Monday, July 14, 2008

Region 15 Championship Show an Incredible Journey

Wow is all I can sum up right now. I am still flying high after this past weekend at the Region 15 Championship show. It has been a long time coming for us, our little breeding program. But we did it. I know most of you are thinking well did she win? Well in my mind it is not just the winning that says it all it is the true accomplishment. And accomplish we did. EF KKlassique Beauty with her amateur rider/trainer/handler Pam on board achieved the trifecta. Well at least the trifecta in my mind. I climbed aboard three times and all three times came out with a victory lap and very long silks!!

It started with the Sport Horse Under Saddle Junior Horse class. There were eight vying for the top spots. A very competitive class said the VERY hunter oriented judge. This class seems to be dominated by trainers riding the mounts of their clients. It makes it a very daunting class for an amateur riding her homebred, home-trained, self-ridden horse. Well, when the announcement came, there we were in the top five. The judge’s card put us in third place. Behind two very well respected, high-end trainers. I was the first place amateur. Beauty was perfect, she did her job and did it the best she had ever done it. Tears were flowing and the victory lap was sweet.

The next day we had our Dressage classes. Phew, Dressage has been a true hurdle for us. Beauty, like her sire before her has this thing about the right lead canter. They like to show their joy by kicking out when asked for the canter and then sometimes doing a few flying changes before settling in to the nice forward canter they both know how to do. It makes for a very stressful canter depart. In fact, it makes for a very anxious rider! The first class was the Training Level Jr. Horse class. We have to ride test four at Regionals or higher and the right lead is right in the beginning of the test. With my breath held and my eyes closed, I asked for it and nailed it, Beauty knew just how important this was and she nailed it perfectly. No bobbles, no kicking, no changes, no nothing. Just a perfectly balanced, perfectly executed transition. The rest of the test was a blur! There were 18 in this class and it seemed an eternity before the scores were being posted. Once again mostly top trainers in this class. Holy cow, another Top 5! In fact it was another 3rd place, right behind two top trainers; first amateur again! Judges comments for the canter were prompt and well balanced. Truly a first for us! Another victory lap! Unbelievable, truly unbelievable!

The biggie was last. The Adult Amateur to Ride Training level class. This class can have any age horse, any level horse and usually has the very serious amateur competing. There were some very, very competitive horse/rider combinations. Horses with all the plusses and slashes after their names. Horses that have been there and done that. The 16 rider list was that of a whose who for amateurs. And then there was Beauty and I. We did our thing again. Beauty completed the canter transitions flawlessly. She just flowed into them as if she had been doing them all of her life. She glided on air and was, well Beautiful. Once again the wait was agonizing. It took an eternity for the test scores to be posted. One by one up they went. By the time tw0-thirds of them were posted mine went up. Rachel came to the barn to tell me they were up. She had her phone handy. Why? I had no idea, but I soon found out. I was tied for third place. I was in shock and ecstatic. She wanted to tape the moment!! The score was so amazing that if I had ridden that well in my first class I would have been the Champion with room to spare. The remainder of the scores went up, and there I was firmly placed in third place! A dream come true. A trifecta of sorts. Three rides and three very long, very beautiful, very well deserved, and truly waited for ribbons. The culmination of 6 years of waiting. So as I said winning is not everything to everyone. For me winning is not just the blue ribbon, sometimes it is the true accomplishment of knowing you gave your all and you got justly rewarded in the end. Accomplishment for me is knowing I picked EF KKlassique Beauty’s dam out of a field of mares with one vision in mind. Breeding her to KKoi and producing an award winning combination that would carry the vision. The vision of this little breeder/trainer/owner/rider riding to the top of her game. Taking that victory lap, not once, not twice but three times in one day. What a feeling. What a day. There was an announcement over the loudspeakers on that last day. It was said that the Region 15 Championship Show was the largest in the country. The most competitive with the most horses, 659 competing equines in all. Geeze, that makes it even more astounding…

What’s next, East Coast Championships of course!!