Last weekend at Misty Manor Farm in Clarksville more than two dozen riders competed in the wildest outfits I've ever seen on horse people.
The occasion was the underwear race at Judi Reinke's 23rd annual Play Day.
"People come from all over the country to compete in this race," Reinke said. "I think it is the only one in the country."
Riders sported bras, boxer shorts and briefs on their heads. Each rider had to gallop (or trot, in the case of the junior riders) to the far end of the arena, find the proper partner, dismount, take off the underwear and put it on the partner.
Then the partner had to mount and gallop back to the starting dTC point with all underwear intact, more or less. Ten senior riders and 13 juniors competed with their partners.
The senior division was won by Jack Farmer of Sykesville and Tara Masterson of Columbia. The equine component of this team was Jack's 20-year-old mare, Money Back.
"She's the horse of my dreams," Farmer said of the mare his wife, Sandy, bought him for Christmas seven years ago. "She's a great barrel racing horse, she just gets better every year."
The winners of the junior division were Dina Kessaris of Laurel and Laura Cox of Middle River.
"We were here last year and so it was easier this year," Dina said. "The easiest thing was galloping down and back."
The galloping was done on Pippy, a Tennessee walking horse that belongs to Reinke.
The underwear race wasn't the only fun thing at the show. There was a cake walk that featured costumes, a musical sack race, a through-the-tunnel race, and bareback on a buck.
All of this excitement raised about $1,400 by the lunch break, and all indications were that at least $2,000 would be raised for the work of Ralf Anonymous.
This work is carried out by Reinke, a host of volunteers, and Ralf, a 36-inch miniature horse who dresses in seasonal costumes and visits nursing home residents.
"Sometimes we walk into a room that is full of quiet, frail residents," Reinke said. "And then they will notice that I've brought a horse with me. Then the place really starts to jump."
Mullen qualifies for nationals
Laurel Mullen of Sparks has qualified for the ASPCA Horsemanship championship class at the 110th National Horse Show in New Jersey in November.
Mullen was one of 23 riders out of a field of 40 who competed in the recent Southeast Regional Championship in Asheville, N.C., to qualify for the ASPCA Horsemanship Class.
Get a discount to horse show
The Washington International Horse Show at the USAir Arena is holding a Barn Night to celebrate its 35th anniversary. If at least five people from a riding stable or barn attend the show Thursday they can purchase $16 tickets for $10.
The barn or stable sending the most spectators will get to walk the jump course and win a pizza party.
Maryland jousters will present a medieval jousting exhibition that night. Other events will be the Nation's Cup, a British-American exhibition polo match, a dressage exhibition and terrier races. For information call (301) 840-0281 or (410) 432-SEAT.
CCEC Poker Ride results
Fifteen riders and their horses took part in the final Poker Ride of the season sponsored by the Carroll County Equestrian Council last week. Prizes were pumpkin grab bags.
Carolyn Garber and her mare Ginger won with a pair of fours and a pair of eights. They were followed by Dave Radcliffe (pair of aces), Melissa Deblasio (pair of nines), Janet Kipe (pair of sevens, jack high), Kathy Warfield (pair of sevens, 10 high) and Judy Taylor (pair of sevens, 5 high).
Calendar of events
Today -- Mid-Maryland Horse and Pony Association Halloween Show. Howard County Fairgrounds. (410) 781-6303.
Today through next Sunday -- Washington International Horse Show. USAir Arena, Landover. (301) 840-0281.
Saturday -- Maple Spring Super Chicken Horse Trials. Glenwood. (410) 442-2295.
Saturday and next Sunday -- -- Battle of Hastings re-enactment. Carroll County Agricultural Center. Westminster.
Oct. 31 -- Hunting Ground Farm Horse Trials. Whiteford. (410) 879-4031.