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January 17, 2011

A Great Safe Start To 2011

Photo by Kat Netzler.

Well it seems like just yesterday that I was writing the closing of the season blog here on the Chronicle.

Time sure flies by, and I really have had plenty of reasons I should have been writing in the off-season. I would love to announce that Nina Gardner now officially owns Indie!

The USEA Convention was amazing and a wonderful time as well as very interesting, and I was thrilled with Cambalda (Ping) being named Horse of the Year and Indie being training level Horse of the Year.

Ping was also the Professional Riders Organization’s horse of the year. It sure seems like things have come a long way since this time last year. But with that said, I am looking forward to the future now and am starting to come more to terms with the loss of Cooper.

I am currently sitting in the Panera bread in Wellington, Fla., with my good friend Jody Petty sitting across from me. Jody is an amazing steeplechase jockey and a wonderful friend who just went through a big geographical change moving down to Florida to gallop at Palm Meadows for Graham Motion.

I was lucky enough to be named to the 2011 High Performance B list for eventing and received a training grant to come down to Wellington and ride with Katie Prudent. It has been truly beneficial to my riding, and I see the great advantage to getting some serious training with her. To specialize and focus on one of the hardest aspects of our sport with numerous horses has made me feel like I have had a good kickoff to the season.

Cambalda, Walkabout and Indie are currently down here with me and after getting some lessons for the first week we hit the ring this week at WEF. I just rode my horses in the schooling classes with Cambalda doing the high schooling, Walkabout doing the mediums, and Indie doing the lows. The horses did jump well, and I learned about every little mistake I make and how light these show jumping cups really are. It doesn’t take much to knock one of these bad boys down!

I look forward to heading back to Aiken and getting the event season rolling. Although I have to say I would love to stay in the weather longer and get another week in the show jumping ring. 

In other news, I went to the helmet symposium while I was down here and have decided that from now on I will wear a certified helmet every time I sit on a horse. I realize that as an up-and-coming rider in our sport and a Pony Club instructor that I have become a bad example by letting anyone who looks up to me or rides with me see me not wearing a helmet.

After watching a mother sob on a microphone about losing a daughter I realize this is a decision that I’m not just making for myself but for our sport as well. I am know that personally I am swayed by those I look up to, so I think I have some responsibility to do the same. 

SOOOO ON TO A SAFER and HOPEFULLY successful new year!

Cheers,
Jennie 

Brannigan Eventing

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