Sandwiched between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles is Santa Ynez, California, a town surrounded by rolling hills and grape vines. Along with the local wines and breathtaking views, Santa Ynez is also home to Area VI’s Charles Owen Technical Merit Award at the Shepherd Ranch Horse Trials held August 24-26, 2018. Out of 23 Training level rides, Tayler Ravenscroft and Emma Weber were victors of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award for their safe and appropriate cross-country rounds.
At 19 years old, Tayler Ravenscroft has already experienced the highs and lows of horses as she explained, “I got my first event horse when I was nine years old, TC Royal Flush (aka Ace). He gave me so much confidence and he is the reason why I stuck with eventing. Ace took me from my first event to my first Training level in just a couple of years, but sadly sustained a career-ending injury in 2013 and has since been retired. I began riding a Zweibrucker mare named Charismatic Crescendo in the Spring of 2013, I did a few shows with her before we found out that she had some physical problems that would end her eventing career. During the time I had her I moved from northern California to southern California. Soon after retiring Charisma I got the ride on Shadow Boxer. I've also had the opportunity to lease a couple of wonderful horses that helped me gain a lot of knowledge.”
Always remaining positive, Ravenscroft’s weekend at Shepherd Ranch was a high point and she admitted that she was “honored to receive the award.” Ravenscroft continued, “I think it is so wonderful to have an award that recognizes safe cross-country riding. Charles Owen is great to continue supporting this year after year.”
Ravenscroft described her partnership with Shadow Boxer, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, bred and owned by Daniel Murphy. “I have loved bringing Boxer along and we have both learned so much together over the years, I'm really proud of the horse that he has turned into and how our partnership has grown.”
Ravenscroft is first to credit the village behind her success, including Daniel Murphy and Gina Economou. “Dan [Murphy] generously offered me the ride on Boxer. Initially he was a sale project and four years later we have a strong partnership. I am so fortunate to still have the ride on Boxer - Dan is an incredibly supportive owner and I owe so much to him. [Also,] my trainer Gina Economou has helped me so much with Boxer and I'm so grateful for everything that she has taught us.”
It’s a family affair behind the success of the Charles Owen Technical Merit junior recipient, Emma Weber and Cinematic. A homebred out of Matinee and sired by Art Deco, Cinematic, who goes by the barn name ‘Littleman,’ started at the Introductory level with Weber’s mother, Tammy Weber. Since then, Emma explained, “I’ve been riding him for five years and he is currently nine years old. My mother took him Introductory level and I’ve taken him from Introductory up to Training level with hopes for Preliminary level.”
On the right track to move up to Preliminary level, Weber described how she first got into eventing. “My mother was an eventer and taught me the basics.” Weber continued, “I started riding with Jennifer Wooten when I was seven years old, and I’m 15 now. I [started competing in] 2014 when I first borrowed my trainer’s horse and then started riding Cinematic at the Introductory level.”
“This experience was definitely a confidence booster,” shared Weber on the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.
Congratulations to both Emma Weber and Taylor Ravenscroft on their exceptional cross-country riding!
About the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award
In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council in partnership with Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.
The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award. Click here to learn more about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.
The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.
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