All the physical preparation wouldn't be so bad if you actually had people entering. It takes as much work to prepare the grounds for 60 competitors as it does 160 competitors. Entries trickled in at a pathetically slow rate and it wasn't until I made several Face Book posts and sent out mass e-mails that we finally got up to 115 entries but more than 20 of those were Starters. It really makes you wonder what's wrong when you have to beg for entries when other events in the area are popping at the seams. I fully realize that Hanoverton, OH is not the hotbed of eventing but it's quite discouraging when people who live less than 2 hours choose to go to KY, VA or further rather than coming here. It's even more disheartening to only get half as many Preliminary entries as the other 2 semi local events. I make myself crazy trying to figure out what we're doing wrong. In the days leading up to the event I kept saying I couldn't wait for it all to be over! Yikes, that's never good.
|Jane and Claire Rowlands sending a message to Michelle Jewett|
So what makes me keep running events? Well... based on the rides I saw with smiling faces at the finish, Face Book posts that I've seen and the e-mails I have received; I know we are doing something right. Below are some pics and videos that will help you understand why I continue to run events. Here's a link to a video of Gabbie VanScoy & Crescent Dreams getting back into the groove on the Training level cross country.
|Former Hunter Rider Abby Crumrine riding in her first event on Bev Patrick's Marvel|
|Another TE :( .....Jumping the wrong direction|
|People hanging out watching the Starter cross country Sat afternoon after it finally stopped raining!|
Such a good boy;)
There are two notes in particular that I would like to share with you and you will truly KNOW why I continue to run events ... for the future of the sport that we all love so much. The first is from 9 year old Bethany Randolph who was a bit nervous about going cross country and didn't want go and her father asked if they could just go out and school and I said NO. But I remembered seeing this pair in warm up for show jumping and I thought I can't just say NO, so that's when I hopped in the Gator and buzzed over to the warm up and asked her if she would like to give it a try if her Dad and I went with her. So off we went and as you can see from this pic from Brant Gamma (be sure to check out her website for more great pictures) that she and Tinkerbell did just great!! The two of them just made my day ... a future Eventer!! Well she made my day again on Sun when she presented me with this thank you note and picture that she colored for me.
Anne Claire Christiaen, who was jump judging on Sat., just posted this video of Bethany & Tinkerbell. Many thanks to Ann Claire for sharing the video and for jump judging. I would also like to congratulate Ann Claire and Java Jive for their win as well!!Good karma for volunteering? ;)
Then I got this message from Dean Hennings this morning:
This weekend had its ups and downs, my girls competed at the Stone Gate HT, Lisa in Novice and Bailey in Beginner Novice. As a father and husband there could be no other extreme sport for a man than to watch his world and reason for life, flying around jumping things he can’t even climb over or would want to. I would challenge any man to sit next to me this past weekend. Lisa and Banks had it all going on and did fantastic, so very proud.
|Bailey & Kyle schooling the Ditch|
So we'll never be a KY Horse Park or a Richland Horse Park and I'm just fine with that because I believe that what we have to offer is every bit as important as the big fancy venues. We open our home and share our love of the horses and the sport, and for many this is just the type of venue they need. That all sounds well and good now, but come next spring I know I'll be obsessing over the entries trickling in, not enough Prelim entries, and not enough help to get the courses ready. Keeping that in mind; I'm putting out an early plea to please get your entries in early, plan some time, even if you don't live close, like Brush Run Pony Club and give us a hand getting the courses ready. Finally, never underestimate the power of a thank you ;) Sometimes all we need is acknowledgement that all of our efforts have been appreciated.
Well, now to continue with the 'clean up'. At least the weather is absolutely beautiful!!
|The Show Jumps got just a wee bit dirty|
The Smith Family
Jackie, Dave, Kyle and Kevin