I am finally home after a great weekend at Capital Challenge. This may have been one of Rico and my best shows! We were champion in the 16-year-old equitation, won the North American Flat Equitation Championships, and got second in the North American Equitation Championships.
After all the excitement, I have come home to loads of schoolwork to make up, and another horse show. In between trips back east I am competing in the Orange County Interscholastic League series of shows, where high school teams in the Palos Verdes Penninsula, Calif., area compete against each other.
While it is a huge change to go from top-of-the-line competitions to small school competitions, I am very grateful that I can attend both. Going back to the kind of small non-rated shows where I learned to ride reminds me of where I started. These types of shows are extremely important to the future of the equestrian sport. All of our future athletes will undoubtedly come from the same roots as hundreds of other riders.
The equestrian community needs to put more effort in creating affordable and frequent small shows to get riders the practice they need without having to constantly compete against the “A show crowd.” This will give all riders the opportunity and ring time to succeed. As of now there are so few small shows that we are forcing greener riders to go a just few A shows a year and maybe not do so well. This can be discouraging, thus eliminating a large number of potential athletes. The more small shows there are, the more riders show and can discover their true potential.
After IEL, it is back east again to Harrisburg for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. I can’t wait to see Rico again after over a week even though it seems like forever. I hope our luck will continue!