Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jersey Fresh CCI**

(photo by the Chronicle of the Horse)
Oh wow, what a weekend! Where do I start? I guess it all started with a morning AP Calculus exam...if that doesn't get your weekend off to a great start I don't know what will...after four hours of testing I headed over to the barn to give Blazer his first of many baths for our first CCI** outing together.

As if missing school for horses isn't the best thing I was lucky enough to have my best friend and amazing groom, Erica Jacquay, skip school with me for the weekend. She was an amazing help not only keeping me organized but also keeping me entertained and laughing throughout the weekend.

I know that Blazer and I have the potential to put in an amazing dressage test. The Friday before leaving we had a great tune up with Sallie Spenard, she's giving us all the tools they just need to be drilled into us a little more. With some great reminders from Jenn (who had an amazing 4th place finish on her own JB's Star in the CIC***!!) in the warm up we had a much more relaxed test than usual. I often forget the importance of taking my time in the dressage ring and Jenn was right there to remind me through warm up. Blazer put in an awesome test and scored a 56.3 putting us in 6th after the dressage.

This was my first trip to Jersey Fresh and from what I had heard the cross country can be difficult. After walking the course it not only proved to appear difficult but it also was very long with a long uphill stretch toward the end of the course. Saturday morning came around and the threat of thunderstorms caused for a significant temperature drop. The weather turned out to be perfect for cross country. Blazer ran around without a bobble and did exactly as I asked through everything on course. I couldn't be happier with the day and we finished with only 10 time faults and the long uphill stretch didn't take nearly as much out of him as I'd anticipated. The night he appeared sound as could be and he proved that Sunday morning passing the jog without a problem.

The time faults cross country moved us down to 8th but that didn't concern me at all, we were 2/3 of the way to being qualified for young riders. Show jumping has been a strong point for us the past year and I knew that he could keep enough rails up for a qualifying score it was just up to me to remember the course and stay on!

The weekend started out with me looking for a qualifying score to go to this summers NAJYRC. It ended up being a weekend full of laughs, a solid dressage test, confidence building cross country, and a clear show jumping round. Oh and a 6th place finish at my first CCI**! With everything lined up for Young Riders it is now up to me to keep Blazer sound, happy, and fit for July. Like anything there is always room for improvement and we'll be looking to perfect our dressage, strengthen our cross country, and maintain our solid show jumping record.

As many of you know no success in this sport comes without a great support group. The Area II young rider program has been an amazing experience for me over the past two years that I have been involved. This summer will be my third year representing Area II in the NAJYRC. The support of this program is important in the success of the riders representing the Area. In 2009 Area II came home with an individual gold medal in the one star, a team gold medal in the one star, an individual bronze medal in the two star, and a team silver in the two star. In General, the funds needed to support this program range from $60,000 to $80,000. Each member is required to raise at least $1500 that will go towards their costs to compete and qualify for the NAJYRC. Please consider a donation to help support this amazing organization in its efforts to educate, instill knowledge and leadership skills, and provide a safe environment for team training and competition. Level of sponsorship include:
Bronze Medal: $100.00 or less
Silver Medal: $100.00 to $200.00
Gold Medal: $200.00 to $500.00
Guardian Angel: $500.00 or more
Anonymous: those who wish to donate in private
If you are interested in supporting this program checks can be made out to Area II Young Riders and mailed to me directly. If you have any questions regarding the program or ways to support the team don't hesitate to contact me at Thank you in advance to anyone who chooses to help our 2010 Area II riders!

Until next time, stay safe and sound!