Monday, June 11, 2012


I held in my hand six VIP tickets to the First Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore, the site of Apassionata (, a traveling horse revue which came through Baltimore this past weekend. For this entertaining show, a mix of equine mastery, trick-riding, human acrobatics and synchronized maneuvers on horseback, I wanted attire that would be chic but still casual and comfortable. So I pulled on some black, Levi’s 512, bootcut jeans and a black Tee fancied up by ruched sleeves and a pattern of silver and gold swirls on the front, one of the treasures tucked in a box of fabulous hand-me-downs I received recently from Joyce in Spokane, the mother of my best friend, Kari.

To play up the silver and gold theme, I chose a hand made mixed metal choker necklace and matching earrings that I found at Tina’s Antiques & Jewelry, a quirky but fabulous little shop at 237 Main Street in Reisterstown, Maryland 410-833-9337, and a silver and gold-metal fashion ring I picked up in Dallas a few years back. I added a silver-metal watch and bracelet and finished my look with gladiator-style high-heeled sandals by Lucky Brand.
From left to right: my cousin Claudia and her daughter Anya, me, and Steve, Brittney and Liz from Gaitaway Stables
Joined by three residents from the stable where I keep my horse and by my cousin and her animal-loving daughter, the six of us took our seats at one of only 15 VIP tables set up on the floor of the arena’s center stage. We had a large round table all to ourselves, adorned with a white tablecloth and cloth napkins, a tray of cheeses, fruit, and crackers and an assortment of bite-size desserts, along with drink coupons for beer or wine, which we happily consumed. As I looked around at the hundreds of patrons taking their places in cramped bleachers on either side of the arena stage, I decided I could get used to this VIP treatment very quickly!
Our VIP table was right next to the stage
As the two-and-a-half hour show unfolded less than six feet from where we sat, we were entertained by equestrian acts featuring Andalusian, Camargue, Friesian and Lusitano breeds, all set to music, including multiple-horse teams jumping over flaming cross-poles and dressage maneuvers performed in the dark with blazing fireworks sparklers fastened to the horses’ front leg boots.
None of the acts was particularly breathtaking, nor soul-stirring, as Cirque de Soleil’s Cavalia had been several years before, but then these tickets weren’t as expensive as those had been, either. And for those who had never experienced Cavalia, Apassionata was a delightful way for a horse lover to spend an evening.

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