I just wanted to share these two awards for two of our amazing Area 2 Adult Rider members. What an honor it is to know people with so much heart! Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday, we had a great meeting. Details to follow soon!
Adult Rider of the Year 2013: Brena Jones and Adult Rider Horse of the Year 2013 Santos, owned and loved by Jenna Calcaterra
Read more about these awesome members!
Adult Rider of the Year 2013
Our Area has so many great Adult Riders; I certainly don't feel very exemplary! But I am proud to represent ARII AR whenever and wherever I can. Discovering this group was a game-changer for me:
finally, here was a group of people who GOT IT, who know how hard, how unpredictable, how maddening, how kind of impossible but you do it anyway, it is to be a part of this awesome heartbreaking sport as a working adult amateur, especially with one horse who lies in wait to injure himself 24 hours before trailer loading.
Even though I never get enough time to participate as much as I would like, I love being a part of the "family." Just like family, sometimes we all have our squabbles, our bad days, and our...special...members (raises hand), but I will never forget the support and reassurance I felt not only when I took Solo to Training Level, but afterwards, when he and I both ended up in physical therapy. There is overwhelming generosity here and I try to pass it on whenever I can.
And even though my job gets in the way (I don't know why they can't just send me a paycheck at the barn), I am so proud that we help make TWO T3D's happen (psh, technicalities, So8ths, you are in Area III). What I have learned there and the look of awe and accomplishment and love and pride I get to see in those riders inspires me over and over again, even when it gets REALLY rough. I am proud that, at both, we not only recognize great riding, but also great heart, sportsmanship, and dedication. I will do everything I can with all the stubbornness I have (hint: a lot) to help keep those going. I'm going to ride in one before I'm 60, I don't care if I have to ride a donkey (they seem to stay sound...).
So thank you for your recognition and thank you also for being there and supporting the group. In my life it's a phenomenal and irreplaceable resource and I've made wonderful friends that I sometimes get rare and precious opportunities to see. I'm not sure that what I've done that is award-worthy (it's certainly not an award for excelling at eventing or points, I guess!) but I am deeply honoured that someone thinks so.
Gallop on, ride safe, keep it between the flags, and above all, hug your horses every day, for they are the true gift.
PS If Dom and Jimmie are there, tell them Evention is a phenomenal project, and yes, I AM just there for the jumps.
Adult Rider Horse of the Year
Owned and loved by Jenna Calcaterra
I bought Santos in November of 2005, half way through my junior year in college as my adult ammie jumper. In less than a year he took me from being scared of 3'3” fences to many double clears in the 3'9” classes. After graduating in 2007, we had a lot of success together. However, in early 2008, my life started to spiral out of control with an eating disorder. By May, I had lost about 20 pounds and went into treatment. Santos, who had always been my rock, was now more so than ever. He REALLY took care of me while I was weak. He started to stop at fences, knowing I wasn't strong enough to hold on. He was real reason I sought treatment. Together, we moved to VA where he got to try new fields (including fox hunting) this was his first year truly eventing, at 15 years young!!! He carried me to many wins including 6th at in AECs and few year end titles. He has been an absolute saint and an amateur's dream. He’s been more than a horse; he's been a patient teacher and an amazing friend. If one horse deserves a title, it is Santos.