Someone recently posted the attached cartoon on my personal Facebook page. Quite fitting I thought.
Despite the fact as a 20-something single professional (not in the horse world!) you’d think I could go on some exotic vacation to Europe to see world famous landmarks or to the Caribbean to lie on a beach, I am constantly headed to horse shows! Even a recent work trip to California brought me to Galway Downs to see what West Coast eventing was all about.
My coworkers know better than to ask where I’m going when I take a day off… the answer is always the same: a horse show. I have been extremely blessed this year to attend Red Hills in March, Galway in May, Bromont in June and now later this week I am headed back to NAJYRC in Lexington, Kentucky. Although I will not be arriving until late Thursday night, our HJU Fearless Leader is there covering the events earlier this week.
NAJYRC is one of my favourite horse shows. For one, there is never a dull moment. I have already printed the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and planned how best to cover as many disciplines as possible! I hope to see the Endurance riders start their race at 6:30am Friday and make it back to the Rolex Stadium to watch the CCI** riders do their dressage tests at 7am. I’m hoping to then watch some Dressage (the YR and Jr Individual tests) in addition to catching the showjumping Farewell class. And that’s just Friday!
I also find the entire atmosphere at NAJYRC so much fun. For many of the riders, this is their first taste of team competitions. Many of these riders have NAJYRC as their end goal, before going away to college or entering the ‘real world’. Others are also just beginning their careers as equestrians. Several US High Performance listed eventers (sorry, I don’t know the dressage and show jumpers like I know the eventers… yet) like Hannah Sue Burnett, Tiana Coudray, Lauren Kieffer and Will Coleman have all competed at NAJYRC.
So to everyone competing in Lexington, Kentucky this week, whether it is for the first time or for your last time at NAJYRC… enjoy every minute of it. It doesn’t matter if you come home with a gold medal or simply a ‘good learning experience’. You are the best riders of your age in North and Central America and you have earned the right to represent your team at this competition. Best of luck to everyone competing and I CANNOT wait to get there Friday morning.
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