Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Short Circuit Awards Banquet

What a day! The 2008 Virginia Short Circuit Awards Banquet was held at the gorgeous Arlie Convention Center outside of Warrenton, VA. The setting was perfect for such a prestigious dinner and the fellowship could not have been better. It was a day that I will not soon forget!

The Arlie Convention Center.

The final award for the evening will be the first award on our blog. The dissertation for the Distinguished Horseperson started off as many do; listing the positive attributes and accomplishments garnered by the recipient. As I listened to the speech, I thought to myself, wow, that sounds like a really neat person! Then, the MC began talking about how this person divides her time between training horses and riders and working as an RN in the Emergency room. At that point, I began to cry because I realized it was me they were saying all those nice things about! There is nothing like getting up in front of hundreds of people and crying your eyes out.

Chelsea also walked away with a plethora of awards and ribbons. Her pony Callihan Rose was the Reserve Champion Pleasure Pony and Reserve Champion Pony Hunter. Her other pony IBA Blue Diamond was Champion in the VPBA Division and Reserve Champion Large Pony Hunter. Chelsea was also the Champion Pony Equitation Rider and was the Short Circuit Best Young Rider for 2008. She will have several trophies to engrave this year!

Kaitlyn was Reserve Champion in the VPBA division and got to take home a beautiful ribbon and quarter sheet.

Dawn was Reserve Champion in the Green Hunter Horse division with Silver Masterpiece and 4th in Adult Equitation!

Stephanie was Reserve Champion in Adult Hunter with Sophisticated Lady and Adult Equitation.

Chelsea and her mom Jane having a mother/daughter moment.

Chelsea was also the proud recipient of the Real Estate Award for the best fall at a Short Circuit Show. Look closely at the picture; it was all caught on film!

Stephanie and Dawn won the Early Bird awards for sitting around at the Sandstone Farm shows all day and then having daylight run out before their classes went. They received neat prizes for their dedication.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 VHSA Awards Banquet

Each year, one of my favorite weekends is the VHSA Convention at the Homestead, in Hot Springs, Virginia. Although the trip is close to four hours each way, it is well worth the drive.

The main hallway at the Homestead.

Dawn and Kaitlyn having a mother/daughter moment.

Chelsea receiving her High Point Equitation trophy.

Chelsea and Rachael with the Pony Pleasure trophy. Chelsea was also Reserve Champion in the Small/Medium Pony Hunters and was 3rd in the Large Pony Hunters with IBA Blue Diamond.

Stephanie receiving her High Point trophy for Adult Equitation.

Stephanie and her 3rd place ribbon for Adult Amateur Hunters.

Dawn and the 5th place ribbon for Adult Equitation.

The Gang from left to right: Chris, Stephanie, Rachael, Hoss, Sandi, Jane, Caitlin, Chelsea, Kaitlyn, and Dawn. Larry is taking the picture.

The Girls from left to right; Chelsea, Caitlin, Rachael, Stephanie, Dawn, and Kaitlyn.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Classic "A" Show - December 5th, 2008

Our first show of the year started off better than anticipated. IBA Blue Diamond or "Deno" made his "A" show debut in the Large Green Pony Hunters with Chelsea. After getting his permanent card at 14.1 1/2 without shoes (much to my relief), we waited for hours for his classes to go. Normally, I don't mind the wait at shows, but I was diagnosed with pneumonia the day prior and felt like someone had kicked me in the ribs. Luckily, Deno needed very little prep and walked into the ring without even a warm-up trip. The first trip, he earned a fourth out of 7, the second trip he pulled a 3rd, and the third trip he got a 5th. By the hack class, he was done and Chelsea could hardly get him to move forward. All in all, I was pleased as punch. I bred Deno. His dam was my Large Pony Hunter and I stood his sire at stud for seven years. It's neat watching a pony you've bred do well at an "A" show.

Sorry for the bad pictures. My husband was taping the trips and it was so dark the pictures didn't turn out well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VHSA Championship Lexington, VA 2008

We had such a great time that I don't even know where to start! After driving down in the rain Thursday, we arrived in one piece. The horses were glad to get off the trailers and we began setting up the seven stalls. We schooled the horses for a bit and even the green beans were on their best behavior. I was so worried about how the OTTB and neon green pony would act, but they could not have been any better.

This year, we purchased stall drapes that made the tackroom look beautiful and provided a perfect dressing room. Everyone brought food and we ate like kings all weekend without breaking the bank. We even had a fridge and crock pots with soups, chili, and nacho cheese.

My dear husband goofed off with Maggie's tail and I reminded him that in a few years, his entire head of hair would be that color. He took the tail off very quickly after that!

Chelsea H. had the show of a lifetime with her lovely medium pony Callihan Rose. They brought home top ribbons in all of the Medium Pony Hunter classes including a third place in the hack. Rosie tied for Reserve Champion with 16 points! Chelsea also pinned fourth in the Pony Equitation class. This was Rosie's last show with Chelsea and they went out with a bang! In 2009, Rosie is expecting a foal with Empire's Power. That should be one fancy baby!!

Chelsea also showed IBA Blue Diamond in the Large Pony Hunters and Pony Pleasure. Deno took home ribbons in both divisions, including a 2nd place in the Large Pony Hack. I almost melted when they called him number; that was a very tough hack class with some very, very nice ponies. He hacked like a million bucks and was rewarded with an excellent ribbon! Although still green over fences, he jumped a "10" and should go on to do great things in 2009.

Kaitlyn H. and her large pony Dare To Dream surpised us all with their two trips over fences. Daisy has been under saddle less than a year, but went around like a made pony. She didn't even offer to refuse and even offered a few lead changes (something we've just started with her). I could not have been more proud of this team!

Dawn H. and Silver Masterpiece also offered some surprises. This was Maggie's first time showing in the Coliseum, but she walked in like she owned the place. Each trip was better than the last and she even remembered her lead changes! Dawn rode her corners very well (something we've really been working on) and did a great job getting Maggie to go forward. At home, Maggie usually does the adds, but Dawn moved her up and did the real strides.

Stephanie T. and Sophisticated Lady had a great time this year. Sophie rode a little hot and started leaving strides out, which is not the greatest thing to do in a Hunter trip. However, Sophie will be 22 years young in January and we were thrilled she came out of her stall and felt that good! By Sunday, Sophie started to slow down a little bit and earned a call-back in the Adult Amateur Stakes.

Caitlin M. rode Stephanie's gelding Above and Beyond in the Special Hunters. This was Chip's first time jumping around in such a scary environment and he behaved like a champ! His first time, he was a little slow and missed a few spots. In the second trip, Caitlin got him moving forward and hit every spot and got every change. This was the first time Caitlin ever had to jog and it was so neat seeing the smile on her face!

Stephanie rode Above and Beyond in the Pleasure Horse Adult division and could not have been prouder of her boy. He kept his brain, stayed relaxed, got all of his leads, and didn't take one wrong step. When I pulled up next to Stephanie after the final class, she had tears in her eyes. I asked her why and she said they were tears of joy because he was such a good boy.

This was my first time showing in Lexington in almost ten years. I saddled up my mare Silver Masterpiece and went in the ring to have a great time. Everyone was laughing at me, because I was singing to the music during the classes. Maggie and I didn't go out there to win anything, we just wanted to have some fun. I guess the judge didn't mind, because she gave us a 7th and 8th place ribbons!

Needless to say, we can't wait to get back next year. There were some very nice horses and ponies there this year and it was nice to see we were in the ribbons right along with them. These next few weeks are going to be spent going on trail rides and maybe do a little cross country jumping. Heck, I wouldn't mind going Hunting a time or two just to give the horses some "fun" time. They were so good, they deserve some time out of the ring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Red Gate Farm Awards Banquet - November 12, 2008

Tonight was the Red Gate Farm Awards Banquet in Hamilton, Virginia. We had a great time and it was well worth the trip. The food was delicious; true Italian with a delectable combination of herbs and spices. There was so much to choose from that it was a little overwhelming.

The girls from left to right; Kaitlyn, Chelsea, and Caitlin.

The Show Team from left to right; Caitlin, Stephanie, Rachael, Kaitlyn, Dawn and Chelsea.

Stephanie was High Point Adult Amateur rider. Along with a beautiful ribbon, she took home leather jumping boots with real sheepskin lining.

Chelsea was Champion Pony Hunter and 4th in Pony Pleasure even though she only showed at Red Gate one time (she won all of her classes, so she earned good points). She took home ribbons and a very nice grooming bag.

Dawn was Champion Green Hunter and was given a fabulous sheepskin saddle pad. I think this was the best prize they gave all night! I have no doubts Maggie will love her new pad and you may just catch her in it at the Finals this weekend!

Caitlin finished 4th in the Low Hunters and 6th in the Green Hunters even though she only showed in each division once. She went home with a bag full of goodies which I'm sure her horse will enjoy.

Kaitlyn was the Low Hunter Reserve High-Point. Her division was always full, so this ribbon was well-earned.

I even came home with a High Point and a pair of true silver spurs. They are engraved and are the nicest spurs I've ever seen! I can't wait to show in them.

Tomorrow, we leave first thing in the morning with three trailers full of horses bound for Lexington.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting Ready For The Finals

These past few weeks have been filled with clipping the horses, getting shoes reset, and trying to fit in all those last minute touches. With the Finals a week away, I'm a little nervous, but more excited. All of our riders are practicing to ensure good trips and I must say, I've been truly impressed with the team.

Dawn H. has been doing everything she can so her and her horse are prepped for the Finals. Exactly one year ago, Dawn and Maggie were just starting to jump 2'6". This week, they moved up to 3'6" and did it with style and grace. I always like to school at least 3" above what we show at. This next week will be Maggie and Dawn's first time showing at a real 3', so we're making sure they are ready. Those jumps in Lexington should be a breeze compared to what they're doing at home.