Monday, January 30, 2012


Team Lily Gallop!
Despite a bit of rain early on and a few wild horses, we have survived our first week in Aiken!  All of the horses have settled into a routine here, and they are very happy.  We have have been off the farm for a lesson, show or schooling every day this week, and the horses are ready for a well deserved day off!

As I had mentioned in the last post, our newest addition to the team, Wyn Maling, arrived to the farm with her horse on Wednesday.  She and Stellar have had extensive training level experience in Area 1, and she is planning to make it to a one-star this year!  I am very excited to have her as an addition to the team!

On Friday we packed up six horses on the trailer and made our way up to Gibbs' Cross Country Schooling site just south of Columbia, South Carolina.  I schooled Bucky there with Boyd earlier in the week, and I was so impressed with the venue that I brought the students and young horses up later that week.  We had a fantastic school at Gibbs', just lost track of time and were there well into the afternoon!  Each rider was able to focus on their weaknesses and iron out any kinks before our first event next Wednesday.  All the girls were riding well, horses were jumping great, and we are excited to get the season started!

I wrapped up the week with the privilege of having a few dressage lessons with Bettina Hoy.  Boyd Martin and Michael Pollard have made a plan to have Bettina here every month leading up to the Olympics to help many of the US riders with their dressage.  My first lesson felt a bit rough at times as I was acclimating to her terminology and teaching style, but I felt that my second lesson was great.  She rode Bucky for the first half hour, and then had me get on and helped me ride through some movements.  She was really tough on me about riding out to my hand rather than pulling him back, which is always an ongoing struggle for me.  She will be here at the end of February, and I am really looking forward to riding with her again.

We went to visit Charleston for our day off on Sunday!  Stay tuned for updates and the first events of the year, we'll be in touch shortly!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Bucky After His XC School!
We have been fortunate enough to make it out of Pennsylvania just before the first snow, and Team Lily has officially settled in Jennifer Berryman's Southern Cross Farm in Aiken.  We have ten horses with us this winter, and we have just welcomed a new working student to the farm!  Wyn Maling is coming to us from Massachusetts with her horse, Stellar, and plans to work with us for the next few months.

We have had an action packed first week here in Aiken!  The week started with a cross-country school for the students and young horses at Full Gallop Farm on Monday.  The horses are happy to be out of the indoor and are jumping great.  They will have another school later in the week, and should then be ready for their first show!

Tuesday brought a cross-country school for Bucky at Gibbs' farm in St. Matthews.  This is one of the best schooling venues in the entire country, so it was great to get Bucky out to work with Boyd there.  He helped me with my position as well as ironing out a few of the kinks I experienced cross-country last fall.  Bucky was jumping well and feels very excited to get the season started! 

Yesterday we packed up the trailer and made our way to The Sporting Days Combined Test for some dressage and show jumping practice!  This was a fantastic opportunity to practice  our dressage tests for the coming season as well as working on our show jumping.  Abigail Wilson, Annelise Aurillo and Andi Lawrence all rode in the combined test, and they were great!  A few hiccups were ironed out in the dressage, and the horses were jumping well. Each rider is looking ready to move up at the start of the season.

We will be wrapping up the week with a dressage clinic with Bettina Hoy, as well as another cross country school for the younger horses.  Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Annual Gambler's Choice Jump Derby!

Hello Team Lily Followers!

I hope that you have all had a great holiday season and start to the 2012 year.  As many of you know, many of us will be headed south in just a few days for the kick-off of the 2012 season in Aiken, South Carolina.  We continued our winter tradition this past weekend with the Gamblers' Choice Jump Derby as a last fun gathering prior to the migration south. We had five groups of junior riders yesterday and despite the chilly temperatures, we had a great day! 

We started off the day with our most advanced riders, and Andi Lawrence rode to victory in her group with Annelise Aurillo on her heels in second.  Miranda Webb finished third with Expresso.

Our youngest riders Braden Speck and Lyndsey Barrett were next to ride in the 2' group, and they both rode spectacularly!  The scores were close with Lyndsey taking a narrow lead over Braden, but these riders were both champions in the spectators eyes as they have just started jumping in the fall!  They did a great job of formulating fast courses and rode the whole day thinking on their feet.

The third group to ride was the quickest and highest scoring group of the day with Nicole Spiropoulos, Kaelen Speck, Andi Lawrence on her second ride, Cassidy Heitzenreiter, Jenn Cain, and Sarah Hughes all in the saddle.  Kaelen Speck held the highest score of group on Weasel. These girls were all business in the ring, each riding the most precise and competitive courses of the day.  I can't wait to see what they accomplish on the event circuit in the spring!

Our fourth group to ride was a blast as well with some foxhunting ponies bringing out their best!  Lucie Hughes and newcomer Olivia Saber rode for the barn, while Ali Corkran and Meredith Mountain brought out some of the Cheshire Hunt's finest ponies!  These girls had a blast riding some tricky courses.  Meredith Mountain rode into the lead with one of the fastest ponies I have ever seen!

The final group to ride was Hannah Daneker, Claire McEntee, and Taylor Stenz.  These young girls rode aggressively and had a blast!  The scores were tight as each rider put in a leading round or two, but Hannah pulled out the leading score on Magic.

We all had a blast yesterday despite the chilly weather, and I'm looking forward to what these girls bring out for the competition season in 2012!  We will be on the road headed south by the end of the week, so stay tuned to the blog for updates and competition results!

As always, stay classy Team Lily