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February 19, 2014

From Billy, With Love

Years later Billy still has all his best moves.

Last year Kristin, then aged 12, and Bellinger, then aged 21, won just about everything they tried their hand at, including several awards at the Lendon Youth Dressage Festival. One of those awards garnered her a very handsome plaque, which I told her I'd be happy to hang in the barn when it was done being engraved. Apparently Billy (now 22) overheard this conversation, and this morning, he asked Kristin (now 13) to pass me this note.

My dearest Lauren - 

Now that the construction has completed at MY barn, Kristin will be bringing my beautiful UMEGO Perpetual Trophy, bestowed upon me by Lendon Gray at the 2013 Youth Dressage Festival. I am VERY proud of this grand award and am providing you with advanced notice so that my trophy case can be prepared. I'm sure Kristin has secured proper transport—armored car and security guards are without question. Cancelling of lessons would be prudent as there will be much frolicking about by my equine neighbors in my honor. 

And another note—I miss you—hurry home from Florida!

Yours Forever & A Day,
Bellinger Sprieser

Billy's Award

And so, I passed this one back to him.

My darling William, my finest Knight -

I am so glad to hear that your fantastic trophy has finally been completed! It is long overdue, for sure. I would be delighted to hang it in a place of prominence in your barn, wherever you think would be most appropriate. There is room in my office, of course, on the Wall of Trophies And Other Shiny Things (many of which are yours, as you know!), but if that is not to your liking, in the barn aisle would also suit, as would "A" in the indoor arena (above "C" is the sign that says "Go Forward," something you've never struggled with).

We cannot, however, place it right in front of Tres's stall to taunt him. I know he is your sworn enemy, but he has not one day in your acquaintance taken any issue with your insistence that you are the Biggest Man In The Barn, intact or otherwise. So let's just let that one go, shall we?

I am sure that the frivolity of your neighbors will go on all day, as is befitting of such a triumph. However, I think it best to keep the lesson schedule intact, so that the trailer-in equines can be amazed at your brilliance, as well as your stablemates.

I do miss your presence here. Fender—the horse your lease fees bought me, those few years back—does his best to honor your shared Trakehner heritage by spontaneously combusting en route to Michael's arena every few days; he says it's because he's afraid of the palm trees, but I know that he's smart enough to know that Michael's arena is where the Right Canter Pirouettes happen, and that he's trying to evade work/capture. Life with you (and Midgey; he has always been the more nefarious of the two of you, although vastly, vastly less bright) has made me wise to these shenanigans. I thank you every day, for the knowledge of how best to coax the best work out of clever and leggy equines. Fender's canter pirouettes, however much he loathes them, will someday be great, and it's much thanks due to you.

Take good care of our Kristin. She's clever and adorable and completely hilarious, and deserves your best behavior, most of the time. I know you're teaching her about the FEI Junior tests. You'll be pleased to hear that I dug your FEI Passport out of retirement. It was last updated in 2008, and expired in 2011, but it'll be easy enough to get the paperwork rolling to bring it back into active duty. I never thought we'd have need for it again. You, and Kristin, as always, never cease to amaze. 

Your Humble Servant,
Lauren Sprieser

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