Last night, we helped with the 20th annual UC Davis Horse Auction. Samia and I have been at 19 of the 20 - we missed the auction two years ago when my folks took us all to Hawaii. I'm having a hard time comprehending the fact that I'm old enough to have done anything in my adult life (after college, that is) twenty times! I was 25 years old the first year that I served as the auctioneer for the sale. I was working for the California Cattlemen's Association; Sami was recently out of vet school. I still had hair! Dan Sehnert, who has worked in the Animal Science Department at UC Davis since I was in college, is the only person who has been to more of the auctions than we have.
Looking around last night, I found myself measuring my participation in the event against the changes in the facilities and people associated with the horse program at UCD. The first year of the auction, the redwood trees on the west side of the arena where we've held the auction were less than 20 feet tall - they didn't provide much shade. Last night, most of us were shaded by the trees. Joel Viloria is now the horse barn superintendent - he's the fourth one we've worked with.
Another development (most welcome in our mind) has been the addition of mules to the sale. At least thirteen years ago, UCD started offering mules sired by Action Jackson, a jack owned by Pat Downing. Twelve years ago, I bought a thoroughbred mare in foal to Action - our mule Frisbee was born in April of 2001. The next year, her brother Boomerang was born. Last night, we sold Action's Playbunny - a sorrel molly mule who topped the sale at over $3000! Next year, UCD will be offering a draft mule out of a Percheron mare. The mules have mad the auction truly unique!
Age sneaks up on me. If you'd asked me when I was 18, I'd have told you that I would have things figured out by the time I was 45. Now that I've reached that age, I realize that figuring stuff out is an ongoing process! Sometimes it takes an annual event to remind me of where I've been, how much I've learned, and how much more I hope to experience!