HOW I MOVED UP DIVISIONS PART ONE AND BEACON HILL SCHEDULE JULY & AUGUST
A.a.e. recently asked how I moved up divisions over the years. I will attempt to answer the question in two parts, starting with what happened between the ages of eight and a half and twelve years old.
I began riding at a camp at Snow Bird Acres Farm, Schooleys Mountain, NJ. I absolutely fell in love with horses and riding while at camp. The eight week camp had shows and I participated in the walk, trot and cross rails on their school horses and ponies. In September of 1997, I started lessons with Mary Babick and Darby Smith (now, Mazzarisi) at the Colts Neck Equestrian Center, Colts Neck, NJ. I started riding once a week but quickly increased my time at the barn up to four times a week, or whenever my parents could take me. I rode school ponies and especially loved a pony named Pete who could buck you off if you weren't paying attention but who luckily had an affinity for me.
I did not show again until February 1998, when in a concocted scheme between my parents and trainer, I "visited" Mary at the HITS Ocala horse show. Upon arrival, the secret unfolded and I learned I was scheduled to show in the short stirrup division on a lovely pony named, Half Pint, owned by my friend, Whitney Roper. It was my first big show and my parents and trainer did not "let the cat out of the bag". It was a great surprise! Later that same year after showing sparingly at local shows, my parents leased a pony for me named, Sandcastle. My first big show on Sandcastle, in the short stirrup division was in the summer of 1998 at the Vermont Summer Festival, Manchester, Vermont. That summer, my trainer encouraged me to move up to the small/medium childrens with a reminder that I could not return to that division after leaving it - a USEF rule. For the rest of the year, I showed sparingly but we did go to HITS Culpeper for a couple of shows. I remember my trainer helping me while I struggled to get the lead changes with that pony.
In 1999, my parents leased a horse show veteran for me, a wonderful large pony named, Touch of Flair, for the children's large pony division. I showed "Tofy", her barn name, at the HITS Ocala Circuit in February for four weeks, the Garden State Horse Show, some of the HITS Culpeper spring shows and at the Vermont Summer Festival. Unfortunately, Tofy tore a check ligament during the Vermont Summer Festival and we were unable to go to the Marshall and Sterling Finals in the fall. She was a fabulous pony with a big heart and I learned a great deal about how to care for an injured pony during my time with her.
For my eleventh birthday in December of 1999, I got a medium Chincoteaque pony, Junior Mint, and my parents also leased another medium pony named, Cinnaburst. In 2000, I showed Junior Mint mostly in the Small/Medium Green Pony Division and Cinnaburst in the Medium Pony Division. It was so much fun to show two ponies and I learned a great deal riding a green pony. The Fairfield Hunt Club, Fairfield, Conn., hosted the Pony finals and I was fortunate to show the ponies at that competition. In August 2000, after growing quite a bit and looking big on my smaller of the two mediums, Junior Mint, was sent to a sale barn. Luckily, I still had Cinnaburst and that fall, I showed at Capital Challenge for the first time. When I moved to Beacon Hill in December of 2000, I moved up to horses. I did not show at the big indoor shows until 2001 while riding with Frank and Stacia Madden.
The next blog will talk about my "moving up" experiences at Beacon Hill Show Stables.
Speaking of Beacon Hill, we will be going to the HITS IV Sauguertis Show next week, the North American Young Riders Championships the week of July30th in Lexington, Virginia, the Monmouth Horse Show, August 22nd to August 26th and the season wrap-up will be at the Hampton Classic, from August 28th thru September 2nd.
Talk to you soon!