Beginner Novice – Junior/Young Rider
Molly Sherman & Bento Box - Champion
The American Eventing Championships was an amazing event that I was fortunate enough to go to with my trainer Packy McGaughan. It took a lot of time and work, but my pony and I stayed on a program, no matter what the weather or what else we had to do, so we were ready to compete! Chattahoochee hills was an unbelievable venue. Everything exceeded my ideas of how extraordinary it would be. I got to watch some of the top riders in the country compete and perform. I also got a chance to walk my cross country course with Becky Holder. Becky won the advanced division on her retiring horse Courageous Comet. One of her husbands inspirational quotes she shared with us on the course walk was "What is the most important fence? The next one". Getting 2nd out of 81 talented riders was a huge accomplishment for me and my pony considering we have only competed in 5 recognized shows. My pony and reliable team mate, Bento Box, has been with me for 4 years now. Over that period of time we have grown as competitors and friends. When I got him he was a skittish pony with an unknown history and personality. Along the way we have had much help and support sculpting him into the fabulous pony he is today. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to work with Benny if it weren't for our family friend, trainer and International eventing competitor, Terri Impson. Terri found us Bento. His name was originally 'As Good as it Gets'. We thought his name did not give him justice to his mature personallity. He had many qualities wrapped together in a cute and unique color (liver chestnut rabicano with bird catcher spots) so we went with the name Terri thought of, Bento Box - a compact Japanese lunch box. This unique pony came in a unique way. My mom (Cheryl Sherman) told me my father (Scott Sherman) was going to Virginia to help a friend move furniture out of his house and that he was bringing the trailer because he was picking up a couch his friend had no need for. When he got home i was asked to come help unload the couch. When I opened the door, out popped the adorable head of Bento Box. There began our incredible journey. We have had so much support from trainers, friends, family, and Pony Club. Thank you Tony Eyler for helping us when we first started out, giving us tools to support Benny. Thank you Terri Impson for too many things to list! Thank you Packy for bringing us along with to where we are now - we could not have accomplished this without you. A special thank you to my biggest fans and supporters, my Mom and Dad.
Audrey Case & Mullacash Paddy – Reserve Champion
Audrey Case started eventing in spring of 2012 under the direction of Riding Innovation's Jacquelyn Dickey. This spring Seneca Valley Pony Club member earned her C1 certification and attended her first event the next day. Audrey, who turned 14 in September, has learned an incredible amount this year from her older sister Shannon and her faithful mount Mullacash Paddy "Schmu". Schmu is owned by Middlebury College student Carly Fink and is a 19 year old Irish Sport Horse. Schmu is a bay 16.1h gelding and loves cross country and carrots.
Gillian Warner & CNF Erin Darlin’ – Third place
I started eventing in August 2011 with my first unrecognized starter trial and won. I loved everything about the event (especially the cross country!) I then did Rubicon in November at Beginner Novice and I knew this was what I wanted to focus on and grow in as a rider. I went down to Aiken, South Carolina in February which was an amazing experience - I competed at Sporting Days and Full Gallop. Erin and I did well in both events, and I could feel improvement in our bond and how I rode. After a few more events at BN, I did an unrecognized novice event at Loch Moy. Erin was amazing and we placed third. Our last event together was at Plantation where we got second - I had so much fun and she was perfect the entire time. I knew after that event that Erin wasn't going to be able to hold up and stay sound for what I wanted to do. Being able to compete in events with Erin was very special to me and also something that I thought I wouldn't be able to do. Erin had broken her leg in 2009, and even though she fully recovered, she was never as strong as she once was. After looking at a lot of horses, we found my next horse, Peerless (Punky). Hopefully we'll be out and competing soon!
Beginner Novice – Adult Amateur
Sherri Booye & MC Endless Echo - Champion
Horse Bio: MC Endless Echo is an Arabian Hanoverian cross. He is 10 years old and started eventing at the age of 7. He is a kind horse and truly my partner and will try anything for me. He is currently in 1st place in our zone for the USEF Silver Stirrup Award for eventing and 3rd nationally, with a chance for 2nd if we do well at the CDCTA show on November 11. He also competes in dressage and is doing extremely well. He is the 2012 USDF All Breeds Half-Arabian Vintage Cup champion and in 3rd place nationally for the USEF Adult Amateur Silver Stirrup Award and 1st place in our zone.
Rider Bio: I am late to eventing taking it up 6 years ago at the age of 54. I have had a rough couple of years with the loss of my first eventing horse to laminitis and then injuries to Echo and me. Things finally came together this year and Echo and I qualified for the Area II regional championships at BN level and took 8th place, and we earned our Bronze and Silver medals from USEA at BN. We still have a chance for earning our Gold this year depending upon how we do at the November 11 CDCTA show.
Photo credit Brant Gamma Photography
Carolyn Rice & Whittington’s Cat – Reserve Champion
My homebred mare “Catty” and I had a surreal 2012. We had both been away from eventing since 2006 due to Catty sustaining an injury and then having a foal. Last fall I put her back into regular work, and after training hard all winter we came out ready to go in the spring. We started off at Beginner Novice at Morven, and then moved up to Novice. After four events at Novice, two of which we won, we moved up to Training at Surefire in June, the first time at that level for both of us. We had a terrific first outing finishing 3rd before I gave her the summer off. The fall season was absolutely amazing with four Training outings, including winning our division at the VA Horse Trials and being a member of the winning CDCTA Adult Team. We capped off the year with our first ever Prelim at CDCTA, which was a fantasy realized and I was ecstatic to place 3rd. I still can’t believe how much we accomplished in one year, and I owe so much of the credit to my marvelous trainer Kurt Martin. Here’s hoping we can keep it up in 2013!
Photo credit Brant Gamma Photography
Beginner Novice – Young Horse
Jorgen Olijslager & Northern Quest Lady’s Man – Champion
I’m a junior in highschool but hope to have a career that will involve horses/eventing. We found Northern Quest Lady’s Man aka Mac last November at Michael and Marisa Frazier his breeder’s farm, Northern Quest farm, close to the Canadian border in upstate New York. The Frazier’s breed some nice Irish Draught and Irish Draught Sport horses, in the spring they even asked me to start another one of their 4year olds, which we were able to sell to do some eventing but mostly hunting. Under the watchful eye of our dressage trainer, Heather Mason, I backed him. What an amazing adventure we are on from the start by just introducing a lunge-line and saddle to getting on his back (all progressing slowly to not overload his brain) to actually competing. From the day we met Mac we knew we had a little star! Mac has done a handful of Beginner Novice events placing either first or second, with the exception of one, than moving up to Novice in the fall for three events again placing in the primary colors each time. Finishing the season at Fair Hill YEH competition in a big and very classy field of competitor and won the SAFE HARBOR Award (presented to the young horse who consistently exhibits the most graceful and rider friendly performance throughout the competition). I thank my parents, home trainer Heather Mason, but also Marcia Kulak for coaching this summer. Look out 2013 here we come, but first we are hitting the trails for some relaxing rides!
Photo credit to Erika Olijslager
Penny Lynch & Keep on Dancing – Reserve Champion
"Keep On Dancing (a.k.a., "Danny") is a 5-year-old TB that I've had for just over a year now.... He's the perfect horse for me at this stage of my riding and my life. I call him a QH in a TB body.... He's got the best brain in the world, and he's calm and quiet, and very easy to get along with. He LOVES to jump, and he's probably the most honest horse I've ever had. He may be green, and he may get distracted at times, but show him a jump, and he'll get to the other side from whatever distance, whatever angle, whatever! We had a lot of "issues" in 2012 that slowed us down.... A lot of "stop/start/stop/start" in our progress. But hopefully, we can have a more consistent year in 2013, and get out to more events. I may be getting old, but I'm not done quite yet!"
Photo credit to Alleson Borden