Have You Heard of Cow Croquet?

If you’re coming to visit Paws Up this winter, we have a new winter challenge. Show your mastery of wrangling cattle by taking part in our new equestrian adventure, Cow Croquet. You and three of your cowboy/cowgirl friends will mount horses in the Saddle Club’s indoor arena and try to guide cows through one of five gates—just as if you were knocking croquet balls through metal hoops in the back yard. You will compete against another team of four players, and each team takes turns to try to “push” the cows through the selected gate. The leader/referee of the match yells out the selected gate (1–5) at the beginning of each round, and each team is timed on how long it takes to get the cows through the gate. The team with the best results and times wins! The idea to offer this new activity came from The Resort’s own Equestrian Manager Jackie Kecskes. We sat down with Kecskes to find out more about this creative idea and to get her thoughts on wintertime at Paws Up.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA

FOR COW CROQUET?

I bought a border collie last October and was watching a lot of training videos online. I knew if he’s going to live on a ranch he should be handy. I kept coming across videos of sheepdog trials (where the border collie must herd sheep through a series of gates, independent of the human, who is a long distance away whistling directional commands). This got me thinking. We already offer team penning during wintertime, but we were still lacking the cattle drive element that people love so much in the summer—the act of moving a large group of cows as a unit. I set up some gates in the arena, substituted cows for sheep and people on horseback for a border collie, and that is how cow croquet was born.

HOW LONG IS THIS ACTIVITY?

It takes two hours from start to finish.

WILL THIS ACTIVITY ONLY BE OFFERED IN THE WINTER MONTHS?

Yes. It is a winter exclusive!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WINTERTIME AT PAWS UP?

The atmosphere—everything seems to get very quiet,

despite all the hustle and bustle of our guests doing activities

and enjoying the snow. There’s something about the ranch

getting blanketed in fresh snow that makes it magical.

WHAT OTHER EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES DO YOU OFFER IN THE WINTER?

What don’t we offer would be the better question; with the

addition of skijoring last winter we now offer everything

from trail rides to indoor team penning and Cow Croquet

to picturesque sleigh rides through the homes.

Possibly the World’s Most Uplifting Countdown

Make a resolution to finally have the New Year’s Eve of your wildest dreams. No crowds, no traffic. Join us for a weekend filled with wintery outdoor adventures like snowmobiling, horseback riding, snow tubing, cross-country skiing and skijoring (to name a few). Then get cozy inside with movie nights, shopping and bowl game watching. And when it’s time to ring in the new year, you can celebrate in spectacular fashion right here at The Resort. You’ll find a dazzling night that begins with an elegant, five-course dinner and ends with fire dancers, fireworks and a live performance by American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox. After you retire to your private vacation home and wake up to a lavish breakfast buffet, you’re looking at an ideal welcome to 2018.

Our vast menu of activities provides opportunities to do things you love, as well as things you’ve always wanted to try.

 

Paws Up’s Featured Entertainment

“Crystal has ‘a voice like dirt and diamonds.’ Her music is intended to bring a positive message of love and light to the world—things that folks will be able to take with them on their own journey, so that they, too, can feel truly alive.”

— from crystalbowersox.com

Crystal Bowersox will provide the music for Paws Up’s extravagant end-of-the-year celebration. She will perform with her trio for all New Year’s Eve revelers to enjoy. Crystal Bowersox’s emotive folk-rock-country style catapulted her from the cramped coffeehouses and cavernous subway tunnels of Chicago to millions of homes across the United States when she placed second on Season 9 of American Idol. Along with her old soul of a voice, her carefree style and “don’t mess with me” attitude set her apart from the other contestants and landed the self-taught songstress performances with Joe Cocker, Harry Connick, Jr. and Alanis Morissette.

This Year Between Christmas and New Years, the Holidays Are Even Sweeter at Paws Up.

Because we like to do everything right, down to the last little detail, we’ve arranged for our very own Sugar Plum Fairy to make a visit this winter. Chef Mindy Segal of Chicago’s ever-popular HotChocolate restaurant will be providing heavenly cupfuls of her signature dessert. Stop by the fully stocked HotChocolate Bar for an assortment of concoctions. Winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and author of Cookie Love, Segal will also be leading cookie-making classes* and creating a featured dessert. As if you needed any other reason to visit during this magical time of year.

Kick off the holidays with something spectacular

This Thanksgiving, create new traditions with a family vacation to The Resort at Paws Up. With an abundance of activities to choose from, there’s something on the menu for everyone. Get cozy inside with family movie nights and football and parade viewing parties, or satisfy your appetite for outdoor adventure with horseback riding, ATV rides, hayrides, touch football, bird watching and more.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the feast itself. For Thanksgiving dinner, you and yours can sit down to a spectacular spread at Pomp or opt to have a private, plentiful meal brought to your home, which will be whisked away when you’re done. That’s just one portion of a weekend filled with sumptuous, locally sourced fare brought to you by our world-renowned Executive Chef Ben Jones.

We sincerely hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend at The Resort at Paws Up. We’ll take care of everything—you just make the memories.

Along with five-star cuisine, you’ll enjoy exquisite vintage wine all weekend long from our featured vintner, Rombauer Vineyards. Established in 1980, Rombauer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated business with deep roots in food and wine. Owner KR Rombauer is a great-nephew of The Joy of Cooking author Irma Rombauer, and his ancestors originated from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. This rich history has led to an award-winning selection of wines that will make for an ideal pairing for your
Thanksgiving weekend.

Paws Up welcomes Dan Dubuque as the special musical guest for our Thanksgiving celebration. A solo acoustic guitarist, Dubuque is known for his unique approach to the Weissenborn, a slide guitar that’s played lap-style. Dubuque often adds percussive effects, playing the guitar like a drum while infusing every song with his free-sounding style.