I had a blast this weekend coaching six of our younger riders at the Fair Hill Starter Trials in Elkton, MD. Most of these riders were having their first outing since the middle of the summer, as their competition plans had to be sidelined by my prep and travel to Burghley. Their weekly lessons have been sporadic, and they have had few chances to cross-country school. On Saturday, these riders proved to me their ability to keep motoring on, despite my absence during my travels to Burghley. Everyone was riding impressively, and it was a delight for me to watch!
Kaelen Speck started off our day riding in the Novice with Regal Dancer. Dancer is a new mount for her, and is much more horse to ride than her previous pony mount. She is rising to the the challenge well, finishing in fifth place on her dressage score of 38. It should take her some time to develop a partnership in the dressage with Dancer, but when they do, they might be unstoppable!
We had three riders in the Beginner Novice, and all three impressively finished on great dressage scores! Sarah Hughes was happy to be at her first competition of the year riding Deb's Delight. The pair looked great in the jumping phases and finished fourth on their dressage score of 38. Cassidy Heitzenrater had a great day as well on her pony Pudding's Proof. They jumped double clear to finish on their dressage score of 31. The stellar beginner novice performance was rounded out by Olivia Saber and her mount, Stonewall Winters. They made the courses look too easy as they jumped around double clear to finish third on their dressage score of 34. I think these BN girls might be trying to show me that they are ready for a move-up!
Newcomer to LBE, Melissa Carson had her first outing on her young Thoroughbred, Bo Brown, in the Intro level at Fair Hill. This was a first event for both of them, which was in no way apparent by their performance! Both horse and rider looked cool and composed through all three phases of the competition, and jumped around with ease to finish on their dressage score. Since Bo is just four years old, Melissa has been very diligent about moving slowly with him. This diligence has paid off, as they looked like seasoned pros on Saturday! They will be moving up the levels in no time at all ...
Our rodeo cowboy star of the day was Braden Speck on his own (naughty pony) Rosenharley Romello. The cool breeze had Weasel feeling a bit too fresh on Saturday, and he gave Braden a really tough ride around the jump courses. He rode him so well through all of his leaps and bucks, but Braden didn't stand a chance towards the end of the cross-country when Weasel made a quick and naughty move for home. Braden did a spectacular job riding Weasel as well as he did, and I am sure he will look forward to coming out another day.
Team Lily will be at Plantation Field this coming weekend, and it should be a great time! Come out for some fun and an opportunity to watch the nation's best riders compete just a few miles down the road.