Welcome to the show summary for June 15th! Due to me being on vacation, I have found myself with neither horses nor camera, and therefore an inability to take photos. However, the summary will be just as lively! Enjoy!
Note: the colored art was done by me 🙂
June 15th was a very special show day- it was designed as the debut for our new branch located in coastal North Carolina- Blue Whale Equestrian! The venue is located just over the dunes from the shoreline and includes a spacious 8-stall barn, a few cabins and three arenas- two outdoor and one indoor.
Blue Whale will be used mostly during the spring and summer for shows and to provide a vacation setting for our traveling riders during the summer months. Most OTR horses that go there come back to the main branch after a couple weeks or so. However, a few lesson horses have been relocated there to stay to give year-round lessons to the locals! It serves as the only horse show venue on the Outer Banks (as far as I know).
The location being said, the day was bright blue, hot and humid. An occasional breeze ruffled the manes of the horses, but many fans still had to be rigged up to cool everyone down. The upper level class participants had the luxury of an indoor arena, which was slightly cooler than outside. Many curious tourists showed up to the event, many of which took to the adjacent beach access and then came back to watch the later jumper classes of the day, the most exciting ones taking place in the evening when the poles were set to meter-thirty, then meter-fifty, then meter-sixty for the big Grand Prix.
This show was one of the most exciting ones yet, and we think everyone enjoyed the new venue.
We have been privleged to hear some witness stories directly from the MHF’s riders about our show. Enjoy!
Emily Jones and Zarabella- Hunter 2’6 Overall Grand Champions
Never once did I expect for Zarabella to pull an Overall Grand Champion at a show- nonetheless a rated hunter show. Zarabella is on the older side, she is 15, and has tons of talent apparently. She was a rescue from a hoarding situation and she was fortunate to survive. With tons of training and long hours of work, Zari (as she is known around the barn) learned to jump like a pro. Lately, she has felt exceptionally good in her jumping, and apparently, she felt good enough to win. I came out of the ring with tears in my eyes after our first jumping round, as she had gone perfectly. We never expected this little pony to be anything more than a lesson horse, but she is indeed something much more. After the show, I talked with my trainer (and mother!) Chelsea about something important we had been thinking about.
Our success at this show was enough to support my mom and I’s decision about buying Zarabella from the MHF Lesson program and taking her as my personal horse. Zarabella has always been a good horse- but now I know that she’s perfect.
MHF Indian Rocker and Chelsea Jones- 3rd in 1.50m jumpers
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of every ride. I have a riding journal sure, but I ride a lot of horses. On any normal day, I’m up to almost 8 horses. And most of them aren’t even mine. But some rides are unforgettable- and even though Indie and I didn’t win, our ride was amazing.
I looked at my watch and saw that I had to go now. I had 20 minutes until my ride, and I just had my saddle on. I swung my coat on, zipped my dusty boots, and ran to put Indie’s bridle on. I had to get to warmup ASAP. I jumped on and we walked down to the warmup arena as fast as we could. I was on edge, and Indie felt it. He was quite jumpy, but we warmed up with few problems. One round before mine, I felt my hair on my back. My hair! I hadn’t put it up! It was too late- the rider before me was on her 2nd to last fence. Oh well. I would go full Georgina Bloomberg and ride with a ponytail. Oh well! I went into the ring, and I heard the start bell. I took a big breath in and asked Indie for a canter. He obliged. He cantered out from under me, and I pulled him back with a half halt. He felt my nerves. I hadn’t competed him at this height in almost 2 years. We went to our first jump and flew over it, and following it, Indie threw a large buck on the backside of the fence. I fell forward a bit, but wouldn’t let it phase me. I sat back up and rode to the next jump. He chipped into it, and stumbled over it, barely scraping the rail with his back hooves. It was almost a miracle it was still up. I looked back to check on it, and from the arena, my daughter Emily gave me a thumbs up. She knows full well not to do that- but oh well. I finished my course 5 seconds under time, and afterward, a tree rustled and Indie bolted. As he did, I sat up and pulled him back. He continued to gallop about, and after I stopped him, he reared at the gate, and I tumbled off. There was a wall of people at the gate, so Indie couldn’t run back. I got up and grabbed his reins. I wasn’t disqualified as I fell after I came through the finish. I was alright! I smiled and unhooked his running martingale.
Maybe this ride didn’t seem amazing, but it taught me to just go with the flow. Nobody ended up complaining about my hair.
lovely drawings by MHF!
note from OTR: I would also like to point out the amazing performance of Ryan and Olivia McDermitt from MHF– Ryan won 1.00 and 1.05 jumpers and came second in jumper 1.10, and Olivia won jumper 1.30, 1.50, and the Grand Prix! Everybody was wowed! And a congrats to Emily on her new pony.
Notable horses and riders:
Roma Fade and Lolly Lawson- The barn owner herself is pleased with her newest Warmblood prospect that she owns and rides, Roma Fade. They won the 1.60 Grand Prix and came in 4th in Jumper 1.50. She quotes, “I am so excited about Roma. He’s a very talented, capable horse out of a great sire. He can only go upward from here.”
Laramora and Kathy Atkins- Shooting Star Stable- Laramora shined during her hunter rounds, and scored high even though there were limited entries. The pair clenched victories in Hunter 1.05 and 1.10, and coming in 2nd in the 1.15 Hunter derby.
Chelsea Taylor and Aspen Blue- coming out of a rough debut last season, Chelsea Taylor and the spunky quarter pony Aspen Blue have dominated the lower-level jumper standings. Making it their best show yet, they took home victories in 2’6″ and 2’9″ jumpers, and came in fourth in jumper 3′.
My Little Maya and Margaret “Maggie” Tollison Maya and Maggie won Champion in 2’3 Hunters by a landslide- winning 1st place in every class in the division. Maya is now considered to have completed her training with Maggie to be a sport pony and is ready to be a winner for her next rider!
Dauphin and Addison Daniels- Gus Stable Dauphin braved his first show with six-year-old Addison Daniels and took Reserve Champion in both 18″ hunter and 2′ hunter. A recent Gus Stable purchase, Dauphin has turned out to be a talented pony!
Other Images (art by OTR)
Dame Marie and Kathy Atkins (Shooting Star Stable)- 3rd in jumper 1.05
Rita Wright takes a lesson by the dunes on Zenyatta. She is one of many new students that have joined the Blue Whale lesson program.
I hope you had just as much fun reading this summary as I had putting it together! The shows are designed to be fun for everyone who wants to participate, and elaborate roleplay is super cool but totally optional- just do whatever makes you happy! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you guys at the next show!