|Timeless: Tyngwndwn Lovespoon of Here Be Dragons Welsh Ponies and me on the 2011 Metamora Pleasure Driving Show Country Drive. Photo by Peter Gilles|
In 2011, I journeyed to Metamora, MI to show a pony for Martha Stover and Cynthia Laurence of Here Be Dragons Welsh Ponies www.herebeponies.com
Tyngwndwn Lovespoon, aka Lisa, and I had a very good show with several memorable moments. I had only driven her a handful of times before the show, but she was a great partner. On the cones course, there was a small failure of communication between us and instead of trampling the left hand cone on a right hand circle, Lisa saved the day, jumped over the cone for a clear round and much cheering from the spectators. What a pony! We very proudly presented Here Be Dragons with a reserve championship ribbon.
But that is just the beginning of the story. Local photographer, Peter Gilles www.metamoraphoto.com was on hand at the show, snapping mementos. After the show, he chose the above photo, his "very favorite", to put on show at the Merge Gallery in Oxford, MI. This autumn, when asked to donate an auction item to the Metamora Driving Club's annual event, he chose the mounted photo again.
Long Story Short: Cynthia and Mack Laurence [co-owners of Lisa] were at the fundraiser and bought the photo, which they in turn sent to me as a gift. I generally regard sentimentality as an affliction, but when I held the photo in my hands, I cried. The combination of the memories of the show, my affection for Lisa and her owners, the Laurence's generosity, the virtuosity of Mr. Gilles' lens was a perfect storm of sentiment.
If one photograph can tell an entire story, it is this one. It is a sublime representation of why I drive and show horses: a beautiful summer day, a happy pony, moving gloriously through time. One hundred years from now, I will not be surprised if people are cooing over it on whatever social forum exists for driving enthusiasts. But it tells a still bigger story. Lots of people do lots of really brilliant things for me, and I try to be worthy of all of them. If you are one of those people, gaze upon this photo and see your own reflection in it. Whether you have lent me a book, helped me unload a carriage, given me a kind word or saved me from certain death: you are in this photo. This photo is for you. This photo is something perfect.
I wish you all enormous returns on the riches you have bestowed upon me. [And... if you are looking for a present for a horse lover, you just might find something perfect from Peter Gilles' camera.]