From Endurance to Dressage
Boy, has Santa Anita Racetrack been mired in controversy these past few weeks. Even so, we went to the Derby on Saturday to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. Protestors be damned.
The Santa Anita Derby has been run for more than 85 years. The derby's winner is guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Derby which makes it a big draw for horses on the west coast. More than a few of the Kentucky Derby's winners have been horses that won at the Santa Anita Derby: Justify in 2018, California Chrome in 2014, I'll Have Another in 2012, even Affirmed in 1978. It might not be as glamorous an event as Kentucky's derby, but Santa Anita sure puts on a good show.
I've written about Santa Anita quite a few times; we try to go at least once a year. When we bought our Club House tickets in late winter, the controversy surrounding the track hadn't yet reached the crescendo that boiled over in mid-March. For a couple of minutes there, we wondered if the Derby was even going to be run. Thankfully, the Stronach Group made a bunch of quick changes, and the track reopened the weekend before the Derby.
What I love most about Santa Anita is how up close and personal you can get with the horses, jockeys, and trainers. At the end of the headline race, my husband and I were making our way to the betting windows to cash out our voucher when a groom darted past us carrying a leather lead and stud chain. For half a moment I wondered what he was doing in the grandstands.
Suddenly, Bob Baffert appeared in front of us doing the right left dance with my husband. Roadster had just pulled off a victory ensuring his place in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby. Baffert was leading the horse's owners down to the winner's circle. He was in a pretty big hurry so I wasn't able to ask for a selfie.
We already have tickets to this year's Breeders' Cup; it will be our third BC. With any luck, Roadster will back in the starting gate. I'l be sure to bet on him in November. Damn horse cost me $5 on Saturday when I bet on Baffert's other horse, Game Winner.
Uh-huh. That's like naming a horse Lucky.
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%: