UPDATE 2010 FTI WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL
The last few months have been very busy working for Frank Madden Show Stable with a rather intense schedule that has included long work hours. After leaving our home base at Hunters Moon Farm, East Norwich, NY, in December 2009, the barn traveled to the site of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Following our arrival, we spent time organizing the barn, the horse and rider equipment, and the horse show set up, and some of the horses and riders participated in the Holiday Series Shows held here in late December. One of the barns' junior competitors, Victoria Birdsall, was selected to participate in the fourth annual George Morris Horse Mastership Clinic which was held in early January in the International Arena at the show grounds of the Winter Equestrian Festival. Having the opportunity to see Mr. Morris teach some segments of the clinic was a rewarding and educational experience, and brought back fond memories from my own experiences at the clinic in 2007 and 2008.
The first four weeks of the Winter Circuit have passed quickly, and the experience has been energetic and very rewarding. Recently, the barn has welcomed several new horses and riders into our program and it has been a pleasure getting to know all of them. Some of our riders are getting acquainted with new mounts, and I have been watching them apply lessons learned in the show ring. Since learning occurs at an individual rate, the teaching process has taught me to be more patient with the riders and the horses. Working with and showing a sale horse named, Sagitario II, has been part of my work duties and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with him.
The format established last year, which answers some of your questions, will continue for this blog.
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DECEMBER 1st CUT OFF FOR THE EQUITATION, I AM A SOPHOMORE TURNING sixteen in APRIL?
For the Medal, Maclay and the Washington, a rider must be a Junior in order to compete. According to the USEF regulations, Juniors are seventeen and under, on or before December 1st of the competition year. Since you will be sixteen in April, you can show in the Medal, Maclay, and the Washington, this year and until December 1, 2012. For the USEF Talent Search, you can be either a Junior or a Young Rider. According to the USEF regulations, a Young Rider must be twenty-one and under and can be either professional or non-professional. You have the option of continuing to compete in the USEF Talent Search classes for several years after you have completed your Junior years.
OUT OF ALL THE BIG EQUITATION CLASSES YOU ENTERED WHICH ONE WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR FAVORITE?
I do not have a favorite, and can honestly say that I enjoyed all of the Big Eq classes.
ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD STARTING RECOGNIZED SHOWS?
Maintaining a focused, positive attitude and developing riding goals with your trainer and your parents will be beneficial.
Competing as a Junior equestrian can be complicated. Many schools do not recognize either the persevering requirements and/or the intensity of the horse show schedule. A Junior faces the challenges of balancing schoolwork and horse work. Traveling and competition schedules are demanding and your school may not consider your days away at competitions as excused absences from school. Junior riders can often be forced into being home schooled. Many Juniors do not have what most would consider the usual high school experience.
Thank you for your continued support and for your questions.
Talk to you soon!