Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Perpetual Trophy & A Pirate Ship

A Perpetual Trophy

Perpetual trophies are an interesting thing. You see them on display in award cabinets and at big headquarters - the names and years etched on them are testament to the history of sport and passion. But, I have to admit, I didn't appreciate how special it would feel to be entrusted with one for a year, to place my name next to 30 years of special names, and now to return it so it may be shared with yet another rider. I also didn't appreciate the logistical nightmare of keeping track of perpetual trophies until I read the recent article in the Chronicle of the Horse (which I can't find the link to because I seem to never be able to find articles online that I read in print!) - awarding, tracking, retrieving, polishing, awarding again... every year. It's no small order! So, this weekend, I will return the MCTA perpetual trophy that displayed proudly in my house for the past year - for Katchi's 27.3 dressage score last May. Returning the trophy comes with a twinge of defeat as I have no hope of winning it again in 2012. While Katchi is coming back into full work, he won't be ready to compete in time for this year's MCTA horse trials, one of my favorites! So, I'll just have to say good luck to everyone, and I hope the winner this year enjoys the history of this award as much as I have.

MCTA Perpetual Trophy for Dressage Proficiency
In Memory of John Thomas Barthel (Donor and Sculptress F. Leigh Aldrick, her daughter)
1982 - Peter Green
1983 - Peter Green
1984 - Holly Mitten
1985 - Barbara Foose
1986 - Holly Mitten
1987 - Chris Wadman
1988 - Chris Wadman
1989 - Linda Dean
1990 - Lisa Evans
1991 - Debbie Bearsch
1991 - Jean Prescott
1992 - Tiffany Hill
1993 - Gayle Molander
1994 - Patricia Smith
1995 - Gayle Molander
1996 - Phillip Dutton
1997 - Jessica Heard & Steuart Pittman
1998 - Barbara Foose
1999 - Sherlock Gillet
2000 - Lisa Reid
2001 - Michael Hillman
2002 - Alison Haase
2003 -Elizabeth Ricklefs
2004 - Catherine Frederick
2005 - Jamie Striley
2006 - Jamie Striley
2007 - Jamie Furtado
2008 - Elizabeth Green
2010 - Lauren Drenning
2011 - Cherie Chauvin

To everyone who was with me when I picked up this award, who might have feared that I went ahead with the plan to place a large stall plate with my name across the entire blank area of the award - I behaved and opted for the traditional matching name plate. But if I ever win this thing again...!

A Pirate Ship

I've often had the conversation with friends and students... how can it be that we walk our horses' fields regularly checking for trash, broken boards, sharp edges; we time their gallops perfectly and moderate their speed exactly; we practically house them in padded cells; if we could bubble wrap them, we would. Yet they still find something (never discovered) to cut their frog in half, all the way to the bone. They come in from the field 3 legged lame after taunting their friends all afternoon (their friends are fine, by the way). They go into the padded stall healthy and come out with a knot on their face which requires $1,000 of head x-rays to determine they have not actually cracked their skull in half. And yet, you have the horse down the road that lives with a pirate ship (and various other brightly painted playground treasures) that is probably the soundest, most uninjured, sanest horse in the world. How? Can I have one of those please (the sound sane horse, not the pirate ship).

I have several lessons I teach which take me past this horse regularly. And I always look at him in wonder. Why do I have a horse that needs a padded cell? Seeing this horse today was especially traumatizing, so I stopped to take a few pictures. For today was the day I TRIED to let Katchi quietly back into his big SAFE field, all booted up, all drugged up - exhausted from JUMPING (yeah! Katchi's second day back to jumping!)... but, apparently I under-did the Ace significantly. CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I RELEASED HIM WITH A PIRATE SHIP? He'd be in the pirate ship. Tap dancing on the deck. Until he fell through. And wouldn't that be fun. Next time I try to put Katchi in the field, I think I'll Ace myself too.


  1. Oh, but Katchi was so elegant with his tail up over his back and that extended trot! Beautiful!

  2. You know, I think the exact same thing about that pirate ship when I go to the barn! They also have a mini in that same "area" too! I just want the mini, haha. - Karrie

  3. congrats on the award, very cool!