A recap of my experience at Badminton. In the words of my coach, Karen O’Connor, “experience is what you get the moment after you needed it.” The year is still young. Excited for what lies ahead for Johnny and my other horses.
It brought luck to Johnny and me at Burghley last year. We had to keep up the tradition and make another wish at the Avebury wishing tree before Badminton as well. This time I was joined by my friend and fellow Badminton rookie, Katherine Coleman, Caz Hewer, Rick Wallace, Briggs Surratt, and Timothy Harfield.
After a day off, Johnny and I did some light flatwork today. He feels great! We leave for Badminton first thing tomorrow morning.
It’s really to think of Johnny and me, not just as a team, but as the team. After all, it’s our names on the registration list for Badminton, and it’s our names that end up making it into news stories. But the team is bigger than me and Johnny. MUCH bigger.
In this vlog, I thank a lot of unsung members of the team. These are the people who regularly give of their time and energy to make sure that Johnny is healthy and sound. This includes my vets Dr. Jimmy Nash and Dr. Jill Copenhagen, our farrier Chase New, our massage therapist Amanda Moretz, our chiropractor Holly Breaux, and our magna-wave therapists Kathy and Todd Clark from Horses ‘n Motion.
It also includes the girls at home who make sure that the other horses are well taken care of in my absence, and who keep me constantly apprised on the happenings around the farm. Just because I’m away doesn’t mean I get to stop caring for all the other horses. I’m still responsible, and so I need people I trust to be my eyes and ears. Aly Rattazzi, Callie Coon, and Brit Butman are incredible.
Of course, its important not to forget my coach Karen O’Connor, who will be over in England in the weeks leading up to Badminton. We have work to do.
With international travel, the team expands even more! Bastian Schröder and the entire crew from Horseflight were instrumental in ensuring that Johnny made it safely over to Europe (he arrived in record time). My Dad Rick Wallace and his student Briggs Surratt are coming over to help groom and provide moral support, as is my good friend Lainey Ashker. My friend Katherine Coleman, who lives in England and is competing at Badminton as well is incredibly generous, giving me a place to stay when I’m in England, and I’m looking forward to helping her when I’m over there as well.
This vlog was kind of dedicated to the ‘unsung’ members of the team. But I would be remiss if I didn’t also highlight the the crucial importance of the Simply Priceless Syndicate, without whom it would be impossible for Johnny and me to compete at all. Vicki and Steve Sukup, Susan Day, and Kim & Larry Loveless are among my most ardent supporters, and I am blessed to have them in my corner cheering for our horse Johnny. There’s also my barn owner, Rosemarie Spillane who has been there for me through thick and thin, through up times and down. The generosity of the Rose Family in recent years has been matched only by their kind sincerity in wanting me and Johnny to succeed.
My sponsors, too, are like family, and they all rally to make sure that Johnny and I have fresh saddlepads (Ecogold), feed (Buckeye), supplements to keep Johnny’s tummy happy (Choice of Champions), a freshly flocked saddle (Custom Saddlery and Nancy Bardy), reliable safety equipment (Soteria and One K Helmets), and clothing (English Riding Supply).
Speaking of family, the love of my mother, papa, brother Braden, and sister Hannah is so important to me. I was so glad to have dinner and share some laughs with them just days before my departure. I know they will be watching and cheering from Georgia even if they can’t make it to Badminton in person. My dogs are an important part of my family and I always miss them during overseas travel. I know they miss me, and don’t really understand it when I go away to compete, but at least I know that they are safe and well taken care of by my husband Timothy while I am away. Timothy always comes to big competitions like Badminton, and we look forward to working as a team to produce some behind the scenes vlogs so you can get a taste of what it’s like on the ground.
Last, but most certainly not least, I consider my fans an important part of the team. The enthusiastic support you show on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter is incredibly motivating, and a constant reminder of why what Johnny and I are doing is so important. It’s not about winning a competition (although that would be nice). It’s about promoting and celebrating the lives and potential of horses, and that would be impossible without all of you.
I this vlog, I talk through my second training session with Practical Joker (aka ‘PJ’), by Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover horse. I also make give an update about my Badminton travel plans and make a couple of pretty big announcements.
(P.S. Dod you notice PJ’s ‘tail extension’? I gave him a hay string prosthetic to help him with flies while his tail grows back in)
Simply Priceless does cross country in the CIC 3 star division (his favorite!) and Indiana Chrome (aka ‘Indy’) completes the final two phases of competition at theTraining level at the Carolina Horse Trials. Continue reading “2017 Carolina Horse Trials – Wrap Up”
It wasn’t the greatest day. 5 rails in show jumping with Johnny is a strong reminder of how humbling this sport is, and why you really need to fight if you are going to succeed.
The day also marked Corteo’s first dressage test in about two years. Needless to say, he was a little ‘exuberant.’
On to day three.
The Carolina Horse Trials began on Wednesday. After our extensive warm up routine, Johnny put in a solid performance scoring a 53.8 to finish in 33rd after dressage in the CIC Three Star division. Continue reading “2017 Carolina Horse Trials – Day 1”