A Letter to Our Loyal Riders, Trainers, and Sponsors:
It is with great regret that we write to inform you of a serious incident that took place this morning at the Sun Fair International Horse Show.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., our resident barista Carol Schmitt opened the door to the beloved Sun Fair Coffee trailer to begin her typical Saturday activities—grinding, brewing, and blending hot and frozen coffee drinks for our some-300 riders, trainers, barn staff, and visitor attendees. Alas, as Carol attempted to flip on the light switch, it became clear immediately that something was amiss.
Despite having a backup generator in place for just this kind of scenario, Sun Fair Coffee was, for reasons still unknown, utterly and completely without power. Power to brew its life-sustaining pots of steaming, aromatic joe. Power to make the ice used in its potent blend of Ethiopian-derived, Fair-Trade cold brew and iced coffees. Power to sustain the blender that whirs into being Sun Fair’s vaguely nutritious, substantially over-priced protein shakes, java-chinos, and fruit smoothies.
Ever the optimist, our Carol attempted to find a work-around. She ran to the trailer cupboard, where—yes!—she had stored a bulk-supply of instant espresso powder, used in some of Sun Fair Coffee’s blended drinks. As the first wave of yawning grooms began to arrive, she handed each a bathroom cup-sized portion of the sludgy, room-temperature elixir—stirring each furiously by hand as patron after patron appeared at her window.
Unfortunately, after alerting Horse Show Management to the impending crisis—and despite our best efforts to immediately dispatch a fleet of maintenance staff to troubleshoot—it soon became apparent to both Carol and our Sun Fair International team that the problem was quickly spinning beyond our control.
By 6 a.m., at least nine horses had escaped from their under-caffeinated handlers, running wild around the grounds, longe lines (and in some cases, working students) dragging behind them. The sleepy-eyed jump crew were so foggy, they accidentally imported truckloads of brush fill and the tallest, heaviest boxes on site to the Grand Prix ring, where they set to work building the course for Sunday’s International Hunter Derby. Unfortunately, the day was Saturday, and the class scheduled for the afternoon was the CSI3* Grand Prix.
Elsewhere on the grounds, Schooling Ring 1 had been used all week for longeing and was neither dragged nor watered, making it completely incompatible with either equine or human life. Schooling Ring 3 and the surrounding grounds were instantly flooded when a water truck driver (who shall remain nameless) fell sound asleep at the wheel. And on Pony Island (oh, what can we say about Pony Island?!) the scene could best be described, in Biblical terms, as the Fall of Babylon.
Loose, panicked ponies circled the ring at a gallop, screaming, swirling a giant cloud of dust into the air. Small children, dislodged from their tiny mounts, simply sat there, stunned and angry, on the ground where they fell. Dumbfounded (perhaps, hungover) trainers, still bleary-eyed from the night before and without their much-depended-upon 5:30 a.m. caffeine infusion, ran about hopelessly, desperate to ascertain which loose ponies and catatonic children belonged to them.
By approximately 6:45 a.m., it had become clear to Horse Show Management that, unlike show business, our event simply must not go on. The safety of our competitors and attendees is ever our top priority, and with this in mind, we must announce that the entire lineup of Saturday classes, including the $40,000 Lavazza CSI3* Grand Prix, have been canceled indefinitely before anyone is seriously hurt.
It is our greatest hope that power may be restored to Sun Fair Coffee and that our regular schedule may resume as normal tomorrow. But really, at this point, we cannot say. On behalf of our entire team, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Stay safe out there, and please keep an eye on our social channels for updates.
Sun Fair International Horse Show Management