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We Are Flying Solo

Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts

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 3, 2015

Don't Expect Sentences In Satuday's So8ths 3DE Update Of Blogger-Exploding Epicness

Moar prize oogling!  Thanks, of course, to all these people & more:

Mary Ellen at Logorific did a fantastic job on the long banners!!

A better picture of Beka's surprise that made me sniffle:

It's been my nametag decoration...
Meghann went overboard & sent beautiful certificates & a sample for display:

The lovely banners will frame tonight's Derby party & dinner display in the little indoor out back:

And the reason I do it, the reason you all need to do it...

N3DE XC: Jodie Stowell & Island Fever lock on to the stone wall

If Becky's picked her #1... (N3DE rider Alcy Christie & Abraxis in the Phase C Assist box)

N3DE:  Sabine Desper & Adamek pause for their super crew!

Solo's Minon Erica looks like she got the temp check job in the 10-minute box! (who else stands at the horse's butt?)

Amanda Miller-Atkins & Barley clear N3DE gorgeous XC Fence 1

N3DE Julia Burke jogs Davignio for the Ground Jury before proceeding to Phase D:  XC!

N3DE Ann Bower & Prosecco (also "Best Turned Out" for their division jogs!) clear the XC Frame because this.  Donkey Hode (who won Best Conditioned over all divisions!), currently in 2nd place in the N3DE explains it all, walking back to the barn with an equine smile.
Because it's just zen, man...

January 27, 2014

2013 Adult Rider Of The Year?!

Yes, somehow, somewhere, my circle of awesome fellow USEA Area II Adult Riders have named dorky little me as the 2013 recipient of our Adult Rider of the Year award!

As is obvious to anyone who knows me, this is not an award for riding in lots of events, LOL.  I can't remember the last time I got to sit ON one of my horses...

It is generally a surprise award, given out at our annual ARII AR (har har!) meeting.  These meetings include forums, great educational talks and of course, an awards luncheon (poor girl usually sits in the hall and eats a sandwich because the lunch is very expensive).  I wasn't able to make it up this year, as it is usually in northern VA and I'm not flush with diesel money right now, so our group coordinator called me in advance to inform me of the award and ask for a few pictures. 

After I was done being shocked and honoured (ok, maybe I'm still not done), my brain was tired and it went, "OOOO, PLAY WITH HORSIE PICTURES!"  So, since I need to make sure everyone knows how dorky I am, I made a little collage and included the fabulous logo made for us by Kate over at Polar Square Designs

Hey, I'm even wearing my ARII AR shirt!
What I didn't know was that our coordinator was going to read my rambling thank you email OUT LOUD at the luncheon.  Where the keynote presenters were Evention's Dom and Jimmie Schramm (that's why I wanted to go to the meeting so I could meet those talented horse consumption impressionsits!!).  Dang, I should have included a really ridiculous face picture!

But, again, thank you so much, I really do enjoy every chance I get to participate!  And don't forget to read the wonderful story of our Horse of the Year, Santos, an exemplary horse of soul and generosity.


December 5, 2012

Solo's Infamy Makes Leap Across The Pond!

Check it out!  We are the Equestrian Blog of the Day on Haynet, the UK's social blogging  network for equine and country-like folks!  Woohoo!  Don't forget to enter their Christmas contest to win a great pair of boots so you can tromp around in your mud European style.  There is also a great "Agony Aunt" column where you can write your very own "Dear Abby, my horse is naughty...." letter as well as a forum and a place to network your own blog into the young and rapidly growing web.  Subscribe to the newsfeed, like them on Facebook and generally click like it's 1999 (omg, I just dated myself).  Thank you, Haynet for the shout out!

February 11, 2012

Saudade: The Sadness That Is Full Of Laughter

The Portuguese word "saudade" has no direct English translation, but describes a deep longing and love for something that may never return.  It can describe a collection of memories, of cherished moments whose recollection brings joy and allows one to relive past triumphs.

The Armenians have the same word, with a different spelling, the combines the sadness of loss and the nostalgia for times past with laughter, laughter from the unbridled happiness these experiences bring to our lives.  It is called "mall" or "permallje" and it encapsulates a complexity of human emotion in a place where English fails.

This afternoon, I took a few pictures (in a very cold wind!!) of the Main Man with his 2011 Area II smurf awards, for they really are his, not mine.  Solaris, my partner, my soulmeet, the horse whose spark shot to life with the first glimpse of a start box and who showed me a pureness of joy in his gallop, a relishing of the very motion and speed itself, that I had never known before.  I'll never ask him to jump a 3' jump again, but we may yet have a few gallops to share.  And there really is one word that fits what I feel when I look at these pictures:

Saudade, my friend, joy for the journey and sorrow for its end.  Permallje, my mate, for the laughter in those memories and the ones we have yet to create.  You changed my life forever and there isn't a single day that your eyes don't touch my soul.  Thank you. 
I swear to cod, he is smirking...

January 23, 2012

We Won Stuff!

As my sidebar declares, I am very proud to be a member of the USEA Area II Adult Rider Program.  You should go and join yours today -- not only do you stay abreast of clinics, horses for sale in the "network," and reports of the most recent horse trials, you meet wonderful, generous, knowledgeable people who are just as crazy about this sport as you are!  I can tell you without a doubt, Solo and I would not have had some of the opportunities we did without the support and generosity of this group.

This past Saturday was our Area II Annual Meeting in Virginia.  Sadly, there was no room in my budget to go and I was sorry to miss it, because I drove up with a neighbour last year and learned a great deal.  Also at the meeting is our Annual Awards Luncheon, although I have not been to that because it is also out of my budget range.  BUT, the point is, our Adult Riders group gives out a host of awards every year that are not based on racking up competitive points, but instead on contributions to the group and to the sport.  Started by eventer Yvonne Lucas of Red Moon Farm and honouring our smurf heritage inspired by Captain Mark Phillips distaste for the adult amateur rider, which we adopted with great pride, these awards single out eventers with heart!

Now I never win anything.  I am not that person.  I'm a very good clapper though.  So just imagine my surprise when one of my fellow Adult Riders informed me....

I had won the Indian Smurf award, for "great personal strength against adversity, showing toughness, heart, and perseverance!"  I admit, I remain slightly bemused that I won the award for bad things happening to you, it truly could be no other way!

But that was not enough excitement, because I was also named...

Area II Adult Rider Member of the Year!

I am floored, stunned, honoured, and frankly terrified that I have so much to live up to!

I don't feel like these awards are really for me though.  Because I would be nothing and nowhere without Solo, who, even as we crashed to the bottom of the heap, believed in me and never stopped greeting me at the door with that look that forever connects us.  The word "partner" cannot even encompass what he has been to me and cannot describe the strength of spirit and forgiveness and patience he continues to offer me.

And my world would be darker indeed without the bright hope that Encore brought into my life.  We are certainly a work in progress, but if he will just bear with me, I think we can have a lot of fun together.

So it is really the horses.  It is always the horses.  The reason for trying, the air to keep breathing, the passion to tackle the next course.

To Solo & Encore & to all our partners who do more for us than we can say, as well as to my fellow Adult Riders who nominated and supported me...

Thank you.