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It’s Been A Blast: Saying Goodbye To the 2015 Show Season

What a way to end the 2015 show season!

Bridget Hay on Faolan at the U.S. Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan in Lexington, Ky | Photo copyright 2015 by SusanJStickle.com

Things are starting to settle down this week, and I finally have a chance to write my blog. Just two weekends ago, I was competing at the U.S. Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan in Lexington, Ky. It was a great show that brought together 372 competitors from 26 states, and an awesome way to end the season.

As usual, I traveled to the Kentucky Horse Park with my good friends, Alice Tarjan and Lauren Chumley. Showing is always fun, but it’s way better when your friends are there. We watch, support and help each other, then go to dinner together.

This particular show is even better because there is such a feeling of camaraderie and teamwork among everyone. I met new riders and made new friends, many just because we were stabled near each other, and I got to visit with other riders who I only ever really see at shows.

Reese Koffler-Stanfield’s client even made soup for everyone in our barn. There was just a really warm and friendly feeling at this show. We rooted for each other, and cheered on fellow Region 8 riders, fellow Jersey girls and any of our new friends who were our neighbors in the stables. I had so much fun chatting and catching up with everyone, and of course, I did lots of shopping in the trade fair.

The best part of all was how proud I am of the way my superstar boy, Faolan, finished. He was reserve champion in the Open Fourth Level Finals with a 70.48 percent. I couldn’t ask for more from a six- year-old, to be second in the nation at Fourth Level.

He was just fantastic all week, and he tried his heart out for me on the Saturday. We had a few bobbles in our ride and we have lots of room for improvement. He’s only just starting to show us a little bit of what he’ll be able to do. My homebred Oldenburg stallion truly is just a very solid show horse already, so it’s hard to remember that he’s only six.

The awards ceremony in Kentucky was probably one of my favorites so far. I could hear people cheering and fellow Jerseyans yelling my name when we trotted past them in the Alltech Arena.

The atmosphere in there Saturday was just so fun, and I could tell Faolan certainly felt it too. Who doesn’t love awards ceremonies?

I gave Faolan some down time last week after what has felt like non-stop showing this fall. Now we’re back to a little work, and starting to think about next year.

If things fall into place, we’ll head to Florida this winter for perhaps six weeks. The plan would be to mainly focus on training down there and a few shows. We’ll compete in Prix St. Georges and the Developing Prix St Georges next year.

It’s only been a week since I showed, but I can’t wait to get going again and head back down centerline.

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