2013 YEAR END AWARDS PROGRAM - NOVICE DIVISION FEATURED RIDERS & HORSES
Novice – Junior/YR
Molly Sherman & Bento Box and Karoo
My name is Molly Sherman, I am a 13 years old from Dickerson, Maryland. I started this season with my wonderful pony, the 2012 USEA Pony of the Year, Bento Box. After some very successful shows, we decided it was time to let Bento Box teach a new rider. Our Dutch riding pony, "Benny" is now living with the sweet and skillful Ryan Keefe. Look out for the dynamic duo's debut this spring!
Then, about three months ago, there was a new addition to the family named, Karoo. Karoo is a thoroughbred percheron cross. Karoo is also a long time student of Terri Impson, and we were a match. Terri is currently living Hawaii and still gives us constructive feedback everyday. We would not be this successful if it wasn't for the guidance and friendship of Terri, and all of the wonderful coaches we have had.
Karoo, also know as, "Peter" has competed prelim earlier in his life and has even placed 2nd at Bromont with his previous young rider, and Terri Impson student, Caroll Courteney. I hope to make it up to her level with him again someday. This year we competed Novice in five horse trials. Starting with Waredaca, we placed first and continued to place first for all the other shows - it has been amazing. I am so proud of him. I also got a chance to participate in my first classic three day at Waredaca. Waredaca offered a wonderful learning opportunity with plenty of clinicians and information to ensure everybody got the best opportunity to do well. Every show has been a learning experience and I am very excited to continue my journey with Peter, but not without the help of my mom. She is my trainer and my groom, and is right by side at every show, every lesson, and every where I need her to be. A big thank you to my Oma who bought Karoo for me to continue my riding journey. Thank you to everyone who has helped me this season, there are so many to thank! And I look forward to learning more and having fun next year!
Photo credit to Cheryl Sherman
Novice – Adult Amateur
Amy Parsons and Best Surprise
This was our 4th year Eventing. Unlike many of you, I did not event when I was younger. I grew up at Lake Tahoe and ski raced as a kid. I did some riding, but never had lessons. Then came college, marriage, and career. My husband and I were both pilots for United Airlines. I retired from United in 2005, and we moved to Virginia. My husband Wayne is still with UAL, and flys the B-777 out of Dulles Airport.
I hadn’t really heard about Eventing until we moved to Virginia, but I wanted to try it. In 2007 I bought Best Surprise from my relatives, Jim and Bobbie Falk, who breed and race Thoroughbreds. Surprise had been in Jims field for 2 years waiting for a new career after steeplechase racing. He was 6 at the time I got him. So, both of us pretty much started from zero, beginning with trail riding, a little endurance riding, and then jumping and dressage lessons starting in 2008.
I admire all of you out there who have been there and done it, …zooming up the levels! We are "Team Tortoise" in comparison! We’ve been at Novice for a couple of years now, but I think we finally got it together this last season. I credit that to our dressage instructor Shannon Bossung, and jumping instructor Tim Bourke. Im hoping we can move up to Training Level in 2014.
Novice – Adult Amateur
Michelle Adamson & Union Jack
My name is Michelle Adamson and no I,m not 20yrs… or 30 or 40 hhhhmmm I’m afraid you have to keep going a bit but stop just before the half century. A score any cricketer would be proud of! Why should age matter, well I keep trying to tell myself it doesn't until you try to teach that old, steady set in her ways hound some seriously new tricks. Not too long ago I emigrated (because of my husband’s work) from England and left behind my equine British life of hunting, team chasing and point to pointing. I have heard the term many times speed kills, but I was an avid, fully paid up member of the "speed thrills" club. After a slightly sticky start in the US ( 1st house fell through current one needed extensive renovations ) we now live in Brightwood Madison County in Virginia. Whilst re modeling, people I met offered horses to take hunting and invited me to tailgate at the races. I was over whelmed with their kindness and efforts to help me settle. But I’m embarrassed to confess that no matter how wonderful the people, nice the horse or good the days hunting, it just made me sad and depressed. All it did was remind me of "home" and what I had left. If this move was going to work I really had to sort myself out. The last thing anyone wants to hear is "oh when I was in England or in England we do it this way" I was determined not to fall into that category but you are in a catch 22 situation because that is all you know and my general confidence had started to wane. I had to steer clear of anything that evoked warm fuzzy images of times that had now got to be relegated to the past. > I came up with the idea to learn something new to keep my brain busy and stop it from meandering back East. So I decided that I would actually LEARN TO RIDE and take up eventing. And so I embarked on a journey that would show me how difficult it was to ride a simple circle as I attempted my FIRST EVER dressage test. Yep old dog comes back to mind. One judge in her comments felt the need to point out to me that circles did not have corners!! An arena full of coloured poles 18" high that I could knock down and walk through filled me with horror and had me saying…. I don't know whether we are ready for this yet. But the xc oh yes I can do that,
so bring it on. I actually thought we were going slow but when someone joked to me and said "OMG we thought you were going to overtake Phillip Dutton" I guess my xc was a mess also!! It is at this point that I should introduce you to my partner in crime. He is totally exonerated of any offence and is purely guilty by association and far too compliant to go along with my bad calls, which is usually going for that long one! A wonderful turn of fate paired me up with a 17.3hh dark bay TB x WB "noodle" called Jack, I didn't know such a big horse could wiggle so much. He has not got a bad bone in his body and I feel our motto to describe us should be…"always trying" We will never be on any high performance lists but together we are steadily improving, enjoying learning and giving eventing our best efforts. Oh and yes we've slowed down, have a bit of a rhythm and can get right in at the base now!! Recently in Eventing USA I was reading some research in an article by Daniel Stewart titled "Young" rider Equestrian Sport Psychology and why "Young" athletes do what they do, here they are the results in order of importance. 1. to have fun. 2. to learn new skills. 3. to be with friends and make new friends. 4. to belong to a group, be accepted. 5. to experience competition and challenge themselves. 6. to experience success and winning and 7 to exercise and be healthy. Wow…. I feel "young" again, thanks eventing you are giving this "older athlete" all this and more.
Team Chasing in England 10 yrs ago and proudly on Jack after completing the BN at Loch Moy MD last year.
Novice – Adult Amateur
Dr. Carey Williams Riding Skip Point
Hometown: Allentown, NJ
Carey is a professor at Rutgers University specializing in Equine Nutrition teaching, doing research and running Extension programs in the state of NJ. Her favorite hobby is riding and competing in various horse trials. You might also find Carey volunteering as the Area Steward at the famous ‘Jersey Shore’ water complex at the Jersey Fresh Three Day Event at the Horse Park of NJ. Carey’s previous mount Em A Pro (aka Mickie), an unraced Thoroughbred, she bought as a yearling from Virginia Tech (where she did her Master’s and Ph.D.) and competed up to Preliminary level until she was retired from this level of competition in 2011 after several serious eye surgeries. Carey’ current mount, Skip Point, is an OTTB who raced pretty successfully until he was 5. Now 7, Carey has owned him for just over two years and has been competing him at the lower levels of eventing for a little over a year now. Skip’s racing career ended when in his last race he bowed a tendon for the second time making it clear to his trainer and owner that he was not able to handle the speed of racing. That is when Carey got him and after a year of ‘being a horse’ he quickly got used to a career as an eventer and did two horse trials at the Starter Level and one at BN in 2012. At Starter and BN Skip only placed less than second place once and he was double clean every time. During the 2013 competition season he started off with two events at BN moving up to Novice by the middle of the summer. Skip finished this season at Novice on a very successful note going double clean in almost every event he was in. Carey says “I have never had an OTTB before but Skip is not what I would have expected. He is the laziest horse I have ever ridden! Even when jumping, he enjoys it, but has never acted crazy or hot like some other OTTB’s I know.” Carey looks forward to next competition season and hopefully continuing to move quickly up the levels.
Photo credit toLisa Minshull
Novice – Adult Amateur –Seventh Place & Training – Adult Amateur – Fourth Place
Yvette Seger and Finders Keepers
Finders Keepers (aka “Twix” or “Super Pony”) is what I like to call the 14 hand result of a torrid love affair between a draft horse and a Corgi – he has an enormous head, a stout neck, stubby little legs that end with ginormous hooves, and a relatively long back. I mean, let’s face it, he’ll never be a beauty queen! However, his “untraditional” looks are counterbalanced by his huge heart and determination to put his little pinto body between the red and white flags over fences as wide as he is long. In 2013, Twix and I moved up to Training level and ended our season with a start-to-finish win at the Virginia Horse Trials in November. We hope to build upon this success in 2014 with the goal of representing vertically-challenged equines at the Training 3-Day at Waredaca next fall. (I’m sure as heck not going to tell him he can’t do it!) Special thanks to Team Super Pony – namely my parents, Larry and Diane Seger (who drive down from northern Ohio to cheer us on at nearly every event), Karen Tilley (Twix’s previous owner and generous lender of truck and trailer so that we can get out and DO stuff), and Dee Cook (who continues to support my insanity even though her horse and my previous eventing partner, Roger Rabbit, is now officially retired from competition). None of this would be possible without their support!
Photo credit to GRC photography
Novice – Open – Reserve Champion
Suzy Gehris & Taking A Taxi
Taxi logged a number of miles this year growing his confidence, getting used to new places and getting past his concerns of dark things – shadows, lines, holes in the ground …. He gives a huge thank you to Jim Gehris and Chelsea Condliffe for coming with him, giving him carrots, and assuring him dark things were all jumpable. As his confidence grew, so did his ego making him a ton of fun to be around. A big accomplishment for him culminated in a fantastic Novice 3 Day competition at Waredaca in October; he came home a different horse demonstrating what all who have done a 3 day (even at low levels) will tell you. Waredaca Novice Three Day event - what a great event !!!! Onto 2014 !!
Photo credit to GRC photography
Novice – Young Horse – Reserve Champion
Heidi Robertson & Redshift
I grew up showing in the pony hunters, and got a lovely OTTB, Lady, when she was 3 and I was 12. I rode her in the hunters, equitation, and even a brief stint in local horse trials before she retired. I always talked about breeding her, and after graduating from college and starting work, I took the plunge. After hours of late nights squished on a cold couch in the feedroom watching a tiny monitor, my first homebred was born in the middle of the day on July 1, 2008. Redshift, or Orion, had a difficult birth and was born dysmature, but has grown into a handsome character. From the first glimpse of a white leg, to days of sitting and bottle-feeding, to endless laughter at his antics in the field, to groundwork and our first ride, he has brought me so much joy and hope.
I started Orion off at a few of the Future Event Horse shows through his 3yo year, and took him to his first starter horse trial in the Spring of 2012. My trainer, Phyllis Dawson, has been instrumental in teaching me how to develop Orion to give him every opportunity to be successful. We've taken our time to build his confidence, but this past year he moved up to Novice and qualified for the YEH Championship. I wasn't sure we were really ready since most of the other 5yo had been competing at recognized horse trials a level or two above him, but it was a wonderful experience and he continues to amaze me and prove his athleticism and aptitude. I owe so much to my family, including my amazing husband Wes for not minding carryout pizza on late lesson nights, my mother for being my rock/cheerleader/groom and taking such wonderful care of the horses, and my dad for all he does day in and day out. I look forward to continuously improving my riding and developing Orion!
I have attached a photo from the YEH Championships at Fair Hill. Photo (c) Shannon Brinkman