Cindy DePorter fit all the pieces together to make it possible to take her horse, Drop the Buck, to the USEA Adult Team Championship in September. DePorter is the Co-Chair of the USEA Adult Riders’ Committee, and while she plays a big role in making the ATC happen for adult riders across the country, she decided to take part in the fun for herself this year.
“I am so excited to say that my horse Buck and I are going to the Adult Team Championship held at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships!
When I started talking with the Area Adult Rider Coordinators about putting teams together across the nation for the ATC and I looked at my own calendar, I realized that I had that weekend free! I checked the qualifications for Area II; I had not been able to compete very much this spring but was pleasantly surprised that I was qualified! Yeah!
The next thing I did was plug Texas Rose Horse Park’s address into my navigation system and saw that it would be about an 18-hour drive. I could do that! I knew I would have to find a driving partner, but schedule-wise, it could happen. I contacted Christina Gray, the secretary for the AEC/ATC, to figure out when the ATC competition for the Training level would be. Training level is scheduled for dressage on Thursday, cross-country on Friday and show jumping on Saturday.
I was scheduled to be the Technical Delegate for a dressage show the weekend before, and then I had to do a presentation at a work conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday and Tuesday. I could fly to Indiana on Sunday night after the dressage show, do the presentations on Monday and Tuesday, fly home Tuesday afternoon, and load the horse and leave for Texas. I planned on driving overnight, so if I left at 6 in the evening, I would arrive in Tyler, Texas around lunchtime on Wednesday! Maybe Buck could go spend the weekend with Aunt Holly (my trainer, Holly Hudspeth) for a tune-up the weekend before I go. The plan was coming together.
My next task was to plan out a conditioning schedule for Buck and for me. Another twenty pounds off would be great, and I know Buck would appreciate it. I got the calendar out and backed up from the date of the ATC to see what type of schedule I would need to get Buck fit, and also what competition I would use for preparation. I had plenty of time to get him legged up and I could go to Five Points Horse Park [at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, N.C.] the first weekend of September. Perfect! My friend Foy Barksdale could longe him for me on the weekends when I was gone, which was only a couple of times in August. I would also need to talk with my blacksmith Ed Zangerly, to get Buck’s next shoes tapped for studs. I had talked to Holly and would start my weekly jumping lessons in August, so Buck and I would both be sharp (more for my sake than for his)!
I also have to figure out what type of health certificates Buck and I need to go across the country. All his shots were up to date, and I have a new truck, but I need to take the trailer in to get it serviced, tires checked, greased and lubed, and fill up the propane tanks on the camper. I plugged the opening date of August 12 into my phone to remind me to enter, and then I went to the USEA website to find out more information about the competition and about Texas Rose. I filled out an RV camper reservation, attached a check, and mailed it off, making it official! I also decided to buy two sponsor passes on the USEA website, as I figured that would take care of lunch, support the USEA, give me a great place to watch the competition, and it was a little something I could do for whoever helped me drive across the country!
The final thing was to put together a team. I contacted Donna Bottner, the Area II Adult Rider Coordinator, to tell her that I wanted to ride on a Training level team. I had already joined the Adult Rider Program in my area which was a requirement for the ATC. I also put out a call to other areas for team members. I got one team member from Area V and I have one team member from Area III, and I’m hoping I can find one more team member to have four!
So I think I have a plan! Now I need for the horse to stay sound, the dressage show to end on time so I can make my plane which is an hour away from the show, my plane connections back home on Tuesday to work, and then I can pick up Buck and head to Texas. Stay tuned!”
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