What an unforgettable week! Many people asked me why I wanted to go back down to the 2* level to compete at the 2016 NAJYRC’s after Ari and I have completed a couple of 3*’s. The reason being that competing at the 2* NAJYRC’s has been a goal of mine for as long as I remember, and I had the opportunity this year, and wanted to represent Area IX. It was also great to be able to compete at the Colorado Horse Park again, which put on a great competition as usual. I felt the courses were all very fair, yet challenging enough to shift the standings after dressage. I was actually quite pleased with my dressage test on Thursday, even though we didn’t quite show enough of what the judges wanted to see. I was still happy with Ari’s effort, as we all know she really just wanted to get on to the jumping phases! Friday was a rest day for the 2* riders as the 1* riders completed their dressage tests. My fellow Area IX 1* rider put in a nice test before moving on to the jumping phases. Area IX is very small, so this year we only had one rider on the 1* team, and one rider on the 2* team. However, we were combined with other area teams so that we could still get the experience of competing on a team. I was combined with the Area V (Texas) team, which was really fun. It’’s great to be able to get team experience, even at this level. Going into cross country, Ari and I were sitting in 13th place with a score of 60.8. Cross country day was exciting, and Ari and I had a lot of fun out on the course. Unfortunately, we had the frangible pin on a down hill fence because Ari tapped it with her hind legs to slow herself as we descended down the hill. She hit it just hard enough to knock the frangible pin, adding 11 points to our otherwise clear cross country. Still, she was fantastic as usual on course, and recovered well and ready for show jumping the next day. Sunday went really well, and Ari jumped wonderfully, not adding any points to our score, which moved us up to 8th place individually. It was really cool to be on a team with two other great riders. As the only 3 person team, we still were able to take home the gold, which was very special. It was such a memorable week, and I am so grateful for all the help and support I received from my grooms, parents, coaches, and friends. I am also so grateful for all of my wonderful sponsors who have been a huge part of my success. Without all these amazing people and their support, I would not be where I am today.
Now I am back at Blue Hill Farm, and Ari has been on a mini vacation before we gear up for the CIC3* at Plantation Field International beginning on September 15th. It was quite a shock in weather, as Pennsylvania decided welcome us back with a major heat wave. So Ari and I quickly got acclimated back to the humidity here on the east coast. I am so excited for Plantation Field, and then following that is Fair Hill! What a year it has been, and it's not even over yet!