Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's a ... "Pony Olympics"

Over the course of both fall and winter, one of our grand-daughters who is completely infatuated with a love of horses became inspired by the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics with all its copious amounts of continued advertising near their Vancouver area home.

Eventually an idea was born and she began to ponder the reality of possibly playing host of a first ever - "Pony Olympics" with her friends, cousins and our youngest daughter, when we would be visiting in town.

She had illusions of grandeur, her imagination was soaring with plans formulating for possible events or activities in her mind. Sharing with her Auntie, the two brainstormed on about a million telephone calls in between (smile), about the very likely possibility of being able to carry out such a day's worth of activity.

Her enthusiasm and imaginative play had already captured the interest of all their neighbor children, all subsequently acquiring their very own hobby horses to join her pleasurable riding sessions outdoors. In fact, I couldn't help but crack a huge smile when I noticed the children in the neighborhood out galloping about on their hobby horses the first time we arrived for a visit after landing at the airport.

Capturing a few of the children early in the day

The only minor drawback in her mind would be some of the attending pony riders wouldn't have hobby horses of their own to ride. Problem solved though because - Surprise! A birthday gift was awaiting our daughter - guess what it was? Others were happy to share and share they did.

I have to confess that the adults did wonder if the older children might feel silly or prefer not to become good sports with the little ones, but all was quickly squashed when the children became excited and began to compete with the others during each event of the day.

I thought this a first in our family; Hockey nets were missing the usual hockey sticks set, rather I found this scene below instead; hockey sticks replaced by hobby horses. Ever cute!

Not too sure on the "exact" agenda for the day, all we knew in advance was our daughter was selected by her niece to provide the "Pony Olympic Winning Gold Medals" for all participants. It was an item found suddenly on our errand list, scrambling not to disappoint the day before we left town.

In fact, our daughter in law wasn't even entirely sure how it would all end up, she just knew there were many children involved and made plans to have some lunch prepared, just in case. A friend of hers volunteered her talents and created a special double layered and amazing pony cake to celebrate the festivities.

At the start of the day, our organizer and host Grand-girl in charge of this fine sporty day made a sentimental comment to her mother;
"that her long time dream was actually going to be fulfilled, becoming one of those things one could only hope for once in a lifetime".
She had been busy making signs for everyone to wear on their backs, with names of places or cities they would be representing.

Events were organized and the sport categories were about to begin. Event categories included; jumping, racing, barrel racing, dressage and a few other minor games.

There was a threat of rain and it did drizzle for a bit later in the morning, so when the children became famished after the first few events and were beginning to get rather damp, all headed indoors to eat, warm up, and rest until the weather cleared.

Warm homemade soup and fresh from the oven buns awaited all, plus a big slice of the great cake made by a talented friend whose children were also present this day.

Older children drifted off for a time kicking and passing a soccer ball to one another, as several events ran just a few participants at a time during the beginning of the day, but for the most part, all twelve children present began to get into the action, have a blast, and very likely competed in events and activities they've never experienced before.

Rain or no rain, this was a fun little competition, with food, and prizes and personal satisfaction for they all were participants in the first ever "Pony Olympics".

Try as I did, here are my four outtakes while snapping photos of six of the grandchildren present outdoors. Can you guess which child wasn't having anything to do with it?

After their little bellies were full and all were rested, we did manage to get this photo below with all of our grandchildren which was still a challenge for a successful photo attempt by guess who (wink).

So many hearty and happy giggles filled the air while trying to take this, and how fun it was! We love how it brought to life all of their sweet personalities, oh yes we do.

As spectators during all the events (our laundry was rolling during the visit and we lent a hand wherever we could), we really admired the way our daughter in law and her friend judged the events, and easily complimented all the fun with good cheer and happy spirits, the children following suit with their lead, all most delighted with the entire day.

What a GREAT memory for all these children! I know I will never look upon a hobby horse the same way myself ever again. Big smiles come to mind when I still think of this day. So adorable.

And how great it was for our Grand-girl to realize her dearest and fondest dream for hosting the very first ever "Pony Olympics".

Did you even know there was such a thing? Well, you do now...

Gold medals for everyone!

Just look at them racing on the left of this photo!

Oh, and about that hobby horse - we had no clue how we were going to get it home on the airplane with us, but a wonderful woman at the luggage check-in counter assisted our daughter by wrapping it up inside of a clear plastic bag and assigning it to the "special delivery" area, free of charge.

The orange priority tag assured it was well handled and happily for all, it arrived to our destination safely.