Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rollercoaster goes up...the rollercoaster goes down...

I knew when I set up the summer schedule that it was going to be a wild ride, but little did I know that it was going to be a freight train careening nearly out of control through the months of June and July!  We were pretty ambitious, setting up dressage shows or events nearly every weekend in those two months, and boy did it get crazy!

I need to thank all my awesome customers who have generously given me amazing horses to ride, or continue to go to horseshows and take lessons, because without them we wouldn't exist! The dressage horses had a good couple of shows, with Goodman owned by Angela Hambrick continuing to hone his skills at Fourth Level and coming second or first in almost every class.  He is schooling everything in the PSG, and with a little sit in the canter and more practice on those pirouettes, we will be right there.  I am hoping to bring him out at PSG in the Fall, or in the Spring in Ocala.  Tsjesse, owned by Marian Shaughnessy afforded me my debut in the FEI, earning me my silver medal on our first two tries.  I am proud to say that we even won a few of the PSG classes we entered, and I couldn't be more thankful of the opportunity to ride this sweet guy.  Marian also made her debut on him at Grand Haven, and I am excited to help them continue moving forward in their partnership.  Rollercoaster UP!

The event horses had a bit of a slow start, but were making some great progress.  After lots of great therapy, Z is in fighting form, and competed at South Farm winning his Novice division on a 20, and competing in a big Training class at Fair Hill.  I knew going into Fair Hill that I needed to have no expectations because it was going to be more of a "training" ride, and that there might be a few hiccups.  We were second after dressage with a 30.5, and went around stadium with 8 penalties.  He came out of the start box a little cheeky, but settled right into a rhythm and was running like a top.  I took it a little to much for granted that we were "back to normal" and got caught with my pants down at the jump into the water.  Our second try was successful though and I was cursing myself for letting that 20 creep up on me.  Lesson learned...again.  I look forward to redeeming myself at South Farm in a couple weeks!  Tiffany George Kete and her sporty horse Cisco rocked the BN at South Farm, but had an unfortunate E at the water at Gemwood.  This horse is as honest as the day is long, and the new water at Gemwood is how do you say, "uninviting?".  We saw horse after horse have trouble there, and hopefully the organizers saw it too, and will improve the entry for their next event.  Tiffany is not disheartened and is going to have a spectacular run at N this coming weekend at Erie.  Jessica Hart and her new gal pal Zophie had two outstanding starts winning the Starter at South Farm, and winning the BN at Gemwood.  This pair was looking to be super competitive going into the end of the season, and then the rollercoaster went DOWN.  Zophie came in injured from the pasture and unfortunately will have to be laid up for 5 or 6 months, but should make a full recovery.  Hmmm I think that means we get to leg her back up in AIKEN...ROLLER COASTER UP.  In all seriousness, this is a tough time for Jessica who was just forging a partnership with this lovely mare, and it can be frustrating to be sidelined.  I am optimistic that we will find a great horse for her to lease so that she can finish up the year on a positive note.

I am pleased to say that we have a new eventing recruit coming into the farm in September, and I am thrilled to have a new horse in training from Pauline Jeanette named Fernando who is going to be a super dressage horse.

So much change is happening right now that its hard to remember what's normal!  Our long time farm manager (and friend) Tracy Baker has decided to take a new direction in her life, and has moved to Columbus, leaving some pretty enormous shoes to fill.  Tracy has been the backbone of so many things at White North, including helping me get Evans Eventing up and running.  She is and always will be an integral part of our team, and its hard to know where to start trying to find such an important piece of the puzzle.  Super groom and sister Mary is filling in for the time being, and it sure is fun having her at the farm every day!  I can't pull any crap with her around!

With several horse trials coming up for the event crew, and regionals and possibly Dressage at Devon for the dressage horses, we are going to wind the competition season down with a bang, and hopefully chalk up a few more wins!  Until then...