(Pictured left: Jodie Stowell and Comet headed for cross-country!)
My trip to the American Eventing Championships this past weekend was really wonderful! Yes, it would have been more exhilerating, challenging, and rewarding had I been competing as well, but just getting to spend time at the gorgeous new Chattahoochee Hills/Bouckaert Farms was amazing, and the quality companionship of my friends was fabulous. I really thought it was a super event and I think everybody was happy. Lots of smiling faces and very content horses and ponies everywhere! Congratulations to my friend, Jodie Stowell, and her sweet horse, Comet, who finished 6th in their Preliminary Amateur division. They were the only pair to show jump clean (with only 1 time fault). Way to go, Jodie!!!
I had such a great time this weekend at AECs, and even though I wasn't riding, I really was. I "jumped" every obstacle with each rider out there, I "galloped" each stride, and I "saw" every spot, "checked" at each turn and drop, and "kicked on" as each rider aimed for the finish flags. I think eventing is such a special sport, because there are so few of us out there. In some respects, I would love for our sport to be well-known, popular, with heavy involvement from people all over the world, so that random strangers I might pass on the street would know exactly what I do and how that shapes me and makes me special. But, that's just not the way it is. Very few people even know what "eventing" is, as opposed to something mainstream like football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, or hockey. We are like the residents of a miniscule country that are surrounded on all sides by the inhabitants of a large nation that lets us pass into its borders, and vice versa, seemlessly and wordlessly, yet at the end of the day, the "Eventing Nation" goes back home and sleeps soundly in the knowledge that no matter who they are, where they go, what their accomplishments are, or how they succeed (and sometimes fail), that they are happily and forever "in the company of eventers."