The PVDA Ride for Life is a special little show. It’s a weird show, a funny, dusty venue with funky stabling; it’s not far away but does seem to be in the middle of nowhere, with accommodations far away. And it always seems to be on the first hot-as-hell weekend of the year.
But we go back every year because it raises an absolute boatload of cash for the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer center, and because Saturday night is a seriously good time. This was my third Dancing Horse Challenge, each one better than the last. Karateka III, the PRE stallion I trained to Grand Prix (in fact, his first Grand Prix was at this show in 2011) and have since sold to one of my wonderful clients, Donna Oates, was put on this earth for shows like the R4L. He’s cute as a button, brave as anything, and confident enough in his masculinity that he didn’t bat an eye when we adorned him in every pink thing we could find to stick on him. Good boy.
I left my good video camera at home, so apologies for the iPhone quality of this video, but here’s our performance:
(I should say, in Tres’ defense, that both pirouettes ending in trot were totally pilot error – the first one I got him back too early and buried him in the arena fence, and the second one I thought I’d run out of music – maybe I should have practiced this choreography more than once before the show? Nah!)
He was such a peach. Just strolled around like the crowd was there for him. And as of this writing, they weren’t quite sure exactly how much they raised, but their goal was $100,000. I bet we got close.
The whole event was just a blast, and the night ended with my friends Ali Brock and Julio Mendoza, both on their stallions, and me on Tres, all standing around in the dark waiting for the curtain call to start, all within about 30 feet of each other. These Baroque horses, I’m telling you – you all should want one. They’re incredible!
Tres wasn’t the only star from Team Sprieser. My working student, Molly, showed Jamie Burke’s Utopian to his best scores yet at first level, including their first 70 percent of the year. And Johnny was QUITE colorful in his first test but had his best performance yet on Day 2, winning his class on almost 70 percent.
I decided that this would be Johnny’s last show for the year – the things holding him back from brilliance are things like lack of education and strength, and I’ll save a lot of money doing my training at home instead of at shows. He’s worn his Big Boy Pants (mostly) off the property, and so he’s going to just focus on being a stellar FEI horse someday, instead of the Training Level Genius Of The World 2013.
And we now are on a MUCH appreciated show break for a few weekends. With only two shows in July and only ONE in August, we get a nice, deep breath. Thank goodness! We all could use one!