One of a handful of horses returning to the Arabian US Open this year for a THIRD time is Kimberly Butler and Jim Blevins handsome grey gelding, EQ Escalade! And while I've heard some very interesting stories of how horses joined their human partners, I think this one wins the prize!
According to Kimberly, the story goes like this- “In 2012, we were at the Region 12 Championship show where I was showing my Western horse. Because horse showing is hurry up and wait at the best of times, I told my husband that he might as well find something to do that week. Well he found something to do! He hung out in the barn with Escalade and fell in love with him-AND BOUGHT HIM. Without telling ME! That Saturday night, while we were watching Escalade in the Native Costume class, he asked me to pick the winner. I picked Escalade. He ended up being named unanimous Regional Champion. And I didn’t know we owned him! I didn't find out we owned until later that night at the after party! The rest is history!
The Central Park show is a great event for Escalade because he’s very outgoing, loves people and thinks he should be the center of attention at all times. The opportunity to have people meet our wonderful Arabian horses up close is one of the main reasons we choose to do this show each year.
Escalade loves being in the ring! "The louder the crowd screams the better he likes it." says Kimberly. Some of those voices cheering in the stands will be Kim and Jim because Escalade will be ridden by Brooke Fuchs, who has been his rider for this event for the previous two years.
There are a lot a great moments from a show like this, especially with an outgoing horse like Escalade. But one of Kim’s favorites is from 2015, the very first year for the Arabian Open. It wasn’t one of the exciting grand “ta da” public moments with applause and adulation. It was a simple quiet moment between Escalade and JIm. Or as Kim says "A boy and his horse". Which is every bit as important as all the rest!