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We Are Flying Solo

June 30, 2015

It’s An Organizer! It’s A Mounting Block! It’s…A Pretty Sweet Box!


For 175 lbs of feet or bum! Solo box incl. for scale.
Raise your hand if you are so over digging for the hoofpick in the abyss that is your grooming box.

Yeah.  OVER.  IT.

Lucky for you, I've always got one eye open for the perfect box.  Brush box.  Clipper box.  Blanket box.  Boot box.  Organize ALL THE THINGZ box.

Well, what if it has a treaded top & is weight-rated for use as a mounting block (or picking ticks like a monkey braiding manes) too?  Oh yes.

 The polypropelene Horze Smart Grooming Box has not only that, but also sports a lock loop on the front for security & arrives in your matchy colour of choice (maaaan, I should have gone for the powder blue, it's our accent colour...but hey, there is even something for you crazy pink lovers!).

Removable divider & "bits 'n pieces" tray in place
With a lift-out accessory tote & divider, it doesn't become the dreaded Bottomless Purse.

Neat trick: the basket will sit on the edge for mud slurry avoidance needs!
Its only shortcoming: it is a tad too short for the critical "spray bottle test."

Derp.  But it's ok, your WD-40 still fits!!
BUT. Domed lid still leaves room for sticky-uppies. (It's a word now, deal)
However, as a compact organizer with double-duty stool powers, I think it's a great option with lots of flexibility, especially for the trailer:  a travel grooming, clipper, wrap, braiding, or what-can-you-think-of box for the trail or showgrounds that hangs around to give you a leg up, so you don't have to do that "I totally meant to slide off my trailer fender to check out my horse's girth VERY closely" moment (oh, is that just me?).

Added size information:  boost height is 12", while your standing platform on top is approximately 14" long by 11" wide.
For all your favourite matchy thingz!  Ok, so I really like blue...a lot... What product placement?? ;P
Check it out along with other great grooming goodies here; all products come with a 30-day 'happiness guarantee' & orders over $75 ship both ways for free!

Thanks again to the great & always friendly folks at Horze for the opportunity to share a hands- (& feet) on experience with you!
www.horze.com

June 15, 2015

We Have A Winner!

From CBS Sports
Well, yeah, there’s that.

My apologies to the patient (& hilarious) entrants to our SmartPak gift card giveaway for not posting sooner.  Jobs & sad things both tamp one’s ability to keep up with it all.

Hey, some work!
It was very educational for me as well.  I learned that HorseWorld has no faith in my redneck ideas either, ha!  I kid, I’m sure (at least, I’m telling myself) the guesses at my ETA to failure were based on personal experience.

However, apart from the eventual smashing of aforementioned magnet (which I maintain doesn’t really need a shape anyway, now it’s just unique), my Bucket Magnet actually worked!!  Well, I didn’t find any nails after a very thorough search, but the mechanism stayed intact for the entirety of the search area. 

Alas, the universe always seems to hear when you start getting all proud of yourself.  Across the final slope of the evening, the edge of the bucket juuuust brushed the rising ground mid-turn enough to produce that ego-popping bump.

So congratulations (and thank you very much for your vote of confidence!!) to Abigail Powell, charming  author of The Maggie Memoirs, for coming the closest the optimum time of 0.8 hrs (48 minutes; you were only 3 minutes off, I see a bright eventing future!) by tractor hour-o-meter!!!  You can click the little green email envelope at the top right of the page to contact me or leave your email in the comments & you get $10 to splurge during sale season at SmartPak!

June 6, 2015

Belmont Day: It’s Still A Small World!

In less than four hours (post parade at 6:40 pm Eastern Time, live stream from NBC here), Bob Baffert-trained colt, American Pharaoh will make his bid for the Triple Crown & Belmont Park’s last quarter-mile of track will once again ask if anyone can meet the challenge last conquered 37 years ago in Affirmed’s triumph (click for video).

Did I hear my name??
I don’t think I can NOT watch.

Fun Triple Crown History & Graphics:
Fab Infographics    |    Past Belmont Winners

Despite my ever-present worry for these young athletes, there is an uncanny series of connections between this afternoon’s grueling 1.5-mile thunder of hearts & hooves & the dappled liver chestnut I just hosed off after a short hill session.

American Pharaoh was sired by another Baffert-trained stallion, Pioneerof the Nile.  The latter made his own attempt at much-coveted garlands when he ran in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.  If it doesn’t immediately pop to mind, that was the year of 50-1 longshot, Mine That Bird’s incredible upset.

Under the guidance of legendary jockey, Calvin Borel (who also steals the show starring as himself in the film portrayal I JUST saw), that determined little gelding started dead last & ended up leaving the entire field of prestigious hopefuls in his wake on the way to collect his roses.



So why can’t I look away?

Some recent perusing of Equibase, made my eyes bug out (ok, it’s not that hard, but still…).  Encore’s own sire, Crowd Pleaser, was a 1995 PA-bred turf champion by AP Indy, winning his owners over $600,000 on the track.

And his last jockey in his final stakes wins (including the 2000 Sycamore Stakes, covering just over 1.5 miles on the beautiful grass of Keeneland Park, where he beat an Irish TB named Royal Strand who had set the track record just the year before)…was none other than Calvin Borel (who was finally inducted into the Hall of  Fame in 2013...I think winning over $125M earns him a spot!).

Click to embiggen
However, even if Pharaoh doesn't carry our historic connection across the wire first, breaking from #7 atop Curlin' son, Keen Ice, is Hall of Fame jockey, Kent Desormeaux, who rode Crowd Pleaser's dam, British mare Creaking Board in her last race in 1993, for yet another household racing name, trainer Bobby Frankel.

Regardless, just as I say in eventing:  may everyone keep the steel side down & run home safely!!

Will we see one?  Seattle Slew's 1977 Triple Crown trophy

May 29, 2015

It's Not About Eventing, It's About Living: For Seema


Always a smile
I repeat often how lucky I feel, to have made friends with & learned from so many wonderful people since getting involved in Adult Riders & volunteering.

One of those people (although she surely counted for at least 3 or 4) was Seema Sonnad.  Those of you involved in eventing are no doubt already aware, but we lost Seema this week.  She suffered a fatal heart arrhythmia during an ultra-marathon in Seattle.

Yes, ULTRA-marathon.  Because Seema was Wonder Woman incarnate in a thousand ways & I think she even ultra-walked out her front door every morning.  It would never even occur to her to be 'regular.'

She would show up to work four 13-hour days at an event after usually having flown across the country from a marathon or conference with about 3 hours of sleep...and I never heard the word "tired" cross her lips. I always joked to her that I felt compelled to take a nap for her!

And she most certainly ultra-gave every ounce of herself to the world around her & changed lives on a regular basis.  Including mine.  So, Seema, I want to say thank you, although those words are so woefully inadequate.

You more than earned this beautiful tribute to your stunning array of achievements from the American Journal of Managed Care, which naturally, you co-edited.

Essential Seema -- at Waredaca
I'll never forget arriving at work one morning & opening my inbox to find your email (I don't even know how you knew my work address), informing me that there was a paid entry to any horse trial I wanted through Event Entries, just waiting for me, as a thanks for volunteering & advocacy.

I burst into tears as I wrote a thank you. It was completely out of the blue, & meant so much to me because I cannot afford to compete on my own, as you knew.

We often refer to such acts as "going out of your way."  But that never applied to you...because it WAS your way, in the most beautiful connotation that "routine" can have.  Such seemingly small things which touch people's lives in an unforgettable manner.  

You perfected what I try (emphasis on try) to live, captured by my favourite poet & author, May Sarton, another amazing woman:

"I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seeds every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind."

It's tempting to say it's the end of an era, or some close cliche.  Nothing could be further from the truth, however.  Because of the blueprint you inspired us to build on, as not just eventers, but as women in science, as givers, as doers, as forces of life, being here, being now:  it's only the beginning.  Or to phrase it better, we've reached the start flags of Phase B & it's time to fly, primed by impossibly comprehensive coaching & warmup that could only have come from a spirit as fierce & gracious & bold & brilliant as this one.


May 24, 2015

Prize Giveaway! Guess The Time To “Brilliant Redneck Solution…Fail”


It seemed like such a good idea at the time…

I know, you’ve probably never used that sentence.  Heh.  But here’s your chance to profit from yet another of my ingenious ideas!

Your prize:  a $10 gift card to SmartPak…and my admiration for your thorough knowledge of idea fail.
My endless love...

To Be Fair, It Was A Good Idea

Arriving home from work a couple weeks ago, I discovered that apparently a chupacabra had attempted to jump my fence.

Drawing by Michael Lee (2007)
SRSLY!  It was the only conclusion I could draw from the evidence.  For newcomers, my fencing is primarily the pre-existing & perfectly built hi-tensile wire, lined with a strand of bi-polar HorseGuard tape (Best. Product. Ever.); only the tape is hot.

I walked out the back door & found the top two wires (this is heavy-duty 12 mm galvanized wire) were snapped clean off about 1” from the corner & the tape had been snagged & stretched. 

Fortunately, HorseGuard is extremely well made, so while stretched, no wires or nylon fibres were broken, so that was a simple 5-minute job to re-tension.  Wire…less simple.

Epic Richard being epic
Thanks to Solo’s awesome Minion & wonderful neighbour, Richard (who has the big, professional wire crimpers), I spliced the wires back together & was able to repair the tensioners (I can’t remember if I’ve posted my discoveries about the amazing safety features of correctly-installed hi-tensile [post#17 in link]– but there are a lot, thank goodness!) that gave as designed when Mr. Chupacabra barged in.

What Really Happened?

Honestly, I still don’t know for certain.  Our deer are fairly small.  The damage was exactly the same as when Solo jumped through the fence when we first moved in.  :/  But he was still in (unless he jumped out, then back in?), there were no hoofprints of any kind on the outside, & neither horse had a mark on them.

See – chupacabra.

Let The Games Begin

The final missing piece was a pair of nails that held the wire insulator to the post.  At least I think so.  The insulator was pulled off, meaning the nails would have been ripped out.  However, because the wire fence came with the land, a few of the insulators are not nailed on anymore.  Naturally, I don’t remember if this was a loose one before or not.

Thx, Northern Tool!
But horses…nails…I had to do a thorough search.  I’d returned the borrowed giant draggy magnet I used to clean up after house construction, but I do have a very strong magnetic dish for studs that is also handy for random “I dropped another steel thing” jobs. 

Just holding it though, means I have to walk around bent over, holding it close to the ground.  Back arthritis.  Ow.  And it’s small.  So “let’s get creative, what can possibly go wrong?”

You’d think that’d be a warning flag, would you?

Tell me that's not genius
Brilliant Idea

Hey, it’s a magnet – why don’t I stick it to a shovel & then I don’t have to bend over?  OH SNAP!  I have to bush-hog that field, why don’t I snap it to the bottom of the tractor bucket:  TWO-FOR-ONE!

I was oh-so-careful, sticking the dish to the bottom corner of the FEL (Front End Loader) so I could see the edge from the driver’s seat.  I needed to keep a careful eye on it because it would require keeping the bucket extremely close to the ground to work, with frequent adjustments in order to not bump the ground & pull it off.

Because one of the first Laws Of Tractor Use is “anything you attempt to attach/use with a tractor will inevitably fall off/be dropped & you will run it over.”  Yeah, I bet you’ve done it.  But NO!  I was not going to let that happen, I was going to be vigilant!

Well, the Tractor Laws are like the Laws of Physics:  non-negotiable.

How To Win

In case it’s not blindingly obvious yet, yes, my dish is now, um, a different & distinctly flatter shape than it once was.  Hey, why does a magnet dish need edges anyway, it’s still magnetic?!

To enter:  in the comments, you get to guess how long I was proud of myself before I felt a thump & yelled “NOOOO!”  The closest person to elapsed time between idea implementation & idea fail wins!  You will have ten days from the time of posting to put in your guess.

Bring the noise.

May 17, 2015

Winners Don't Always Carry Ribbons

Partner love from Dr. Kim Keeton
Our sport is, above all, about partnership & horsemanship.  Winning comes in many forms & it’s not always about a number.  Every time I work an event, I see the people who display the best of those values, who achieve the quietest form of greatness.

And they are not always the ones holding a ribbon on Day 3.

Greatness I saw included young T3DE rider Laura Duhamel, who walked into the secretary's office at the end of endurance day & withdrew.  Although she & Fate's Patriot had only a single refusal on XC, she felt her horse just wasn't quite right & chose to take him home, putting her partner first so they could try again another day.

Lost with a map like this? Surely not!
Or Rebecca Barber, another Training 3DE entry. She found herself halfway through phase D…lost & desperately circling for the next jump.  Just as she reached her maximum time on course, she decided to retire.  All of our hearts fell with her as she walked back to stabling.

But after hanging up her bridle, she stayed to help others with a big smile for the remainder of the competition. It earned her the award that is my favorite to give: the Sportsmanship Award.

Which included an autographed copy of Training of the Three-day Event Horse and Rider, with a handwritten note from author God Jim Wofford himself, a prize I’d guess many of us would cage fight for (or you can buy new on Amazon...for $500?!!).  Not to mention the rest of the loot in her packed bag.

It’s Never Just A Dressage Show

Just getting there is an accomplishment on its own.  Completion of a long format event is yet another.  So each & every entry gets my resounding applause.

BN3DE Bonnie Coulter's grin says it all when she & 21-yr-old QH Otto Be Lucky finish Phase D (& place 5th!); thanks, Erica, for the WIN selfie!
Winning one of our special awards takes yet another level of heart & dedication, so a HUGE TFS shout-out to:

Donkey gets Becky's happy face!
Best Conditioned Horse, primary sponsor So8ths Farm:
Donkey Hote (I get to say his name again, yessss!), owned & ridden by Sue Goepfert; they were also a close 2nd both in the N3DE division & for the N3DE TIP award by a mere 2.9 points.

Lowest Scoring Adult Amateur, sponsored by BlackWatch Stables (must be a member of your Area Adult Rider program): Dr. Kim Keeton & Evita-Veron, T3DE division winners.

Effenzauber effen-gallops!
Best Turned Out in Jog-Ups, sponsored by Higher Standards Leather Care, Cowboy Magic, Brant Gamma Photos, Dover Saddlery, & Grand Meadows:
  • Training – Louisa Flaig & Effenzauber
  • Novice – Ann Bower & Prosecco
  • Beginner Novice – Patricia Thompson & The Dark Knight
Red Fury even pauses winningly
Highest Scoring TB, sponsored by The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP; some divisions did not have any riders who gave me numbers, hence the gaps):
  • Novice 3DE – Paychecker, with Minge Wiseman, who also won the N3DE division on their stunning 28.1 dressage score.
  • Beginner Novice 3DE – Red Fury, with our friend Nobie Cannon; they were 2nd in their division as well,  behind winner Emma Boswell & Sprite by only 0.3 points!!
  • Training HT – Laurelin, with Lisa Borgia, who also won the Open Training HT.
  • Novice HT – Action Jackson, with Erin Kimmer, 4th in Open Novice on a lovely 27.3.
And of course, CONGRATULATIONS to Kim, Minge, & Emma for winning the T/N/BN 3DE division, respectively!!!  In all three, the top three were separated by less than a single stadium rail (well, Novice had a whopping 5.2 pt spread, close enough), so well done under intense pressure.

Brad's mule is easy to spot
Moar Thank You

From the first day I met him, during a long format clinic with Becky Holder, where I tortured took Solo, farm owner Brad Turley has been beyond generous & supportive of both the long format & the adult amateur.  You can read his message in the gorgeous (not that I’m biased...) event program (apologies to those who got hard copies, subjected to printer error, but the linked .pdf has correct format).    

Thank you to Horse Junkies United, The Cheraw Chronicle, & Leslie Threlkeld with Eventing Nation for your articles (including a new one just yesterday), social media sharing, & Leslie's onsite help not only with media, but as Assistant Organizer!

BN3DE Don Warren & Sunny One adorably on their way to 6th
Thank you to the ever-wonderful Becky Holder for bringing her students down the road to participate; your support & presence throughout the event helps show our sport how much it matters!

Sorry, you just got photobombed by a Holder AND a TARDIS portajohn
To Dr. Debbie Williamson, owner of Williamson Equine Veterinary Associates, & Dr. Marsha Severt, of Brown Creek Equine Hospital (along with asst. Stephanie Graham, as Dr. Skip, Marsha’s husband & co-owner of their practice, couldn’t make it this year), who take time away from their own practices to help keep the horses safe & healthy.  To JJ Johnson, Radio Control Queen from here to Rolex & beyond, for enabling vital communication & sharing her vast experience with me!

JJ makes XC run smooth as silk; N3DE Heather King & CF Baltic Royal Tee
I Swear, This Post Has An End

If this were the Oscars, the band would have begun playing long ago; there are just too many thank you’s to clinicians, farm staff, volunteers, builders, riders & more, but hey, I did write a program for that…

It takes more than a village, really, it takes something akin to a metropolis, but the result…even I don’t have enough words to encompass it.  And while I can’t give away any secrets, 2016 is going to be even bigger, with even more features!

Have you started your trot sets yet?

N3DE Samantha Messamer & Finn McCool contemplate next year's plan

May 9, 2015

Who Makes The Magic Happen?

*Retroactive apology for heinously long post, should have split into two...
but all the awesome...& the words...so hard to fit...hang in there*

That moment which puts a tear in the corner of your eye, the exhilaration & triumph of achievement that comes with taking your horse to a whole new level of partnership:  participating in a long format event that represents the “heart” of our sport, such as Southern Eighths Farm’s Heart of the Carolinas.

It’s easy to recognize some of the elements which make it so special – just look at the Beginner Novice 3DE victory lap!



Exciting for me (after I contain my whimpering envy…ONE DAY!) is that Every. Single. Rider. who completed in both the BN & T3DE divisions got to take home not only their USEA completion ribbons & So8ths completion medals (damn straight, you earned a freaking medal), but also a much-coveted neck ribbon AND a bag of sweet prize loot!!!

This is just for the BN3DE division...
The Novice 3DE division had a few more competitors (we give prizes to 8th place), but all finishers still get the more-than-deserved USEA ribbon & So8ths medal (can I just put one in my pocket to borrow for a year & pretend?).

N3DE: Sabine Desper & her Akhal-Teke Adamek finish Endurance Day!
So who is it that makes these enormous grins possible?

YOU.

You heard me right.

Weary, but smiling judges & staff as SJ winds down
It Takes A Village…For 365 Days

Anyone who has ever been part of the core staff running even a schooling horse trial knows what a monumental task it is.  The words “herding cats” do not even begin to describe the challenge & there are more moving parts than the inside of a grandfather clock.

However, every single one of those parts, from judges to concessions, competitors to volunteers, sponsors to farm staff to secretaries to stabling to the one who put the flagging tape on the parking sign, is a person.  A person like you, a person like me.

Click to embiggen
This blog has never been about marketing or money & it never will be.  As I’ve said so many times before, I share my journey because I know there are thousands of us out there, working adult amateurs trying to make it work, trying to figure it out.

So the reason I was typing at midnight last Saturday, the reason Solo’s beloved Minion & I have Twitted you to death, is because this event, aside from being mind-blowingly awesome, is the perfect illustration of all that makes eventing unique.

A group of people, from all walks of life (even non-horsey ones) & just as many states, come together & build, through a combination of diverse skillsets & what I’m convinced is a dose of fairy dust, as one competitor so aptly put it, “the experience of a lifetime.”

Seriously, these were my Steeplechase judges - I told you they could fly - when I was radio control for Phases A/B/C on Endurance Day (hey, my butt’s even in the end of the video, woot, along with Best. Organizer. Ever. & friend/neighbour/teacher, Cindy DePorter), from the very special All Veteran Group (absolutely check out their website, even more amazing than this video; THANKS, GUYS!).


Video warning:  Viewers who have ever experienced something magical & had to say goodbye may experience simultaneous weeping/joy.  Not that I, erm...

I’m Not Special

I’m a nobody.  Yes, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t have money, I forget what spare time is, I often work 50+ hours a week at a stunningly low-paying job (who gave that great advice “do what you believe in?” LOL), & I’d have to look in my own archives to remember the last time I rode a jump course.
Although Solo won 6th with Cari Budny in N3DE (srsly, his name is Solo!)
I’ve never won championships, trophies, or stacks of horse trial ribbons.  I don’t have any special certifications (well, relevant ones; I’m pretty sure my Wildland Firefighter Red Card is not very useful at a horse trial…unless the XC course catches on fire, then I've got it covered).

I do most of my own training because I can’t afford many lessons, & I’ve never competed above Training in eventing or First Level in dressage.

Here Is What I Do Have.  And So Do You.

Despite not owning a horse until a very special person bought me Solo in 2006, I’ve spent a lifetime watching horses & reading everything that has the word “horse” in it.  I believe in good horsemanship above all else:  my partner ALWAYS comes first.

Although not a competitive person, I have run horse trials (pretty much because that’s the only way I can run a proper XC course, heh) & benefited from those who took their time to give me that privilege.  And I believe in “paying it forward.”
BN3DE winners Emma Boswell & Sprite
I know how to push buttons, count (at least to ten), I can use a pencil, send emails, & print documents.  I can even drive a golf cart without breaking it.  *pause for permitted giggle*

These things may seem ridiculously simple, but this truly is how I, how YOU make magic.  And not just on event weekend.  Planning for the 2016 event started the day after the 2015 event ended.  There are so many more ways to help, even if you can’t be present on the showgrounds.

Treating vets Dr. Marsha Severt (R) & Stephanie Graham
Who Can You Be?

It is impossible to name everyone without giving you carpal tunnel from scrolling (you can read team bios, as well as check out great educational material in the full event program, downloadable here), but I want to offer an inside-out perspective & debunk any misconceptions that YOU aren’t special enough or qualified enough to be a part of this or any other event.  As has been wisely said, “We may be small, but we can do great things.

You can be Ed Madden, a semi-retired health care consultant & grandparent, who, along with his charming wife, Annie, recently moved to the Carolinas from Seattle.  Ed is our safety coordinator each year, making sure we all know what to do in every possible contingency (that hopefully never happens).

You can be Cindy Wood (yeah, it gets confusing on the radios), an Adult Amateur who is our dedicated Stable Manager to perfection here & at Waredaca’s N/T3DE in October, holding down the fort in the stalls & making sure all the horses have what they need.

She even TFS selfie'd Becky for me; two great people!
You can be Erica, Solo’s Minion, who is working on a post-doc at UNC-Chapel Hill while simultaneously raising her two-yr-old (human) with her husband, who also works full time.  She also has full-time duties dealing with me, which is a feat unto itself!!  She was an incredible help to me this weekend, at her first ever 3DE, running TFS social media while I spread-sheeted like a fiend, ferrying & handing out prize loot, bit checking, & filling any other gaps as needed.

You can be Melissa Rundt, serving dual duty being hilarious & upbeat when staff got tired, as well as making the requisite pre-event grocery run so everyone had meals & snacks at all times (my job in 2013, only she does it better!).

Melissa always strikes a dramatic pose
You can be James Baker, another working Adult Amateur rider who has ridden at So8ths & Waredaca’s long format event with his faithful partner, Wings.  He was in attendance again this year…just showing up to volunteer wherever needed.

T3DE Bag O'Win. Value: $1,400
You Are Even A Sponsor

We often think of event sponsors as companies with products on storeshelves nationwide & thick catalogues & professionally designed websites.

We are beyond grateful the event & the USEA Classic Series has some of these, such as the partnership of:
(Full list of event sponsors & links here)
  
TIP loot includes $75 cash
And I cannot leave out The Jockey Club’s great TB Incentive Program (TIP), whose fabulous rep was so helpful & friendly & voluntarily offered awards not just for the 3DE, but for the HT we run alongside!  (If you don't have a number for your OTTB yet, getting one today is easy & instant...& free)

However, YOU are sponsors too.

As so many of our entries are young or amateur riders, I couldn’t think of a better group of partners to add to the team than small businesses started by members of the same community!
 
You are Melinda, creator of Nickerbait, handmade horse treats that I would probably eat before they made it to my horses.

Who, when I emailed in a panic, searching for tracking numbers, because the farm did not appear to contain her box of prizes, sent back a set of printable gift certificates on Saturday night.  She also makes custom labels for events, if someone wants their brand on prizes, in addition to contributing products to fundraising events. 

You are Kate, owner of BlackWatch Stables, a friend of the farm owner, & 3rd generation warmblood sporthorse breeder, who couldn’t make it out to volunteer this year.  So instead, after contacting me asking how she could help, she donated a $100 SmartPak gift card & a fly sheet as the Lowest Scoring Adult Amateur award (taken home by Dr. Kim Keeton, winner of the T3DE division, & owner/head vet of Coyote Creek Equine Veterinary Services).  Just because.

Dr. Keeton & Evita-Veron on their way to finishing T3DE on their 29.6 dressage score
You are Pat of So Southern, who hand-makes customized saddle pads, covers, & other fabric products, even creating entire collections for your school/team/organization with specially reserved patterns & logos.  She sent three beautiful baby pads including return shipping labels so winners can send them back for monogramming.

Not kidding: mad golf cart skillz
You are Beka, of The Owls Approve, who was crafting unique gifts for friends & fun until she was generous enough to say yes to my impulsive recruitment over dinner in Savannah three months ago.  And now has a sold-out inventory in her Straight Shot Metal Smashing Etsy shop because everyone who saw them had instant coveting.

Of course, there are more, as previously mentioned & listed.  And each of you, from largest to smallest, are a gear without which this clock would not keep time.

To be continued...

3rd in BN3DE, Madeline Maynard & Airborne Ranger look like Endurance Day was no biggie