BreyerFest 2016 Carnival!

By Erika Chen-Walsh

Team KYB just returned home from an exciting (and exhausting) weekend at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park for BreyerFest 2016.  This year’s theme was Carnival, and, once again, Lexington was alive with enthusiasm.

KYB was invited back for the second consecutive year to perform at the Celebration of Horses evening entertainment, which was expanded to two sold-out evenings in the Alltech Arena.  In addition to performing five feature acts, Yvonne Barteau produced the 2016 show, organizing the acts of some of this country’s finest horse trainers and exhibitionists, including Sylvia Zerbini, Dan James, Kim and Yvonne Barteau and all of KYB Dressage, and many others.  (See photos below.)

Traveling and performing with KYB Dressage never fails to be fun, educational and exciting.  And meeting legendary trainers and performers like Sylvia and Dan, who are devoted to the welfare of the horses in their care is inspiring.  It is also awe-inspiring to watch these people perform with their horses.  I am so inspired, in fact, that I have conceptualized my act for next year, and I will share it with you here.

I am going to begin working immediately on a bridle-less and bareback act that will feature liberty work, bull whips, archery on horseback and blank-firing guns.  I will have fireworks.  In lieu of a raptor, I will have an actual phoenix that rises from its own ashes after having been burned down by fire from my live dragon.  I will descend from aerial silks into my herd of two dozen miniature unicorns that will perform a wave for the audience with lighted sparklers on their horns while I sing the National Anthem with a symphony accompaniment.  My act will be 45 minutes long and all audience members will receive a free bag of fairy dust that will drop down from a hologram starlit sky.   Yvonne, when can we talk about costuming?  😉

Special thanks to Kim and Yvonne for including me on your adventures.  Thanks to Kayla for making sure that I don’t get lost out there in the arena and making it so easy to follow her lead and for always smiling no matter the heat, the work, or any other challenges that arise.  Thank you, Jessica, for helping us in spite of ourselves. Without you, we’d look so much less sparkly.  And to Helen, Lauren, Salud, and Missy, my heartfelt gratitude for all of your help and for always making the care of our horses your highest priority!

The amazingly graceful Sylvia Zerbini of Grande Liberté Farm astounded audiences with her liberty act featuring nine Arabian horses working in perfect synchronicity.

The charismatic Aussie cowboy, Dan James, never fails to delight audiences wherever he goes.

KYB Dressage performing Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, with Yvonne Barteau, Kayla Barteau, Lauren Stark and Erika Chen-Walsh

Jeff Wilson’s performance featuring his Morgan stallion and a Sakr falcon.

Helen Judziewicz as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz astride RA Santiago.

The Knights of Iceland on their magnificent Icelandic horses.

KYB’s Helen Judziewicz as Dorothy and Lauren Stark on GP Boater as the Wicked Witch. Also featuring Simon as Toto :)

KYB’s Missy McGinn and Tommy Fahey with rescue horse, Coraline.

Yvonne & me getting ready for show time!

Marcos & me as the Scarecrow.

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