The Story So Far, Part 4: Big Wins

We did a lot of bareback riding over the summer. I feel like it made me a much much better rider. I relearned how to trot.

Invigorated by our success at our first schooling show, Robbye and I really buckled down to learn some serious stuff. We schooled more poles, we became comfortable with canter, and we did lots and lots of transitions.

We had a lot of issues figuring out how to braid Robbye’s long draft mane…

In October, we traveled to our first real competition – the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of Ohio’s Grand Circuit Classic – a 3-day open show which has classes in a huge range of disciplines – in hand, games, Western Pleasure, English/hunter, over fences, Saddleseat, driving, trail, etc. It’s an amazingly fun show which features a great mix of real competition with a relaxed atmosphere. The SPHOOH’s shows are really cool.

Anyway, Robbye and I had entered pretty much the whole gambit of English classes – 2 in hand classes, a few hunter under saddle classes, an equitation class, and a ground poles hunter class. Yogi had entered the same hunter under saddle classes, as well as all of the driving classes, the cross rails class (with Julie riding) and the 18″ OF class (with me riding).

I act as the groom when we show in harness.

Anyway, long story short, it was a full, exciting, and successful weekend. Robbye started out nervous and scared at all the activity and about leaving Yogi behind (when she went to the ring and he stayed in his stall), but as the weekend went on she became more relaxed and attentive to me. Yogi earned a much-deserved Reserve Champion in the driving classes (he actually deserved Champion in my opinion, but that’s another story!). Robbye and Yogi both “made the cut” in a hunter hack class that was so big it had to be split into two rings, then combined with the best for final judging.

Yogi and Julie with their reserve champion rosette.

Our poles class was definitely the highlight of the weekend – it seemed like everyone in the show had entered the class (A TON of entrants!!), so I wasn’t expecting anything. I was hoping to make the top ten, but as the announcer called 10th, 9th, 8th…we didn’t hear our name. Disappointing, but to be expected. Suddenly, “And in second place, Annye Driscoll and Robigo!!”.

Ho. Ly. COW!!!

Me looking unbelieving at our first ribbon

Yep, we got second place out of so so many people. SO PROUD. In the cross rails division (also a ton of people), Julie and Yogi earned another second. Then, in the 18″ class, Yogi and I absolutely nailed it….and were rewarded by a 1st place ribbon, against ~20 other people.

I know that the show is small and “local”, the prizes are small, the jumps are low and the breeds and people are plain but…I really love this show and I feel like we really earned the places we got. It was an amazing weekend.

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