Saturday September 22, 2001
I slept on the comfy couch in Mary's camper and I had a great night sleep despite the fact that I woke up 3 times.
I was awake at 8 AM but I dragged myself out of the bed at 9. Mary snoozed a little longer while I took a shower. Today we had to be ready for America's debut appearance of Michelle Gibson's 2004 Olympic hopeful horse World of Dreams. The crowds gathered on the premises of Applewood Farm round 11 AM and the presentation of five horses started half an hour later. Everyone was offered drinks and crackers by Michelle's friends and fans. Marie Gibson put up a display of Michelle's most important ribbons and trophies she won with her 1996 Olympic mount Peron. The outdoor arena was excellently groomed and ready for the rides. Dr Carole Ludwig was the spokeswoman during the musical presentation.
Michelle first brought out Evolutionist, a black Oldenburg mare. One of her students rode a 3-year old Trakehner mare afterwards. Dulceanna, a gorgeous chestnut, was presented by another student. This Hanoverian had lovely flowing movements. Sir Joe, a black Hanoverian, was the fourth horse to appear in the ring. He was ridden by former young rider Amanda Parsons.
The top act, however, was of course Michelle Gibson with World of Dreams. Her absolutely devine chestnut stallion is a true dream. He's is an exact copy of Weltmeyer concerning conformation and gaits. He has three large, expressive basic gaits with a ground covering walk, a bouncing trot and a well jumped canter. His extended trot is similar to that of Farbenfroh and his piaffe and passage show great potential. World of Dreams is an 8-year old licensed Hanoverian stallion. He's trained at Grand Prix level but will be shown at Prix St Georges level at 2001 Dressage at Devon. The whole presentation at Applewood farm was organized to gather friends and dressage enthusiasts and get donations for the Applewood Foundation. At least $1,000,000 is needed to get a rider to the Olympics and that is Michelle Gibson's dream. With World of Dreams, purchased in Germany by Michelle's parents, Michelle has the potential to qualify for the U.S. Dressage Team. She now only needs the financial support for the horse insurance, show entry fees, horse shoes, and much more.
After the presentation, the guests were invited to a delicious barbeque. Round 2 PM, we payed a visit to Collecting Gaits Farm. Home to Karen Lipp, Collecting Gaits Farm is built in Crabapple, GA, by a most generous and dedicated couple, the Fuqua's. Karen Lipp was riding Aragonas while the Fuqua's showed us around. Their barn is absolutely devine. On our way back, we did some antique shopping in the old city centre of Crabapple and then returned to the camper. We played the movie Almost Famous to kill some time.
The owners of Applewood Farm, Brad Thatcher and his delightful wife, invited us to dinner at 6. The Thatcher's and the Gibson's closest friends and some family dinner came over as climax of an already perfect day. The Thatcher's home is located behind the barn and we had to walk a hilly road to reach the house. Only in your dreams can you imagine a more rustic, romantic house. The wooden house, built by Brad Thatcher himself, had a garden with blooming pink and white flowers round it. The house was made completely of wood and had a wonderful porch that completely wrapped the house. The interior looked artsy craftsy but totally in style. It appeared that Mrs Thatcher collected china as there were porcelaine cups and plates everywhere. The guests were treated with wine and cheese and for dinner they had prepared ceasar salad, rice and salsa sauce. Marie Gibson baked the dessert, a wonderful cheese cake which was served with chocolate sauce. Mary showed the photos she had taken today with a slideshow on her laptop. It was such a wonderful night, meeting such generous people which truly seem to be kind of nature. We left the Thatcher's place at 11 PM, but I only went to sleep round 1 AM because I didn't feel tired yet and finished watching Almost Famous.