From Endurance to Dressage
I Have a USDF Bronze Medal
Last week, I started seeing posts on Facebook of rider's receiving their USDF awards for 2020. I knew my Bronze medal must be imminent. I was right. On Thursday evening a little package from Kentucky was sitting in my mailbox. My husband knows how much I've been waiting for this day, so he kindly stood at the counter with me as I eagerly opened the package.
I expected the package to be smallish, but I was a little worried about how small it was, and once I opened the larger envelope to reveal an even smaller bundle, I grew a bit more concerned. Was it even in there?
When I peeled off the congratulatory note and opened the bubble wrap, a very small, plastic case rested in my hand. I stared at it for a moment, and then said huh. My husband peeked over my shoulder, looked at me, and raised his eyebrows in a look that duplicated my own. It was not at all what I was expecting a BRONZE MEDAL to look like. Where was the neck ribbon?
I opened the plastic box thinking that the ribbon was somehow folded beneath the medal itself. Nope. I flipped the medal over and saw that not only does it not come with a multicolored neck ribbon, it's actually just a pin. Like the lapel pin I already bought and affixed to my show coat.
I actually laughed. I spent ten years and many tens of thousands of dollars for this? When I told the story to my trainer and good friend Wendy, they both laughed as well, and at one point, Wendy quipped, It's like what you get out of a gumball machine. For two quarters do you get a silver? I laughed so hard that if I'd have had a Coke, it would have come out my nose.
I could stand here and say I wasn't expecting much, but I'd be lying. I pretty much anticipated my medal looking a lot like an Olympic medal. I wanted a fancy ribbon, and I wanted to be able to take that see if it's real bite.
Ultimately, the petite size of the medal doesn't diminish the pride I feel in having earned it. Even if Speedy can't wear it around his neck for a photo op, I am still immensely proud to be one of fewer than 10,000 riders to have ever earned one. That I did it with my endurance-turned-dressage Arabian makes me even more proud.
At least now when I get my Silver medal, I'll know what to expect!
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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%: