From Endurance to Dressage
Happy New Year! I know most people have today off and won't be getting their daily blog fixes, but this was something about which I had to write, and I felt compelled to do it on the first day of 2019.
I started my dressage journey in 2010, riding Introductory Levels A and B (before there was even a Test C), in four different CDS-rated shows. By 2011, I was hooked, but I never expected us to do very well. I've been competing on my very well bred Arabian gelding, but not purpose bred for the sport of dressage.
While reflecting over the past year, I started thumbing through my early show results, reminiscing. As I clicked through each year's scores, it occurred to me that Speedy and I have accumulated a surprisingly good-sized list of accomplishments.
Most of the time I am pretty self-deprecating and never take anything too seriously, especially the wins. Blue ribbons or brown ribbons, it's all been about the journey for me. Even so, I decided to make an organized list of our different achievements; was I ever shocked at the resulting list!
Show High Points: we've earned high point award eight different times. I am pretty sure the scores were all earned at schooling shows or CDS-rated shows, but hey, we rode against whom we rode, and the judge saw what she saw. I'll take it!
Championships: I decided to include only true championships in this category even though the wins at Regional Adult Amateur Competition feel like championship wins. With that, we have "won" three year-end championship titles: Introductory Champion from Ventura County Chapter of CDS, Training Level Champion from El Sueno Equestrian Center, and Second Level Champion from Tehachapi Mountain Chapter of CDS. We were also "Reserve" Champion at First Level from TMC, but who's counting?
California Dressage Society "Plates": A plate is awarded to a CDS member the first time he/she earns five (5) or more scores of 60% or better at Introductory C Level or above in a single show season. Recipients will continue to receive plates every year thereafter. The plate is engraved with the horse's name, level of competition and number of scores.
In 2011, Speedy and I earned the CDS Certificate of Achievement for earning 4 scores of 60% or better at Intro Level C (or higher). Beginning in 2012, Speedy and I have earned a plate every single year through 2018. In total, we have earned 86 scores above 60% at CDS and/or USDF-rated shows. The scores may not be high, but I appreciate Speedy's consistency.
California Dressage Society Awards: I can't say it enough times; my GMO is simply amazing. Besides the aforementioned "Plates," CDS offers so many other ways for riders to be recognized for their hard work. I take full advantage of the awards offered and have brought home quite a few "wins."
Speedy and I have won the CDS Central Regional Adult Amateur Competition at nearly every level that we've entered: Introductory Level, Training Level, and Second Level. We've also brought home a neck ribbon in red for First Level.
Later this month, Speedy and I will be receiving the Second Level Horse Performance Award as well as the Ruby Rider Award at the CDS Annual Meeting.
CDS has been very good to us over the past nine seasons!
Awards from USDF: While my GMO is fabulous, we all know that it's the USDF awards that really matter. While I haven't taken advantage of everything that USDF offers, memberships can be a bit of an issue, the Rider Performance Awards have been something I've worked hard to achieve. As of 2018, Speedy and I have now earned all three Rider Performance Awards from Training, First, and Second Levels. We are two scores away from the Bronze Medal.
It has taken us nine full seasons with 74 days of shows, but Speedy and I have managed to do pretty well for an endurance horse and rider team. I can't wait to see what we'll accomplish in 2019.
Happy New Year, everyone!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read