January 16 2006, 10:23 AM
I know that Denver's all abuzz right now about the Broncos, but I've got my mind on horses of an entirely different sort. Monday night is the National Western Grand Prix, and I'm gearing up to watch my personal sports heroes -- the show-jumping equestrians -- doing their best in their own competition right here in town. The events center at the stock show is a great venue for equestrian sports, and many of my fellow horse-crazy friends will be attending this event along with the annual Evening of Dancing Horses, a showcase that includes classic dressage and modern freestyle events set to a live orchestra. I heard that the theme this year will involve music from each decade of the past century, in honor of the Stock Show's 100th anniversary. It's funny how many of my friends -- it's largely a girl thing, but not exclusively -- are also horse freaks. I grew up with backyard ponies, then graduated to show horses as a teen, and then promptly dropped the entire endeavor in favor of boys, college, and career duties. It's a common story, but I've luckily come to my senses (okay, that's somewhat debatable, certainly in financial terms, anyway) and rediscovered my childhood obsession. And apparently, I have at least a half-dozen friends who, as I only recently realized, share my newly rediscovered hobby/obsession/money pit. So of course, we are all off to the horse shows this week. Obviously I know that as of next weekend, my focus must return to the much more mass-scale horse themed obsession of multiple dozens of my friends and aquaintances. But for a few nights at least, I get to go to the big indoor arena, and be completely in my old, familiar element.