From Endurance to Dressage
Now that Speedy is "retired," his life looks very different from what it used to. He gets ridden once or twice a week, and the rest of the time he relaxes in his field, harassing or being harassed by Izzy. He looks quite happy.
I miss him a little bit though. Of course I see him most every day, and he happily gobbles up the cookies I use to greet him, but I miss having a plan, goals, things that we're trying to accomplish together.
It's been nice that 2020's award season has stretched on for so long. We're still awaiting our USDF Bronze Medal, but there was yet another award that I had forgotten about - the California Dressage Society (CDS) Horse Performance Award.
I write about this all the time, but my USDF Group Member Organization - CDS, is really large compared to the rest of the GMOs across the country. As of today, there are 623 members listed. The roster is a bit light at the moment as many members are still renewing for 2021. Even though I renewed a few weeks ago, my name still isn't on the list.
With such a large GMO, it's quite common for the award's recipient list to be pretty hefty when CDS holds its annual meeting in January. This year, the list of winners is really small.
The year Speedy and I won our Ruby GEM Award (two scores of 60% or above at Training, First, & Second Levels), the stage was packed with riders who had earned their own Ruby, Sapphire, or Diamond awards. That same year Speedy also earned a Horse Performance Award. The list of riders who took the stage for that award was also long.
This year, the list of riders earning CDS awards is much shorter than normal, so I feel particularly grateful to be on that list. Shutdowns due to COVID-19 impacted California's horse show season pretty severely. The regulations and protocols that our governor has mandated have been largely viewed as capricious, inconsistent, and frequently downright draconian. With the state in perpetual lockdown, most counties were forced to deny show managers permission to hold shows. That meant that some areas of the state couldn't hold shows while others could. It's no surprise that so few could earn an award.
Speedy and I only made it to three shows this season, and the first was in October of 2019, the month our new new show season begins. Those shows gave us just enough of an opportunity to finish earning the scores we needed for Speedy's Third Level Horse Performance Award.
A week or so ago, I was sent an email from CDS congratulating me on our accomplishment. The Annual Meeting and Awards Gala will of course be virtual this year, but the event's organizers have requested a photo to display as our names are read. I've sent my favorite photo, one from Speedy's last show.
While I wish we could all meet in person to celebrate the accomplishments of our friends and fellow riders, it's not to be. Instead, I'll be waiting anxiously for my award to arrive in the mail.
Let's hope 2021 brings better news and an end to this madness.
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: