November 4, 2012

2012 CBLM Championships

My 2012 show year came to a close with the 2012 CBLM Championships in Lexington, VA over the weekend of October 18-21. I competed Audi in the Second Level Senior Division B Championship on Friday and the First Level Senior Division B Championship on Sunday, as well as an open First Level class on Saturday. My student Riley took her pony Sport Model to compete in the open part of the competition as a way to get more mileage and exposure to what a bigger competition feels like. Sporty proved to be a challenging ride but Riley made progress every time she went into the show ring. It was a wonderful weekend all around, and one that I will continue to smile about for a while. It's incredible to think about how limited Audi's competition experience is, and yet at the CBLM's he went into the show ring (his last competition was early August) and delivered three solid tests with no mistakes. Scott Hassler gave us a lesson on Thursday evening and was very encouraging about the progress we made since he last saw us in July. He thought that our trot work was spot on but we could have more collection and activity in the canter, and that I needed to sit back more. My shoulders are my weakness so it was helpful to have Scott remind me of that going into the competition weekend.

Our warm up for the Second level test on Friday was a bit hairy. Audi felt up but I wasn't expected him to explode the way he did. To be honest I'm shocked that I didn't bite the dust. He was leaping, twisting and bucking all at once. At one point I found myself going right up behind Susanne and Baroncelli and all I could think was, please don't do something to hurt that stallion or Susanne, oh and I don't want to fall off! With Scott's support we managed to pull it together to finish with a very nice warmup and a really super test in the big indoor coliseum. We received a combined score of 65.329% (63.816 % from C and 66.842% from E) to finish in 10th place. They only pinned to eight place in this class so unfortunately missed out on the prize giving ceremony.

I got wise and lunged Audi Saturday morning. He proved that he needed the extra workout because he was HOT. As a result our warmup for the Saturday open First Level test was supppper and the test was lovely. We scored 72.56% for third place in a big class. Going into Sunday I knew that Audi's energy might be something to be concerned about and it was. Audi just didn't have the spark he had on Saturday. Kathy Adams was there to help me warm up for the class since Scott had a scheduling conflict with another student. The test really nice but I wish that I had been able to show better lengthening's. And he got a little spooked going into my right lead canter depart and then a little strong on the inside rein. Otherwise it was a fluid and pleasant test. We received a combined score of 69.865% (67.162% from B and 72.568% from C) to finish in 9th place AND we received a ribbon! The class was massive, 40+ horses, and we went early in the class so I had to wait until the bitter end to find out that I was actually in the awards ceremony. My poor mother was running back to the barn like a banshee to tell me that I in fact did place. The class was so bottom heavy and competitive that I was convinced I wouldn't place and therefore being the superstitious person that I am, I wasn't prepared for an awards ceremony. Somehow I managed to braid Audi, get dressed and mounted in 20 minutes; even buttoning my jacket while trotting across the showgrounds. Not how I envisioned my day to end but I will take it!!

I owe a debt of gratitude to my students and friends who have supported me throughout the year, and owe a special thank you to Scott and Susanne Hassler, the entire team at Hassler Dressage and Riveredge, Kathy Adams, George Williams, Bent Jensen, Debbie Witty and Trilogy Saddles, Dr. Charles Arensberg, Dr. Thomas Walrond, Bruce Wilderoter, Dr. Dave Smolensky, Amanda Reynolds, Gina Miller, Linda Wheeling and last but not least, my mom.

Here's to a even more rockin' year in 2013!

Second Level Senior Division B Final (photo by

First Level Senior Division B Final (photo by

First Level Senior Division B Final (photo by

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