August 7th, 2010
“How are you feeling?” asks the reporter. I had just finished the awards ceremony and looked at Wakey and Mama strutting back to the barn. (Yes, I think you can say Mama was strutting. ) I think I started to say something… but instead I was real classy and just started crying! I am so happy, so proud, so excited, so relieved, so exhausted, so bummed, so ecstatic, so thankful, etc. I just hope WakeUp knows how good he was. He and so many others have made possible a moment that I will never forget.
The small final class started at 3:00 in the afternoon. My last chance to get into the Grand Finale was to be top 3 in the field of 28! I was going into the small final placed 6th. It was a tall order but I wanted it so bad!
WakeUp and I schooled in the morning (exactly as the 5 yo winners from last year, Andreas Helgestrand and Honnerups Driver, were schooling) and he was super. He was a little fresher, which was exactly what I was hoping for! Scott Hassler and Dr. Moeller both said there was a strong possibility to make it that afternoon. Now the pressure was on!
After watching the amazing six year olds (including Eva getting 2nd and 9th!!!), I was so ready to get on! We had another super short warmup, Wakey felt great, and I was ready to be top 3! I felt more confident in WakeUp this time. I really have to keep bragging about how he handled everything. We had to go from the warmup ring, walk down a skinny, gated off path and squeeze through the entrance with about 6 inches to spare on each side due to the people crushing in! This opened into a plethora of flags, people, banners, flowers and signs that your horse was just supposed to ignore. It was a huge, electric atmosphere and WakeUpwas literally perfect with it!
The test felt really super. There were no bobbles trot bobbles today and he felt light, steady and more uphill than yesterday. We finished with an 8.5 walk, 6.8 trot, 8.5 canter, 8.0 submission and 7.9 general impression. That was a 7.94 final score and put me in first as of then! Wakey had done his job and I was so proud!
The rest was a waiting game to see how everyone else did. I tried to watch but my hair was getting thinner by the second! So I treated myself to an ice cream and sat in the barn waiting for a text from Scott and his family, Pat , Mama and Laney, who were watching scores. The first text was that I should get ready for the awards ceremony! EXCITING! Next news came from the people stabled next to us; they had gotten an 8.18 and were in second. Well… there my hopes fell. But hey, I had an awards ceremony to go to!!!!
The awards ceremony was the best part of the weekend. With music blaring, they started to announce everyone for the victory lap around the ring. WakeUp stood on that small path with the other horses (they sent 4th-8th in alone). Some of the others were rearing, spinning and I don’t blame them! Wakey was just like “guys… seriously… don’t you think this is a little ridiculous?” Guess what color the 4th place ribbon is in Germany? BLUE! Ha! I was in the awards ceremony with a blue ribbon! We trotted in and blasted down the long side in a freaking stellar trot. Then… it was soclassic! The two horses in front of me (5th and 6th) were rearing, spooking and just trying to get out of the ring safely. I just halted my stellar pony, waited for them to get out safely, patted WakeUp and then had the next long side, in front of the great people here supporting me cheering like crazy, to leave the ring in another crazy stellar trot! Wow… that was so freaking cool I can’t even tell you!
We finished 4th in the small final! We were just .02 away from the 3rd place and Grand Finale! Overall we finished 16thin the World! I have to blame Mama because she asked me in the morning how I would feel about being close but not making it into the finale. I said that I want to be as high as possible, if not making it in, then as close as possible! That is about how it is! Of course I am disappointed and would have hoped that we could have gotten those 2 cents but I am also so very happy. We had a fantastic show! I think we represented the USA and Midwest well! Most importantly, we put in two solid tests and WakeUp was great! We both gained such a valuable experience and lifelong memories!
Thanks so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much everyone! I wish I could give everyone a big hug and let you know how much it means to me that you all wanted me here, were cheering me on and believed in me and WakeUp. THANKS!