|Tali at the Fork CIC*** photo thanks to Samantha Clark|
I have to thank Larry and Amelia Ross who have been partners with Tali and me for some time, without their support I would not be here today. I have been incredibly pleased with Tali's results to date. Knowing that no event this spring is the end game I've been mindful of his fitness, soundness and conditions at each competition. To me it makes no sense to run his legs off on XC for a blue ribbon or prize money if it sacrifices his future. That said he's been exceptional, but with definite room for further improvement! I'm still working out how to make the most of his talents. He is inherently a tricky horse, in my experience all the good ones are!
I've made a concerted effort to enter shows or events which offer the greatest atmosphere to improve his ability to cope with exciting, large environments. He is well on his way and has continued to get better with each outing, but this is an ongoing process.
So where to we go from here? I had heard through the grapevine that we would receive final word of the Land Rover/USEF grant following the Fork's CIC***. So why Saumur? I'm not focused soley on the WEG's this year or frankly any particular championship for that matter. That said, I want more than anything to be named to US teams in the future. I'm convinced that if my process is sound I will be able to develop partnerships with my horses which will result in future successes. If I do what I think is best for my horses and myself those team spots will come. Amazingly Tali has only been at advanced since Millbrook and run only one CCI*** (Fair Hill International) where he finished 4th. While qualified and entered at Rolex, I'd jump at the chance to run one more 3* on foreign soil. This would offer the best of all worlds. Strange, charged atmosphere and the complexity of the XC should not be overbearing and should allow for the best chance for sucess. Building confidence and consistency is my main goal at this point in his career.
Last week I received the email from Joanie Morris delivering the great news that I was a recipient of the Land Rover grant! For me it's a humbling experience receiving validation of a lifetime of efforts and the past six years with Tali. I am incredibly thankful both to Land Rover as well as the countless individual donors who have afforded me this opportunity. It's a great feeling knowing you have the backing of so many, I hope you all can share this experience with me.
So what about my Rolex entry? I am still going to still attend this year for the Dressage phase being that there is no other place in this hemisphere to gain exposure on the world stage. Tali and I will no doubt come away from the experience stronger, more resilient and better prepared for Jersey, Saumur and beyond. This is an invaluable opportunity!
This next week will be a continuation of our chaotic past few weeks where we're finalizing our move to Apex, NC. We have been back and forth between the new farm and Aiken more times than I'd like to count. We'll remain in Aiken through Saturday where Eli (owned by Mike Rubin) and I are jumping in the $25k Grand Prix in town. Katie and Jess are also competing at Sporting Days, when both compeitions wrap up we'll pack up for one last time and head to NC! We're planning to depart for Rolex early Tuesday morning giving us enough time to take Tali for a hack in the afternoon around the park.
Check back for updates throughout the week!