Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Blur That Was Aiken

An Obsessed Lercher

I have retyped the first sentence of this blog at least 27 times! I have yet to manage a single sentence that can really introduce or summarize Aiken 2013. So positive and so exciting in so many ways! The Lercher has never been happier having a golf cart to call his very own. And yet simultaneously we had so many disastrous things happen as Holly walking a young horse, it spooks, falls down and crushes her foot in the stirrup. Hence needing a golf cart in the first place. Or Stacy falling off in slow motion and trying to save herself in a way that snaps her wrist in half. Or having to talk to a really brave girl about doing the right thing for her horse. Little Bear still doesn't understand why he spent more time at the vet clinic than on a cross country course. We had ulcers, literally, mysteriously injured ankles, cops pulling over horse trailers at 4 in the morning, pretty sure we saw dead people, I mean I can't make this stuff up! I don't want to glance over all of our not so great moments,  it is because of those moments that we can appreciate and be grateful for every little amazing thing that happens! So I'm not going to dwell on them, either....
Really Warm Day at Paradise

And thus we begin the recap of what was two amazing months in South Carolina. I usually say warm and sunny South Carolina. This year, we had some warm days; but we were plagued with rain like it's never rained before! Luckily we have the most amazing facility in all of Aiken and it didn't slow us down one bit. Just kinda made us bitch and put our iPhones under 5 layers so they didn't drown :) I want to thank everyone that makes Aiken possible! First and foremost the generous owners of Shag Hill Farm, I aspire to be like Samantha Charles when I grow up! I think the world of her and Aiken wouldn't be the same without her, and I know I am not alone when I say that!! We are so fortunate to go back every year and pick up right where we left off, same great people and situations. Huge shout out to our vets and staff at Peformance Equine and our farrier Darren who for some reason keeps answering our texts and frantic voice messages! I also want to thank my girls Trisha and Stacy, who work their asses off quite literally we call it the Blue Clover Eventing weight loss program :) I depend on these girls and trust them to love and care for my ponies like they would their own children. Well, better than they would their own children lol. So bummed that Stacy broke, although it was literally the last week and she and her Magic Mike horse made super progress over the two months they were there. Look for him to move quickly up the levels, winning along the way! And Trisha I am happy to report looked like a pro cruising around the toughest Preliminary competitions on her main man Final Statement. There's a 1* in their very near future, and they deserve to come home with prizes!
Stacy smiling about having two functioning wrists

I also want to send out a huge thank you to the owners and clients that make this whole circus possible. This year, I was inspired by a bunch of Aiken rookies. And man did they hold their own! We had winners, too many ribbons to count, good times had by everyone and I mean it when I say everyone! We all know eventers aren't doing what we do for the money, and this year was a prime example of how fulfilling my life can be, inspiring and helping all of these amazing, talented people to achieve their dreams, whatever they may be. We are so fortunate to be a part of such a community, Holly's owners really rallied around what could have been a disastrous situation and instead I think we had one of our most fun years to date! I know Holly didn't have a ton of fun having to watch me ride and compete her favorite ponies, and believe me I wish the circumstances had been different; but at the end of the day I declare things a great success!  
  As usual, Aiken gives us a huge head start on the rest of the season. Already we have students schooling levels higher than they competed last fall, with several good runs early in the season. We have qualified for the American Eventing Championships, whether or not we choose to drive to Texas....Winston I am thrilled to say is like a completely different horse after a lot of hard work from a lot of different people. I am really looking forward to what the rest of the season may bring with him! He had super finishes at Pine Top and The Fork on our way home. Next up for him is the big Intermediate! Thanks to everyone who made that possible, especially his owners Greyside LLC. Haven't even had him a year yet and I can't believe the difference we have been able to make! Looking forward to June and the rest of 2013!
Aubrey wins the Sportsmanship Award!