Alrighty, quite the tempest in the stable teapot don’t you think?

My Spidy Sense is tingling and if there wasn’t something funkalicious going on, why would people keep leaving comments?

Jessica Basciano and Barbara Luna what say you on this?  The horses start with Barbara and Turning for Home before coming to Jessica and Off The Track Throughbred Rescue right?

Again, if this Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue ends up being totally legit with a good non-profit status, etc, etc I will update the posts.  Just like if this Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue doesn’t end up being legit and isn’t really a non-profit, etc, etc I will update the posts.

But it is four days before Christmas and I am sick of the happy horse manure quite frankly.

I do not take threats lightly, and I live in a part of Chester County with very helpful and friendly law enforcement.  More importantly, a lot of people read my blog, including fairly influential Chester County folks any rescue or rescue owner might wish to cultivate.

So rein it in ladies.  I don’t do girl fights and intimidation.  I am a lot of years out of high school, so let the mean girl of it all go.

If this is supposed to be about the good of the horses, then stop making it about the people and personalities.

And media out there that I know watches this blog a story on this would be nice as it is getting to be a bit much in the drama of it all, don’t you think? Besides since it is in some court room somewhere in Chester County there might be something to all of this after all, maybe?

And for you true horse rescue types, here is yet another Craigslist Ad that makes me scratch my head – it is out of Douglassville, which I have no clue where that town is:

horse ad

For those wondering who is on first, let alone who is on third, here are links to the posts and comments….except the ones I am withholding for the time being that is:

wading into a potential manure pile

the funny thing about asking questions about  horse rescue…

not snapped to anyone’s lead line