My Dressage Journey 2009
What a year, and what a journey I have had. I must start by saying I am Jessica, I am a C1 in the Genesee Valley Pony Club. I love dressage, and have had a great partner in my 10 year old paint mare named Monday's Child. We have been competing together for a few years and this year our goal was to compete at the USPC Championships in Virginia. I qualified, and had a great time there, but that was just the beginning of my journey. I found out that I had been selected to represent USPC at Dressage4kids in early summer and what an experience it was!
I want to thank Pony Club for sponsoring a team to go to Dressage4kids held at the HITS grounds in Saugerties, NY, it was one of the best experiences of my life! I met wonderful riders from all around the country. I had a great time being part of the USPC team, setting up our tack room, meeting everyone's family and hearing where they were from, what level in PC they were etc... it was all so much fun! I had an amazing time there, my favorite memory was of riding with one of the "roaving trainers' who like us, were young dressage riders too, but most are now top national level Young Riders. The work that I did with my "roving trainer", led me to a 4th place finish in my division overall. The experience of meeting great people like Laura Aiken, Lendon Gray, and so many more who have a real love of dressage and are so tremendously supportive of young riders and their dressage goals was so moving. Even though it was my first time there, I felt like family it was such a great, kind, supportive environment. Everyone was so nice throughout the entire week, from the judges to the other competitors; it was just one of the best experiences of my life. The end of the weekend was the special awards and special classes like dressage trail, Prix Caprilli, and lead line. It was a great way to end the weekend helping my little sister Faith, a D1 in Pony Club, get my horse ready for their lead line class. She was judged by Lendon Gray and was asked lots of questions about horse knowledge, which thanks to what she has learned in Pony Club, she knew them all from where the pommel was to that my horse was a piebald paint! She came in 2nd out of about 10 kids and it was so much fun to see her enjoy the weekend as much as I did.
My Lendon Gray Experience
Dear United States Pony Clubs,
My pony, Scooter Pie, and I had tons of fun at the Lendon Gray Dressage For Kids Festival! I met so many new people and met many new friends while competing and volunteering. Being on the United States Pony Clubs Team was truly an honor. I met Katherine, Chelsea, and Jessica. Their horses were all great! As a team we were 4th in section A (13th overall). We also got 6th place in the tack room competition. I entered Training 4 and placed 12th. I rode a musical freestyle and got 12th which was rather impressive, I think, because all levels of dressage were judged against each other instead of by level. I entered dressage trail (walk/trot/canter) and placed 3rd. In Prix Caprilli I got 1st. Prix Caprilli was definitely the highlight of my weekend because my judge, Jill Kuc, said I got the first 9 she gave out that day. I got a book as one of my prizes that is titled "Equine Sports Massage". I have been giving my pony one every once in a while and he loves it. Before D4K I had been taking lessons with Susanne Hassler and she was definitely a huge help. After I started riding with her my dressage scores improved dramatically. There is still some room for improvement though. She would be happy that I got a roving trainer award. I can't wait until next year to go again. I had so much fun and I had a great time meeting new people and being on the United States Pony Clubs team. I'm definitely going to work toward a spot on the regional or national team again next year. Thank you for all your support and effort put into this competition, and for the scholarship. Once again, it was SO much fun!
Madison S., D-3, Delaware Pony Club
p.s. The team didn't get the chance for too many whole group pictures because we were so busy, but I'm attaching some good ones. Jessica, Chelsea and I all had siblings competing too and Katherine had two horses, so as you can probably guess we didn't get a lot of time for pictures. I hope everyone else writes too. If not, please let me know and I'll write a summary of their accomplishments too. They did really great and got some honorable awards.
I would like to thank USPC for sending me to Dressage4Kids, and Lendon Gray and Dressage4kids for their support of young riders and sending a girl from Western NY, on her paint mare, who loves dressage to what has definitely been the best time of her life!
2009 Lendon Gray Team
|undefined undefinedKatherine Abrams
||undefined undefinedSinking Creek Pony Club
||undefined undefinedOld Dominion Region|
|undefined undefinedChelsea DeMeglio
||undefined undefinedSterling Stirrups Pony Club
||undefined undefinedEastern Pennsylvania Region |
|undefined undefinedJessica Hainsworth
||undefined undefinedGenesee Valley Pony Club
||undefined undefinedWestern New York Region |
|undefined undefinedMadison Sycalik
||undefined undefinedDelaware Pony Club
||undefined undefinedDelmarva Region |
My First Lendon Gray Experience
Hello - My name is Sara Martin and I am a C2 with the Delaware Pony Club in the Delmarva Region. I wanted to take a moment to share my wonderful experience at the Lendon Gray Dressage festival 2008.
Earlier this year I was surfing through the USPC Dressage website and came across a scholarship opportunity to attend the Lendon Gray Dressage 4kids Festival. Immediately I went to the Lendon Gray website to do a little research and see what the festival was all about and I knew that this was something that I wanted to do. I discussed it with my parents and they agreed that it would be a wonderful opportunity for me and my pony, but they said that I could not depend on the scholarship - if I wanted to attend I needed make the commitment to go and to prepare myself and my pony. If I was able to prepare myself we would attend with or without the scholarship. I set my sights on showing First Level which was something new for "Keeper" and myself. We contacted our Regional Supervisor - Bodgie Read and she was so supportive, we sent in the necessary paperwork to the USPC and I began to prepare Keeper and myself for the festival.
Keeper and I worked extremely hard to prepare, he can be very difficult and very naughty at times but my mother called on an old friend and wonderful Trainer Kate Hutchings to help me along. So Kate, Keeper and myself spent hours preparing and riding our First Level tests. My pony had always been shown in the Hunter Ring so trying to school him in Dressage has been quite challenging but also very rewarding.
The wait for news on the scholarship seemed like a lifetime but just a few weeks before the festival I finally received word that I was a member of the USPC team and I would be attending the festival. I was so excited and immediately began planning and communicating with my teammates online. Before I knew it we were packing the trailer and heading for New York.
I must say when we first arrived I was very intimidated by some of the riders and their mounts, but I remembered the instruction my trainer had given me and I concentrated on myself and my pony "Keeper". undefined undefined
The festival began and Keeper and I began to ride our tests. I had entered two divisions Training and First Level. This was only our second time out First Level so I was relieved that we were scheduled to ride our Training Test First. We were both a little nervous in the ring but the judge was so positive about our ride that we relaxed and really started to have fun. We had a blast the entire 3 days. There was so much to do, educational opportunities, ice cream socials, pizza party, demonstrations and the judges were all incredible. They were all so positive and had such wonderful constructive comments. I rode my first ever Dressage Equitation class and came in second and finished 2nd in the First Level Division, our USPC team took second place also. Our last day was a little disappointing with our musical ride, the heat had taken its toll on Keeper and he had no fuel left in his tank. I struggled to push him through the music and I was so far behind I am not sure I rode all of the required movements and I totally made up the second half of the ride as I went along. At the end all I could do was laugh; I guess that's the beauty of the freestyle. We had such an incredible time and my pony gave me more than I could have ever asked for. It was awesome!!! I won many wonderful prizes, but most importantly Keeper and I came away with a new confidence about our Dressage ride and where we are going with it in the future.
The Lendon Festival was incredibly fun, rewarding experience for me and my pony. I already have my sites set on next year and I am hoping to put together a team or two from my pony Club region - what a great time we would all have together. I can't wait for Lendon 2009!!!!
Thank you to the USPC Dressage committee and Connie Wyatt for giving me this incredible opportunity, Bodgie Read for her support, Kate Hutchings for teaching me how to deal with my difficult pony and how to properly ride a Dressage test, Lendon Gray for making this all possible, all of the great judges and roving trainers and of course my parents who I hope will take me back to Lendon Gray EVERY YEAR and of course thank you to my wonderful pony "Keeper"
Maybe some day I can be accomplished enough to return to the festival as a roving trainer or judge. You never know!
C2 Delaware Pony Club/Delmarva Region
PS: Everyone should check out the Dressage4kidswebsite
2008 Lendon Gray Team
Sara Martin, Megan Kapral, Mackenzie Kurtz, Ashley Anderson
Congratulations to the team for finishing 2nd!
|undefined undefinedAshley Anderson
||undefined undefinedOn the Bit Pony Club
||undefined undefinedWhite Mountain Region |
|undefined undefinedMegan Kapral
||undefined undefinedAutumn Ridge Pony Club
||undefined undefinedNew Jersey Region |
|undefined undefinedMacKenzie Kurtz
||undefined undefinedMountain Laurel Pony Club
||undefined undefinedEastern PA Region |
|undefined undefinedSara Martin
||undefined undefinedDelaware Pony Club
||undefined undefinedDelmarva Region |