May 24, 2011
A lot can happen in a week and this last week is evidence of that! A week ago today I was in the library at KU, cramming for my last final. Now that test is one of the furthest things from my mind!
WakeUp, Willie, Mama and I left for Chicago on Thursday, for what proved to be quite the rollercoaster weekend. Willie, my 9 yo Weltmeyer, who is usually a little bit hit or miss, was mister steady all weekend, with 68%, 66.8% and 66.6% in the I1 and Developing horse classes. WakeUp, who is rather consistent, decided this was not the weekend for it. J
WakeUp and I had the first test (the preliminary which counts for 40% toward the final) on Saturday afternoon. We were lucky to have wonderful weather at Lamplight and WakeUp felt good in the warm-up. Unfortunately, I think he felt really good during the test! We had a couple large spooks that led to tension and some mistakes. This was uncharacteristic of WakeUp and not what I had expected from him. Needless to say, I was super disappointed. We received a score of 7.74, which was well below the necessary 8.2 to qualify for the World Championships in Verden.
Therefore, the Saturday night dinner was not as jovial as one could wish for… However, with tears making an appearance, Mama, David Wightman and I talked about what we needed to do for the next day. We were not about to accept that it was “game over”. David was great with helping me come up with a warm-up strategy. I had made a big mistake in taking things for granted, but Sunday was a whole new day and we had something to prove. I knew we needed an 8.51 to make the cut but I also knew that it was possible, as we had received an 8.63 earlier in the season. However, there was no room for mistakes or anything less than our best.
I don’t know if it is good to ride with the feeling that you have nothing to loose, but that is what the attitude was on Sunday. Mama was great to not let anything slip in the warm-up and WakeUp felt so stellar. We pushed for brilliance in every aspect and, because of that, I think the finale test on Sunday was one of the best tests I have ever ridden. WakeUp was forward and through and we did not let off for a second. Even before we received the scores, I was thrilled. WakeUp had shown what an amazing horse he can be. The judges rewarded us with a super score of 8.58, and with that we were once again qualified for the World Championships for Young Horses!
Many things are still up in the air and in question. This is just the start of a new week! For one, we don’t know if we will receive an invite based on the selection trials in California and Virginia. However, I am so pleased with WakeUp and am ecstatic to be able to ride such a brilliant horse. We are also so fortunate to just make it home, with a tornado that killed 115 people hitting just 2 hours from home, striking Sunday evening. Also, we are lucky to still have healthy horses. Let us hope that the Equine Herpes Virus does not claim more horses! And to add to the week, Laika, a Londonderry mare that qualified for the National Young Horse Championships with Mama last year, had her WakeUp foal last night! Another adventure begins!
I have to thank everyone who wished me luck before the show and congratulated me after. It was pretty neat to come back to the barn after the awards and find that my phone had 8 missed calls and tons of texts! A friend said that everyone feels like they own a little bit of WakeUp and me, and I am honored to be a part of such a fantastic group.
Have a wonderful week and thanks again for following and supporting!