I just returned to Okinawa after a fabulous eight days in the US with the best group of friends, family and a whole lot of horses! What a great time we had together! The first week started with our Adult Dressage Camp at the beautiful Jasmine Meadows Equestrian Centre in Vanceboro, North Carolina. Camp was mainly focused on preparing for a competition that we were attending together on Saturday April 22nd and I think it is fair to say that we prepared well, because everyone did absolutely fabulous!
There are few things as exciting as waking up on a horse show morning. Everyone is finishing up their last minute preparations, going thru their tests in their heads and trying to decide on that elusive number of minutes to plan for the perfect warm-up. With a group as diverse as ours, this competition was one of many for some and the first time ever for others. Even for those of us that have woken up on too many horse show mornings to count, something that this morning will never be is boring. The feeling of running for showing packets, placing numbers on bridles and calming last minute nerves is only topped by seeing my first rider enter the warm-up. This morning, it was Marcy Hoffman and her charming gelding CJ. This was Marcy's first dressage show and you would never have known. They were perfectly turned out and cool as cucumbers together. After a great warm-up, this pair scored in the 60's in both of their Intro tests earning two 2nd place ribbons! Next up was Carol DeMetro and her new partner Nelson. This newly matched pair rocked their Intro tests winning both with scores of 65.9% and 66.9%! You would never have known that Joan Taylor and her handsome Bailey are recent dressage converts. Their tests were just lovely earning a 61% at Training Level test 1...
Trish Murphey's promising gelding Rowan had some tension in his dressage test, but Trish handled it beautifully and after a clean stadium round, this pair finished on a score of 41. Great riding Trish! Lynn Bowman and her talented Skye had a successfully debut at First Level scoring 62.6%! Anna Godwin and her new partner Rock Solid aka Romeo did great together earning a 61% at Training Level test 1. Ciara Henson competed both her own gelding Thunder and Davo Moxham's Lazarro in several Training Levels tests earning scores in the mid to upper 60's with both mounts. I am really proud of the talented young riders we have in our group and I look forward to watching both Anna and Ciara develop into advanced riders in the future...
David Knight had a very successful day with his handsome geldings earning scores from the mid 60's to low 70's on both JR and Zeke! We were all looking forward to watching our very own Davo Moxham compete both Cobalt and Elizabeth Carr's Regina in the First Level Test 3 class and he did not disappoint! Cobalt went first and finished up a beautiful test by scoring a perfect "10" on his final centreline! Regina also had a strong test scoring over 68%. Later that afternoon, Regina went back down centerline with Elizabeth in the Training Level Test 3 earning a fabulous 69%!
Rhonda Scibal and her lovely Gianna had a great morning together. This wonderful pair earned a 71% in their Intro C test and just below a 66% in their Training Level Test 2 class! After a very successful morning, Rhonda handed Gianna over to me and we headed down centreline in the Training Level Test 3 class. I just love "G" and was really happy with our test together! We scored over 71% winning the Training Level Reserve High Score award. Thank you Rhonda and Gianna! Next up was Sue Morgan and her sporty little mare M&M. This great team earned 64.6% and 66.3% in their Training Level tests!
Pat Mulligan and her fabulous Miss Ty had a great warm-up together, which led to them earning 63% on a beautiful First Level Test 2! Buffy Blood and her handsome partner Rembrandt had a great Training Level Test 1 scoring just over 62% earning 2nd place in the class. Kelley Edwards and Jericho did great! This lovely pair won the Training Level Test 1 class with just under 69%!
My day was pretty busy! There were eighteen riders with twenty one horses from our group at the show. Thankfully, show manager Shari Weiss-Riojas, scheduled everything seamlessly (as she always does!) and placed my final ride at the end of the day. Last, but definitely not least, to go was Gail Riley's talented young gelding Tonic. What a fun way to finish up a fantastic day! We rode through Training Level Test 2 together scoring 72% and earning Tonic a fancy blue neck sash for being the Training Level High Score Champion. Thank you Gail, for sharing your beautiful horse with me and thank you Davo, for putting your hard work and dedication into this horses training. Tonic is a special horse with a very bright future ahead of him and I am honoured to be involved his journey...
Well that about wraps up a fun, successful day for Blackburn Dressage! I want to thank everyone for all of the countless things you did to make this day... the whole week... so successful and so much fun. After 30+ tests, a few very prominent tan lines and 38,791 steps (thanks FitBit!), I was still on a high later that evening and it is all because of the joy and happiness that you all bring to me. Thanks guys :) I can't wait until next time!