Friday, November 7, 2014

(Almost) End of Season Wrap Up!!

Well its been an exciting fall season for our crew of riders and horses, and it's hard to believe its coming to an end!  Our fall season started off with a bang at Richland Park, and we have been powering through one competition after another every weekend since then!!!  

Last weekend we wrapped up our traveling fall season with a huge showing at Virginia Horse Trials, bringing home several top placings across the levels.  We have two more starter trials to look forward to before hanging the show clothes up for the season.

Lilybridge Eventers at the Virginia HT
Gayle Hughes Photo
I am so proud of the progress several of our riders have made in the past few months, and it's certainly making this season wrap up on a sweet note.  We have two new-comer combinations at the FEI 1* level, Annelise Aurillo riding Peace Proposal, and Kaelen Speck riding Sweet Rebellion.  These two combinations have been plugging away at preliminary since the summer, and have really impressed me with their progress leading up to their 1*s at Plantation and Virginia.  Kaelen's stellar weekend at Virginia CCI1* was cut a bit short with an emergency dismount on cross-country, but no doubt they will be back at it and kicking butt at the 1* level in the spring.  Annelise wrapped up with a stellar third place finish at the Virginia CCI1* in the Young Rider division.

We have had several novice riders cleaning up at the events all this fall, and they finished the season with a bang at Virginia.  Hannah Daneker has been schooling all of us riding Classy Lady at the novice level this fall, finishing up with a win at Virginia. Sarah Hughes has been educating her young Charlie at novice, and they now have two solid finishes at the level.  They will be wrapping up the season at Full Moon Farm.  Nicole Spiropoulos has been rocking around at the novice level as well, finishing fifth in her last two starts.  

It was also exciting to have Gabbi Ciccone and Lucie Hughes competing with us for the weekend, Gabbi finishing 8th in the Training Championships and Lucie winning her Novice division!  MacKenzie Verna was our Beginner Novice rider for the weekend at Virginia, enjoying her traveling competition experience.  She rode exquisitely to add just two rails and a few cross country time to her dressage score.  It was exciting to have so many riders with us at Virginia, and even more exciting to watch their success!

A few of our riders will be wrapping up their season at the local starter trials in the coming weekends at Saint Augustine Pony Club and Full Moon Farm.  Among those riders will be Heather Cooper, Jesse Connell, Braden Speck, and Tori Kager who has kindly been bringing along a young prospect of mine while I have been traveling!  Here's to hoping for warm weather, although the forecast is not indicating such luck!!!

As for my own fall season with my string of competition horses, it has been a hectic yet incredibly rewarding one.  Bucky and I have just made it home from our best CCI 4* yet, finishing 6th at the Pau CCI in France.  I am overwhelmed with the support and encouragement that got me there, and I am so pleased that we could bring home such success.    Check out this great USEF Article on the event, and thanks to Libby Law for this fun photo!

Pau 2014 - Photo Libby Law

Paddy and Missy both endured the CCI2* at Fair Hill, having not quite the result planned.  They came off great finishes at Plantation, and each found their own struggles with the Fair Hill course.  I am eager to get them back out in the spring and iron out the kinks for a strong 2015 season.   I am pleased to have another FEI horse in the ranks with Campgound, a young athletic thoroughbred owned by Marnie Kelly.  Marnie and I have been quietly bringing this one along for the past four years, and he is a smart and athletic guys with potential for the top, and I am excited to see how progresses next year!  

Paddy The Caddy Fair Hill International
Photo Lisa Thomas

Mettraise Fair Hill International
Lisa Thomas Photo
With the end of the traveling season comes time to reflect on the year.  I am so thankful for my sponsors, supportive clients and friends around me…….and all who have trusted me with their kids to bring along through the eventing ranks.  I am proud of all of our riders and the progress they have made this year, and excited to see what next year will hold for us!
To wrap up this post I would like to make and official warm welcome to Jessica McCabe, who has joined our team full-time to work along side Jenn Cain!  She brings experience and skill to the table, and I think she and Jenn together might be unstoppable! 

Until next time, stay tuned ………  Erin

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