The show is over, and while we’re all still a little exhausted, we’re already busily planning for next year! There is a lot of business that needs to be taken care of, including posting results and putting up a form for feedback, and let’s not forget the happy totals, but let’s start with the best part of all: saying thank you.

To all our competitors and their friends and families, thank you so much for being part of our show this year. I hope you enjoyed yourselves because that was our number one goal for the show. We saw a number of familiar faces again this year — horse and human — and made a lot of new friends too. Your support means that we can keep doing what we do best, and we thank you for being part of it.

To my esteemed colleagues who worked so hard to plan and put on this show: I am so proud of what we accomplished together! I know it was exhausting, but I hope that it was all worth it. There is a big part of me that can’t wait to do it all again. (The rest of me enjoyed yesterday’s naps.)

My heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to my colleague and friend, JET PARRETT. It’s been a lot of fun working together over the past several months. I enjoyed our jaunts around the area meeting & talking with supporters, as well as the epic phone calls where we traded ideas and encouragement. You are an incredibly creative person and I’m so happy that we were able to bring so many of your ideas to light. I’d also like to thank you and Les and the Parrotheads for conceiving the Dinner Party idea, and bringing it to successful fruition. I can’t wait for next year!

I’d also like to thank my other esteemed college and friend, SAFE President JAIME TAFT, who rounded out our primary Show Management team. When you first brought up the idea of adding Dressage to the show, I never dreamed that it would grow into the event that took place last Sunday. Your hard work along with your experience in and around the Dressage arena made this part of the show so professional and legitimate, not to mention enjoyable and inspiring. You were also terrific on the microphone this year, and you made the fun classes during dinner not only run smoothly, but your running commentary kept everyone in stitches. Behind the scenes, your advice on the structure and logistics of the show have been invaluable. Back in 2007, when the idea of having a SAFE horse show first came up, I could not have known then that we would grow this idea into what it became in its 5th year. We have so much to be proud of.

The SAFE Advisory Board Members all worked so hard to make this show stellar. BETH AMBERG, the Volunteer Hospitality set up this year was phenomenal, absolutely top class! DEBI SHATOS, the Herd Booth was an amazing idea, and the things you did to make it happen — the shirts, the banner, the assistants, the tiny horsie, everything! — were just terrific. I know this was your first SAFE show, but you got into the swing of things like a pro. SARA HALL, thank you for keeping the SAFE horses happy, talking to potential adopters, and winning so many blue ribbons with Zan! I know you three did tons more than just these things I’ve mentioned, and the overall result of your hard work was that the show ran smoothly and was a tremendous success. I’m so proud to be working alongside women of your caliber.

There are so many volunteers to thank, and I’m so afraid I’m going to forget someone! I’m going to post this message and then regroup and come back for the second wave of thanks, but before I do that, I want everyone to know about the contributions of one volunteer in particular who literally saved the show. That man is SASHA, who came to the show along with the incredible Miss MEGAN POWELL and worked all day Sunday in the show office with me. My printer ran out of black ink at around 8:30am. I don’t think I can even convey to you how crippling it is for a show secretary to be without a printer. My stress level was climbing into the clouds as I tried to convince the printer that I’d be happy enough with class lists printed in red instead of black….or that a blue ink cartridge could be substituted for a black one…nothing I tried worked. Sasha offered to drive to town to buy a new cartridge, and when Office Depot opened at 10am Sunday morning, he was waiting at the door. He got the new cartridge and was back at the show grounds before we even started the under saddle classes. I probably sound like I’m making a big deal about nothing, but to me, this was incredibly, life-changingly, staggeringly helpful. Thank you Sasha and thanks to Megan for bringing him along.

More to come!