I had the pleasure of travelling to Chatham, VA this weekend with five horses that we loaned to Averett University for IDA Nationals, which was hosted at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Center. We narrowly missed qualifying two of our riders and were beaten out of the wild card slot by higher scoring regions so were supporting Averett and IDA with our horses and students.
Astaire, Alibaba, Jake, JB and Scot loaded up early Thursday morning with Abi, Claire, Megan, and Bridget to make the three hour drive. Lindsey and Elizabethe left a little later to do a circular tour to pick up one horse in Southern Pines and one in Raleigh. Thursday afternoon was dedicated to schooling and Friday was the horse selection. Our settled right into the horse show routine. Lindsey took charge of the barn routine and braiding while I took care of my duties as IDA Secretary/Treasurer. The five students worked together very well, sharing all the duties and assisting one another with stalls, hand grazing and grooming.
By Saturday morning Astaire and Scot had been excused from the show. With almost 40 horses there were many that traveled and did not compete. This strategy paid off very well on Sunday for the team competition with so many to choose from to make the horse groups as fair as possible.
Saturday the remaining three were braided and groomed beautifully for individual day. The horses were paraded by level prior to their division. The SAU team had JB and Alibaba gleaming for upper training and Jake looked fabulous for the lower training division. On Sunday JB dropped down to lower training to help even out the horse groups.
Averett put on a wonderful National competition with a rodeo theme, including cowboy boot center pieces at the Friday dinner and boot shaped name tags for the horses. Congratulations to Virginia Intermont on claiming the team championship for 2014.
I was very happy with our horses and students all weekend. Everyone worked hard to support one another in what can be a tiring and thankless task – the life of a groom is not an easy one. The horses received excellent care and our team looked great all weekend in their SAU blue shirts.
For me it was a wonderful opportunity to see my friends from the IDA Board and coaches from all over the country including California, New England, Louisiana and the Midwest as well as those that are closer. The competition is what brings us together each year, but it is the connection I have with like-minded people that makes this annual competition so enjoyable. Having the show in our region this year and taking horses was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Next year Otterbein University takes on the challenge of hosting at their brand new facility.