The Texas Rose H.T. held November 5-6, 2022 at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas was host to the 2022 Area V Championships. The Area V Championships featured four championship divisions at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels, giving four lucky horse and rider pairs the chance to take their victory gallop and be crowned Area V Champions. Meet each winning duo below.
Preliminary Champions: Lauren Hoover & Monbeg Capricorn | 36.7
Lauren Hoover and her 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Monbeg Capricorn (Capri Van Overis Z x ESI Lady) started their weekend in second place with their dressage score of 32.3 but quickly worked their way up to the pole position following their brilliant cross-country trip which only added 3.2 time penalties to their score. A double-clear show jumping effort would solidify their lead, crowning them the Area V Preliminary Champions for 2022. The victory was the icing on top of the cake of a brilliant first season together!
Training Champions: Sydney Schultz & Excel Star Saphira | 30.0
Sydney Schultz piloted Kimberley Schultz’s 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Excel Star Saphira (Future Trend x KEC Snooping Around) to the win in the Training Championship. It was a wire-to-wire win for the pair who led the 15-horse field on their dressage score of 30.0 all weekend long. Not a bad way to conclude their first season at the Training level together!
Novice Champions: Anna Pierce & Dreamweaver | 27.2
When Deborah Corff sent the now 5-year-old Trakehner gelding Dreamweaver (Platinum vom Rappenhof x Danicka) to Anna Pierce a year and a half ago, Pierce immediately saw the potential in the young horse.
“From the first trot step, I knew this horse was extremely talented and could be incredible in the right hands,” Pierce reflected. “Knowing this I suggested purchasing Dreamy as an investment project to clients of mine, Sabeel and Sammar Fatehdin. They jumped on the opportunity and a year later here we are the Area V Novice Champions!”
The pair led the division from day one on their dressage score of 27.2, a score that would remain unharmed through both jumping phases. Looking back, Pierce was especially proud of how Dreamy handled show jumping. “He has not done stadium after cross-country before, so I wasn't sure of how he would perform, but he absolutely knocked it out of the park! I almost think he knew how much this win would mean to me. He went in there and was all business not even coming close to having a pole down.”
Even a week later, Pierce is still on cloud nine as she looks back on their performance together at Texas Rose. “It is still a bit surreal to me that Dreamy and I won the Area Championships. It feels incredible to have done this on a horse that I produced and a horse that has such a massive team behind him. Dreamy is one of the most talented horses I have ever sat on and I have a feeling he has many, many more wins like this in his future. I absolutely couldn't have done it without the Fatehdins, my incredible sponsors, parents, owners, and clients.
Beginner Novice Champions: Michelle Kennedy & Right Swipe | 23.8
Michelle Kennedy purchased the now 8-year-old Thoroughbred mare Right Swipe (My Golden Song x Deep Finesse), aka “Izzy,” from Reciprocity Thoroughbreds when the mare was just four years old. Kennedy describes herself as an adult re-rider, having come to eventing from an AQHA Western Pleasure background, and she and Izzy have learned everything together every step of the way.
“In the beginning, Izzy and I started going to all-breed horse shows to give her exposure to a show environment and for me to work through my history of show nerves,” shared Kennedy. “We entered every class I had the tack to enter, which ranged from halter to hunter under saddle to western pleasure. We started our journey under the tutelage of Kelly O’Harra, and have spent the last few years training under Sheryl Lewis’ phenomenal instruction. Izzy and I have had many highs and lows figuring it out together, but the journey continues to be an extraordinary adventure. Izzy has the best brain and is always trying her heart out to please to do all the shenanigans I put her through.”
The pair started their weekend on a tie after dressage with a score of 23.8 and that tie would hold through their double-clear cross-country round. It was show jumping, however, that set the pair apart from the crowd. Their fault-free round secured their lead and earned them the title of Area V Champions! For Kennedy, the realization that they were now the victors in their division was an emotional one.
“It felt surreal at first. Once it set in, I started tearing up. I also felt extremely thankful for my trainer Sheryl Lewis for getting me to this point, and for all my barn family who have supported me throughout our journey to this point.”
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.