From Endurance to Dressage
Who's tall and blond, wields a sword better than most men, and is as honorable as they come?
If you recognized Brienne, you're probably a fan of Game of Thrones. The newest addition to our family comes to us from the house of Spartacus the Valiant. Really. That's her dad's name. He's a purebred black Labrador Retriever. She's a blond with a bold and fearless attitude.
I'd like to introduce you to our very own Brienne of Tarth, just Brienne around the house, and maybe "Bri" for short, but her tag bears the entire moniker (it's been ordered, but hasn't yet arrived). We're still getting around such a big name for a little puddle of blondness.
We met her this past Wednesday, but we had agreed to take her before we even saw her. My best friend had picked out one of her littermates for her brother-in-law and had shared some photos with me. We'd been talking about getting another dog for the past few months, so this litter came up at just the right time. After we went and met her, my best friend decided to take another one of the black pups to keep for herself. She and her husband already have two yellow labs.
Brienne came from a litter of eleven: three blacks, seven yellows of varying shades, and a very unusual black and tan. LV, the breeder, told us that it is a rare coat color that comes from the perfect pairing of recessive genes. She told us to check out Guiding Eyes for the Blind's website as they have some good information about this coat color, which is very unusual in labs.
I picked her up on Friday afternoon and drove straight to the vet. She had had her first round of vaccinations but was due for the second. It seemed best to get her checked out before we even brought her home. Travis Thurman, our canine vet, gave her a clean bill of health and thought she was a very nice looking puppy. I think he says that to everyone though. Dr. Thurman is the vet who helped us nurse Tobias through parvo.
My husband bought Brienne a ginormous memory foam bed to park alongside Tobi's equally ginormous and fluffy bed. They take take up half the bedroom. Of course, she wouldn't sleep in the thing until I dragged it to my side of the bedroom and snuggled her to sleep. Every three hours. It was a long night, but having done this for three other labs, I know she'll learn the routine in no time.
We're quite smitten with her already. Tobias seems to like her, but he needs her to get a bit bigger before she'll be much fun. It won't take her long.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%