So the big o-mok-see on Whidbey, held Aug. 21-23, was a good one for us this year. An o-mok-see is a stand alone show that gives saddles to first in each age group and great prizes for other placements.  Whidbey runs 11 events over two days and this year drew people from all over Montana and Idaho as well as WA.  This year my age group was so big and competitive they moved the youngest of them to the age group below, and they ended up placing first, second and third in that group.  But I still was left riding against some even tougher riders, including a man from Boise who has won the saddle at the National three years in a row, and astoundingly, has not dq'd in an event at the National for three years.  My doG, that is 45 events straight, I myself dq'd six times at the National just this year.

Anyway, Kate had a tough age group, too, we were talking with our friends whose son Ty was riding and he was asking who was competitive, I told him no one could beat Jessy, she is a fabulous rider and has a great horse.  (She was actually featured in yesterday's paper, either the Everett Herald or Snohomish, can't remember.)  "Thanks, mom," says Kate.  Oops.  But Jessy is very good.  Poor Ty ended up getting kicked in the warm ups Sat. am and cut to the bone, had to go to the hospital.  :(

Anyway, I had been super focused all week on poles, the first event.  Kate won it on Joey, Wave and I dq'd.  So while it was disappointing, in a way it took a whole bunch of pressure off and allowed me just to have a good time.  And a good time we had, I'm not sure if I have had that much fun in a long time.  There were friends there who had moved to Boise and we really missed, she had a great day, Kate qualified for Championship Flags and MJ came down to watch, that was a blast.  They take the 16 fastest times of the day, take down the timers and start the race with a drop of a flag, then the two in that heat just flat out race through two barrel flags, whoever gets it clean and crosses the finish line first wins $30 and moves on to the next round.  In every heat Kate was against an adult man, and in every heat she and Sugar kicked their you know whats!  It was so much fun to watch, the crowd loves it and everyone is just screaming  "Girl power!" etc.  She and Bo ended up both dq-ing in the last heat so they had to split that round, but man it was fun.  Kate finished the day in first with no dqs, I was tied for third, with three wonderful riders/people up there ahead of me so we were all very pleased.

Sunday started with Keg race, Joey is fabulous at it but it is really hard, she is so flipping quick that even at a full gallop the tiniest cue from us sends her dropping like a shot into the weave, Kate and I both dq'd.  The super good guy from ID had a great day.  But every time he got first I got second, my friend from ID also stayed clean all day and remained in first, so I was tickled.  At one point in the day I was watching my age group wondering if I had lost my competitive edge because I was happy to think of Lynn or my idol Boyd winning the saddle, all of us just have such great comraderie.  It was just a very fun, happy day.

I chose not to do the math this weekend, first place in each event gets 15 points, I knew it was pretty close but that Kate was probably still in first.  The last event is the most brutal one there is, Tomahawk.  It involves running down, grabbing a rubber cut out of a tomahawk off a can and throwing it in a small can on the way back.  Kate ran the fastest time of the whole show for the third year in a row here.  Don't know how or why she can do that, but she is good.  I have discovered riding Sugar in this event, she runs hard but then banks into the turn and puts me right there to pick up the tomahawk, Wave tends to hit the can as soon as I lean down.  So Lynn and I are in the second heat together, we are all literally just so happy to have spent the wonderful weekend together that as I go to high five her and wish her luck (she is still in first place at this point, but we know Marty must be close) she just holds my hand and we ride in like that.  It takes me a sec to get dancing Sugar situated, Lynn takes off, as I take off and am half way down Lynn goes to turn the can and runs into my lane.  I pull up a bit but there is no stopping Sugar, Lynn gets out of the way quickly so I make my turn, grab the tomahawk, run back and miss the throw.  I don't want to be disappointed but I am.  The announcer says, out in one and three and lane two gets a re-ride (because Lynn went into my lane).  What the heck, I'll take it. They set it up again, I run down again, barely manage to grab it, am flipping it around against my stomach but get a grip before getting to the next can, lean down and get it in.  All while just letting Sugar run.  I got a 9.0, Marty ran an 8.6, most everyone else dq'd.

So after we put the horses up I am still nursing my wounds, Scott announced the whole show and does a great job, plays music like a dj, he used to make Ty and Will race when they were working in the arena, this year he made some little kids do it but it wasn't fun enough, so Sunday he picked on the old people.  First it was Sam and Cliff, that was pretty darn funny, everyone is screaming and laughing.  "That's just good clean entertainment right there," Scott says.  Later Lynn, me, Gail and Sonya are working in the arena, enjoying the sunshine and Scott says, "hey, you girls, we need to have an old lady race."  We shake our heads for a sec, debate flipping him off and then get competitive, line up and race like a bunch of kids.  Like a dummy I ran at the end of the lanes where the horses turn, the sand is super deep there so I pulled a muscle in my @$$.  But man we laughed.  "THAT is good entertainment!"  Scott keeps shouting.  It is darn funny.  

At the awards ceremony Scott made Sonya and Sam race for a medal, Sam tripped, Sonya got ahead and he tackled her.  Cheater.  As they started reading the placements in Kate's age group I thought, you know, I best go get her horse.  Whoever wins the saddle gets their horse led into the arena for the presentation, but I wasn't sure if she had won.  I come around the bleachers and there is Brenda, standing there with Joey,  I got a tear in my eye and went back for my camera.  Kate won the saddle.  :)

They read my age group and I was very curious.  A gal from MT was sixth, Sonya was fifth, Boyd was fourth, and there was a tie for second and third.  The person with the most firsts wins the tie, so third was Lynn.  I am starting to get a little dizzy, they read second, only two points behind first, is Marty Perkins.  OMG.  They lead out Wave.  I literally burst into tears.  Kate and I both won the saddles this weekend.  Pinch me.  :) I can't imagine having any more fun, I love this sport!  I think I am an adrenalin junky at heart.  :)  But I should have known it would be a lucky day for us, Sunday was Archie's birthday.


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