Horse Show Magic
Some horse shows have particularly special moments—magical moments— and for the East Coast Championship show, it happened during the Purebred Arabian Open mares class. It was a lovely group of mares, however it wasn't the Champion or even the Reserve Champion that stole the show. It was one of the Top Five mares, Brigetta PA (bred by Pegasus Arabians) shown by Chandler Brown. The eyes on them during the class and the cheers that rang out weren’t just from his family and friends but from every trainer, from every division, that happened to be on the rail at the time.
What made everyone’s heart lift up a bit wasn’t the cuteness factor—which was seriously off the charts! It was because we all got to see the best way to exhibit an Arabian in hand. And an 8 year old handler showed everyone how it can be done! Gigi’s conformation and beauty spoke volumes as she stood attentive and responsive and absolutely obedient and in tune with her handler. Proof that extreme drama and tension aren’t actually required to display the beauty of an Arabian. Chandler’s love of his horse may have reminded everyone that’s been “in the biz” why they got into it in the first place. Because they loved doing it!
Brigetta is owned by C&G Ranch in PA where Chandler’s father, Jeffrey Brown is trainer. Fifteen year old Gigi (a daughter of Armani FC) arrived there in 2014, having never been in a show ring in her life. When Chandler expressed an interest in showing halter, they picked the pretty Gigi, (already competing as a walk/trot 10&under mount) and just decided to see how it would go. Simply with the intent of having some fun with it. This dynamic duo showed their first halter classes in 2017, winning right from the start, but that’s not what impresses me the most.
What impresses me is that they haven’t lost that “let’s have fun with it” attitude! What impresses me is the trust that the two have with each other. What impresses me is that Jeff didn’t think twice about 8 year old Chandler showing in the Open Mares (right there in the ring with his idol, Ted Carson no less). They were having fun with it! Heck, the entire arena had fun!
Trainer Martha Rattner has seen Chandler and Gigi in action more than once, as she—along with Susan Witte and Isaac Taylor— had just one week prior, judged them at Region 16 in Syracuse NY. Says Rattner, “It was clear to us that we had judged not only a great kid with a marvelous attitude but one who had a wonderful relationship with a special little white mare. As Chandler began the first of the classes he showed in at Region 16, we learned that he had a special bond with his father as well. So many privileged children in our breed were at that very moment counting National titles in Oklahoma City and it occurred to me that Chandler was every bit as much a winner as they. He was surrounded by so many of us who witnessed the love from his lovely mare and his friends and family”.
Here's hoping that Chandler never loses what he has now—a love for the horses that he will undoubtedly show in the future.
Chandler’s parents, Jeffrey and Tanya are gratified and surprised by the way Gigi and Chandler have resonated with those that have seen them. Says Jeff, “I never would have guessed that Chan and Gigi would create this amount of attention! It is an honor and a privilege for us to receive all the positive comments—it is truly humbling—we just do what we love with the horses we love. Chandler absolutely loves her and he loves to show halter—it is so fun to watch them—and I kind of think she loves him too.”
So here’s to all those people out there that still show for fun and not just to qualify to go to the next event! To those that enjoy every moment and strive to do their personal best in whatever arena they find themselves in. As we head into the upcoming Arabian National Championship shows, let’s all hope a little of Chandler’s and Gigi’s magic rubs off on us all!