Monday night, I attended a celebration of life for my friend Carol Hofmann Thompson. I was overwhelmed by the number of Carol's friends from all over the country who attended.
The service was held at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. This was such an appropriate setting because Carol loved the USET and had trained here on numerous occasions when she rode and represented the United States Equestrian Team.
As I was driving home to my hotel at midnight on Jan. 25, having just completed the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Jacksonville horse show where I finished second aboard Finale Partners LLC’s Loxley and fourth aboard Susan Darragh’s Zidane, I was thinking how much I couldn’t wait to compete in another derby and eventually in the Derby Finals in Lexington, Ky., in August.
This all started about a month before Christmas when I saw the most adorable video on Facebook—it was a whole bunch of baby goats playing and jumping around and set to music. I shared it on my Facebook page with the comment, “Aw, I want one!”
My sister replied, “Really? This can be arranged,” to which I replied, “ha ha.” Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would arrive at my sister’s house on Christmas Day to an adorable little kid goat dressed in a Santa suit!
Now that we have officially made it to December, I have been reflecting on November and what a crazy month it is for horse professionals. Here at Ashmeadow Farm we started the month of November with my boyfriend Tim and I taking a 13-hour drive from New Jersey to Lexington, Ky., with Russian Gold in the trailer and our two dogs, Ben and Toby, loaded into the truck with us for our customer Kimberly Maloomian to have a chance to show at the Alltech National Horse Show.
I successfully completed my first WCHR Professional Finals and man did I have a great time! We were done showing pretty early in the day on Friday so I was able to go back to the hotel for a few hours and regroup and get myself changed for the big class.
I’ve been at Capital Challenge all week every year and I’ve always sat and watched the WCHR Professional Finals class. I’ve even been involved as a presenter of awards because I’m on the WCHR board. Every year, I think ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be great if I could do that class.’ But I don’t think that I ever thought it could be a reality.
But I’ve been plugging away at trying to improve my riding and improve the quality of horses that I ride. A big challenge for me is working with my nerves and trying to keep all that under control at big horse shows.