Last weekend, we showed at the Virginia Intermont Classic, held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. It’s the first time we have competed at that show. I had heard so many great things about the show, we decided to give it a try. We arrived Friday morning, in time for Shannon and Don to show. The show was crowded, so we had more than enough time to unload the trailers, obtain back numbers and get the horses ready. Shannon and Don rode well, the horses were great and both riders won some ribbons. There was some time during the day to get the other horses ridden (as their riders were coming to the Horse Center after school), before Don and Shannon were scheduled to show again. More of our riders arrived in the early evening and then it was time for some (late) final classes in the Coliseum. It was a huge class – both riders made it around and learned a lot, setting themselves up well for the classes the next day.

On Saturday, we started with some jumper classes. Even though we have been concentrating mainly on equitation and hunters these days, our horses and their riders love the occasional foray into the jumper ring. What fun! Morgan, Ali, Kaela, Don and Shannon rode in different height classes and came away with some great ribbons. Kaela and Ali placed in the .85m class (with jump-off). Morgan and Kaela won blues in the clear-round .85m class.

Elizabeth Parent got off to a great start by WINNING the Washington Pony Equitation class. She had the highest score of all the eq riders in the different pony height sections. She also won a Small Pony Hunter over fences class. In another equitation class, Elizabeth was second in the VHSA Pony Medal. Great start!

Then it was on to the Oak Ridge Medal for Kaela, Ali and Morgan. It’s a great class that starts with a complicated flat phase, after which the judge ranks the riders and they are called back over fences in reverse order of preference. Ali and Kaela were called back early (due to some challenges in the counter canter). Ali had a great trip and finished in 7th place. Morgan was called back in 6th place and moved up to 5th.

Morgan had an exciting day, moving up to the 3’6″ equitation by doing the ASPCA Maclay. She got around safely and was excited to try again the next day.

Don and Shannon rounded out the day by competing in the Pre-Ch/Adult Eq and Opportunity Hunter Division. Shannon was third and Don was fifth in the equitation flat class! Don placed in the over fences classes and Shannon WON BOTH over fences to take Champion in the hunter division! Congratulations!

Sunday was a great day. The morning began with Morgan riding in the USEF Medal and the Washington Equitation. She rode well and placed 6th in both classes. Elizabeth placed 2nd and 3rd over fences in her Small Pony Hunter classes (and missed Reserve Champion by 2 points, darn!). She also placed 5th in the Pony Hunter Classic.

The VHSA Children’s Medal was next. Kate Murphy laid down a great trip and was called back in second place to test – and she won! It was a big class and an exciting win. The Younger Children’s Hunter went next and Kaela Harvey placed second in the first round. Kate won the second round and ended up Reserve Champion.

The Taylor Harris Children’s Medal was next. Our riders were late in the order. I watch a rider before us score an 80 and was like “wow, we have our work cut out for us.” Then Kaela laid down a great round for an 82. She waited to see what the other scores were, while I warmed up Ali. Then is was Ali’s turn and she scored an 84!!! The girls were so pumped.

The girls went into the test to win. They rode some parts of it amazingly well. Both riders had some inconsistencies – so Ali ended up second, while Kaela finished fourth.

(* As an aside, to those who might have been near us at the conclusion of the first round, I apologize if we were whooping it up too much. Riding is supposed to be a sport of quiet reserve, and we certainly didn’t want to seem cocky. But my riders were so happy, and even astonished to have scored so high. I was incredibly proud. And we were just having a good time. Horses always have a way of taking you down a notch when you are feeling especially proud of yourself. We try not to be that “obnoxious barn” but in the thrill of the moment we might have been giggling and high-fiving a little too much…)

Next came the Older Children’s Hunter Division. Morgan qualified for the Classic (Kaela and Kate had qualified from the Younger division). Ali placed fifth in the hack with Zenith.

I ran over to the East Complex, where Shannon and Don were ready to do the Special Adult Hunter. Both went around nicely (in a huge division) and Shannon placed in the under saddle and Don placed over fences.

Back to the Coliseum, Kaela was poised to place well in the Children’s Hunter Classic, but for a darned rail. Morgan went around well and placed 10th. Kate scored great, and finished in second place! Congratulations!

It was a great day! I’m so proud of our riders and their horses. The ride was something I’d like to forget (blinding snow going over the Blue Ridge Mountain! And it wasn’t forecasted at all!), but we all got home safely. On to next weekend and the preparation for that!

Virginia Intermont Classic

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