Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The competition year is in full swing!

Five Star sponsored riders are getting the year off to a great start!

Kristin Schmolze and Doug Payne are in Aiken, SC for the winter and have had strong showings on the eventing winter circuit. They have both won and placed with all of their horses so far. At last weekend's Pine Top horse trials Doug was fifth in an Open Intermediate section riding Happy Valley and Kristin was third in an Advanced section on her Cavaldi. Cavaldi is a horse who truly loves his job and he is lovely to watch!

I got a chance to meet Willie Tynan in Ocala and he has some very impressive horses this year. In Victoriano's first show this year he was first and third in the Level 5 and Level 6 jumpers. This horse had a number of wins in the young jumpers last year and it's great to see that carry over into the new year. Willie is riding two new horses, Flintstone and Cartier van Shuttershot, and both horses have gotten high ribbons including a third in the Open Welcome on Cartier. They will be moving up to the Friday Grand Prix next. It will be exciting to see how the year proceeds as Willie feels these horses are top notch!

Amanda Flint is down at the Gulf Coast Winter Circuit and has had high placings with all of her horses ranging from the five year old jumper classes up to the grand prix. Last week she was fifth in the Nutrena Grand Prix and won classes in the five year old and 7 & 8 year old jumpers. Amanda has a number of horses she has started from a young age and carefully brought along.

Shannon Slyfield's horse Sacramento N crossed over into hunter land at the recent Great Southwest Winter Series and was sixth in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Rumor has it Shannon may be trading in her grand prix coat for a shadbelly!

One of the things I really admire in all of these riders is their partnership with the horses they ride. They take great care to do right by their horses. While there are many people out there complaining that riders today have no horse management skills I can say with certainty that is not the case with these riders. They know every detail of what is going on with their horses and carefully plan out what competitions they are going to and what level to ride at. They don't leave the job to others to do. While others complain that horse sports have become too much of a business and that money has taken importance over the horse's well being, these riders do what's best for the horse first.

If you are at a show or event and get to see Kristin, Doug, Amanda, Shannon or Willie ride be sure to give them an extra loud cheer as they deserve it for all of their hard work! While it takes years to make it to the top levels of eventing and show jumping I think all of these riders are destined to make it and Five Star Tack is proud to be associated with them!