Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All Signs Point to Yes!

I got a call from Alicia this morning about the horse show this weekend.  We were planning on going back to the place where Tucker hates the poofy footing, but Alicia suggested that instead, we go to the NJ Horse Park for the Woodedge show there.  We had looked at this schedule before, but the Adults go on Friday afternoon. Apparently, all those who do the Adult Hunters must be independently wealthy and not have to work on Fridays.  (Ignore me, I'm just whining. There's actually a rule about multi-day shows that they have to run the the children's/junior divisions on non-school days, thus bumping the Adults to Fridays.  But I still get bitter every time I see my division running while I'll be sitting at my desk. Grr.)  Anyway. . . Alicia called to see if I wanted to go down to the Horse Park to do the Hunter Derby on Saturday. 

As my longtime readers know, I have been watching Hunter Derbies from the sidelines with adoration and awe since the class was first introduced. I just love these classes. At their heart, they stand for everything I love about the hunters: timeless elegance, tradition, beauty. They reward athleticism in the horse and brilliance of pace, which is what I think of when I picture a truly perfect hunter round. In theory (though every judge is different), these classes should be rewarding the bolder rides and the more keen, careful horses.  The Derby horses are exactly the kind of hunters I love to watch.

Despite my love for these classes, in my usual neurotic form, I tried every excuse in the book to convince myself that we shouldn't do it.  And every excuse was roundly rejected by the forces of the universe. 

First, I told Alicia that I was worried because Tucker wasn't good the last time we were at the Horse Park.  She reminded me that (1) we didn't have time to lunge him that day because the division before us only had 3 horses in it; and (2) I was going through some awful life stuff that had me on my last nerve, and had a nervous breakdown on horseback.  Neither of these things are going to happen this time around.  Excuse #1:  Rejected.

Then, I went to my failsafe: I said I was concerned about the height of the fences.  But then I looked at the prize list and it's a 3' class that will have 3'3" options.  We've been schooling 3'-3'3" at home, but even if the 3'3" jumps looked big, I don't have to jump them.  I also texted a friend who I know shows there frequently and she said it should be pretty straight forward.  And wasn't I the girl who was ready to do the jumpers last weekend?  Excuse #2:  Rejected. 

Later, I was sitting at my desk working away when it suddenly occurred to me that I don't have formal attire!  The last time I was in a class that required formal attire was when?  The mid-nineties?  I text Alicia:  "I don't have formal attire!"  She responds, "You can wear a white shirt and your hunter green jacket."  Oh.  Fine, then.  I do have formal attire.  Excuse #3:  Rejected.

I know!  I'll check the weather.  It's November now, so I bet it will be awful.  Tucker will be miserable in the cold, I'll be doing him a favor staying home.  Hmm. . .  60 degrees and sunny.  Nevermind.  Excuse #4:  Rejected.

My last valiant attempt to justify skipping this class was financial.  I shouldn't spend the money, I don't have this extra show in the budget, that settles it, I'm going to be "responsible" and not go.  Then I got home this evening and found a $50 check on my coffee table under a pile of magazines (payment for feeding the horses at home a while back) which I had completely forgotten about.  Well that does settle it.  The Universe wants me to go!  Excuse #5:  Rejected.

So now it's time to get excited!  Here are the specs for the class:


A two-round competition:

First round to be shown over a classic type hunter course of ten to twelve jumps at 3’ with several 3’3” options; Second round will consist of the top fifteen from the first course, in reverse order of their first round scores, to show over a handy course of at least eight jumps to include elements such as trot fences, walk obstacles, tight turns, halt and back, lead over an obstacle, and open a gate while mounted.

Open numerical system with two judges. Formal attire required.  Open to all Juniors, Amateurs, Children, Adults, and Professionals.  Riders are not limited to the number of horses they may ride.

Ribbons and awards to 12th place.
1st $750 2nd $550 3rd $375 4th $225 5th $150 6th $125 7th $100 8th $80 9th $75 10th $70

So.... Although this is our first hunter derby so my expectations are just to get around and have a good time, if things go really really well, there are some pretty awesome prizes to be had!  Man would I love another Charles Owen helmet for shows... though I'm not going to get ahead of myself.  The goal is only to have a good time.  And I have a feeling that if I stay relaxed and confident, the Wunderkind will deliver!


  1. Good luck! I can't wait to hear how it goes!

  2. I am so happy that you decided to do it! Who cares if you make it to the top 12, it should be fun just to do something different for once! I think you are going to have fun. Good luck and enjoy yourselves!

  3. Aiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    So So excited. HD are my favorite to watch too!
    PLEASE make someone get pictures!!!

  4. That is sooooo exciting!! I've never been a hunter, but I so want to do one of those classes someday. You'll be awesome! (And if you win, then you can pay to do another one!!)

  5. Hi Mariisa,
    Caprioso and I might try to give it a go as well if he behaves in the division before and I maintain my courage! Always my biggest obstical. Look forward to seeing you!

  6. Chrisie, thanks for commenting! We will have to cheer each other on so that neither of us loses our nerve. See you on Saturday!

  7. Hunter Derbies are the epitome of perfection in the hunter ring. I could watch Jersey Boy go around over, and over....and over again. Absolutely LOVE them!! I've done Jimmy in a little 3' one before and it was a riot and an absolute BLAST! Best of luck, it will be SO MUCH FUN.

  8. I love the conversation. i have those daily!
    YAY to the show. Go, have a blast.
    It will be GOOD.
    (I wear a 7 1/4 in the Charles Owen should you accidentally win two.)

  9. So Exciting!!!!! Have a blast and can't wait to hear all about it!!


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