The 2008 Equinics Opening Ceremony

Presented by Pazzjazz of Minnesota Downs

We are gazing out across the most incredible horse track you’ve ever seen…

The crowd rises as the lights dim and the music slowly starts softly then building in crescendo to almost a fever pitch…

There are fireworks and flags waving in a constant sea of color and motion…

Over the top of the stadium are a magnificent showing of the colors of the Equinics in an almost cloudlike display…

Suddenly as the colors and lights are seemingly everywhere, the lights dim to near darkness and a spotlight reaches to the far side of the track where it picks up a lone rider. The rider is wearing blank silks. In keeping with the history and traditions of the SIM, this rider slowly gallups around the perimeter of the track. This set of silks symbolizes all the great residencies, all the great stables, and all the great horses that are no longer with us.

He trots up to the ceremonial circle that will later be reserved for the great champions of the Equinics races. We observe a minute of silence as we quietly think of those no longer with us.

The lights slowly come back up and and once again at the far end of the track we see movement. This years Equinics is known as the Race for the Cure. All of the races are named for charities that fight the worst diseases and frailties that have been endured by mankind and animals all over the globe. There is a single marcher with a banner showing the Race for the Cure logo.

As he marches the long walk to the center of the stadium, we pause to think about all of the families and loved ones that have been lost to these debilitating diseases and illnesses. This is a wonderful theme for these games this year and much good will come of the deserved recognition garnered during these games.

As the black clad banner carrier reaches the center of the track, children emerge from the entrance bearing the banners of the charities that have been designated as individual race charities for these games.

The children circle around the banner carrier and the anticipation builds as a red clad bugler sounds the call to the track as the residencies begin their own parade of silks.

There is another magnificent parade of every color of the rainbow as the residencies come in one at a time with all of the owners in their own silks following the flag bearer carrying the flag of the residency. It is a great honor to be asked to carry the residency flag and you can bet that there were some decisions over many a beer into the wee hours of the morning for some of these groups making that weighty choice. The residencies are in alphabetical order. Some are large with many members, and some much smaller but walk just a proudly as their mounts will have equal billing in this Equinics contest.

They are led by the host residency:

The Representatives from each Residency step forward and take the Equinics Oath
(Track managers: please click to take the oath)

The torch touches the eternal flame and a voice rings out:

Let the Games begin.