January Aiken A Show- Cold, Windy, but Successful!

We had a good group in the January show, and despite the frigid weather ( they canceled the first week because it was so nasty) we had a good showing. Starting on Friday, Gigi Phillips and her pony Gigi and Davenport with her pony; Justin, were champion in their respective age equitation divisions- 11 and under and 12-14. Cate Hernandez and her mount Rebel had a great start, actually a bit too slow in the corners which was a novelty, since they were too fast in prior schools. The remainder of  our riders had a good school in preparation for the upcoming weekend.

Samantha Agisim and Henry, along with Caitlin MacCauley and Reggie were both moving up to the Children’s Hunter division for the first time. Lots of learning going on this weekend for both girls. Caitlin earned a reserve championship ribbon for her efforts while Samantha earned lots of good experience and more pieces to the puzzle of riding a very talented, but harder horse like Henry. Both were great. Leigh Wardlaw and George, compared to the rest of our Children’s hunters, now a veteran, despite this only being her fourth time in the 3′ ring pulled out another championship with some good riding.

Cate and Rebel were moving up to the Junior division at this show and encountered issues that we hadn’t had to work on before- after numerous tries, even with Caroline not able to get it done, we retired him for the show ( we discovered the following week that EPM was the culprit of his bad behavior) Despite the disappointment of not completing the show, Cate was a good sport and a good cheer leader for the rest of us.

Kay Benson rode Cider for the first time at this show- her regular mount- Sunday needed some time off. Cider filled his shoes beautifully and with Kay working hard (he is quite pokey!) they were great in the medium pony division- earning overall third place out of some nice ones.

In the large Pony division, Davenport Hatcher and Justin continued to work hard and stay focused. They came back on top in the second round of the Pony Derby and dropped to third when we tried for tighter, handier turns than anyone else had attempted. It wasn’t  smooth enough for the brilliance (and brilliant score) that we had hoped for but as I had said to  Davenport- this is where we need to practice the hard stuff- at the smaller A shows… They were constant in the regular division with solid trips earning an overall champion ribbon, but we were all most proud when she corrected the judge; Pat Dodson who called her in second place for a class that she had gone off course in. Easily mistaken, as both Davenport and apparently Mr. Dodson had both done, Davenport jumped the wrong single across the diagonal. D nevertheless knew it was wrong afterwards, and when she was going to be rewarded for her mistake, she spoke up, and was eliminated from that class. For this, she earned a Good Sportsmanship Award from the show management, but even more importantly, the respect from all who witnessed her act.  I will be nominating her for her for the Buttons ‘N’ Bows Sportsmanship Award at this year’s Pony Finals- Awarded to the junior rider who best personifies the high standards and virtues of integrity, sportsmanship, honor, courage, good temper and unselfishness.

The two Gigi’s (it’s tricky having the same name) did great on Friday, and on Saturday earned good ribbons  but the colder weather on Sunday was hard on Gigi the rider who literally popped off the top when Gigi chipped a jump due to lack of leg. They choose to retire for the day and try again at the next one.

We look forward to a repeat (without the cold wind hopefully) in February and March!