August 21, 2011

WPCSA Show Wrapup

Let me start at the end, and tell you all the humorous story of this morning, the final day of the four day Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America (WPCSA) show hosted by the Heartland Welsh Club at the Hoosier Horse Park.

Clearly, only one of us was taking this picture seriously!

I arrive an hour before Lisa is supposed to arrive, start watering horses, I'm wearing a t-shirt and dirty jeans over show breeches.  I'm taking my time and waiting on my mom to get there with my breakfast.  Suddenly Alyssa yells at me from the other barn, "Jen, they moved the classes, you need to get Aviator ready now!"  I see other cobs headed toward the ring for the Ridden Cob class, in which you W/T/C reverse, W/T/C, then ride a pattern that includes a hand gallop, then you strip the tack and the horses are judged in-hand.

I tack up in record time, throw the rest of my clothes on, run to the arena and get in.  I goose my pony while getting on and he's nervous, but I wanted him 'up' anyway.  My stirrups are too long, the only warmup I get is in the ring while we're waiting for the fourth horse, my pony is well-started, but green, and has sticky leads.  To top it all off, I've never seen the pattern we're supposed to be riding, and Lisa isn't there.  I'm terrible at remembering patterns and courses.  I'm the person who gets over top of a fence in lessons and yells "Where now?!"  So, I went 4th out of 4 and watched the other riders like a hawk.  Magically, I rode the pattern well and he did not get silly in the hand gallop, and we ended up taking second place, not least because Aviator is just a stunning example of what a Welsh Cob should look like.  I worked hard for every step of that ride, and I'm incredibly proud of that ribbon.
Overall, the weekend was fantastic.  We had one Supreme Champion, and many divisional champions and reserve champions.  I did things I've never done before, such as showing a baby in-hand and learning how to properly stand up a Welsh Cob for judging.  The competition was small, but incredibly stiff; there are some people in the midwest breeding some fine Welsh Cobs.

Supreme Champion under one judge and Reserve Champion under the other judge, woo hoo!

Showing Lisa's twelve ponies that she brought really solidified my love for the breed and appreciation for them.  I'm eternally grateful that I met her and have the chance to show such fine animals for her.  If you ever want to try a Welsh Cob, let me know!  They're a blast!

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