|Show Jumping ring steward Jen Amber holds a pot of mums for Intro Event competitor Kathleen Coyle’s horse, Rock N' Bid, who went on to jump a clear round. Photo credit to GRC Photo. Permission for use granted to MHT.|
Last weekend, amidst the thrill of Plantation and the anticipation of the AECs, Marlborough Horse Trials hosted their 22nd annual event in Upper Marlboro, Md., on the beautiful grounds of the Rosaryville State Park. Upon moving to Maryland a few years ago, Marlborough quickly became one of my favorite events, and when I think about why, all I see are mums. Yellow mums and purple mums, and even red and orange mums. Mums everywhere — at dressage at A; mingled in with the pretty painted poles; and stuffed under, beside and on top of cross-country jumps all over the place. Marlborough Horse Trials has mums!
Marlborough is a hidden Maryland gem of an event. But perhaps I’m biased; as a rider, I’ve ridden around novice, training and prelim, always bringing home a ribbon and awesome prizes. And now, for the second year, I’ve been involved on the organizing side of the event. As a friend said to me this past weekend, “I have a whole new appreciation.” As cross-country chair — and now as this year’s co-organizer — I will never again look at a properly placed cross-country jump flag without awe and admiration. Apparently flags do not appear at their respective jumps on their own. I know — shocking. This year, we flagged five courses in about four hours with almost 20 volunteers — a huge improvement on our stats last year. And I’d like to know why Buffy the Vampire Slayer never seemed to get a splinter in her hands. We could use her for flagging next year!
This year, Marlborough ran as a one-day event — running almost 150 horses through Beginner Novice to Preliminary on Sept. 21 — and running an Intro event the next day, followed by an afternoon of cross-country schooling. We are so fortunate to have the vision of Roger Haller behind our cross-country course, and I think Roger really had fun this year running the course over some new routes and playing with the addition of several new fences. Another amazing revelation being on the organizing side of the event is learning that Roger has a detailed plan for each level’s course all the way through 2018. That’s long-term vision! And who will make this vision a reality? None other than course builder extraordinaire Tyson Rementer. Marlborough Horse Trials is one lucky event.
|Tyson, a chainsaw, and a beer bottle (in the rain) -- how do you think this ended??|
Perhaps one of the neatest things about our event is that it runs on a state park, and this comes with certain special attributes. This year, our early morning dressage riders were joined by a large group of military service members out for a Saturday morning PT session in the park. Our sport has its origins in the military, so I choose to look at this as bringing us just a little bit closer to our heritage. We also have the flow of unsuspecting bikers, hikers and others who think they are heading to the park to enjoy a beautiful fall day only to stumble upon 100 horses prancing and jumping and running. Can you imagine their surprise? And what a great thing for our sport — snag the unsuspecting public and make them new fans of eventing.
To top off this year’s event, we hosted a Jim Wofford clinic over the competition course on Wednesday, Sept. 25. With 16 riders and five full courses to play with, Jim found himself in an eventing playground. We cannot thank him enough for spending such a beautiful day with us, and we hope to make this sort of schooling opportunity a permanent feature of Marlborough Horse Trials if the future. We wish to extend a huge thank you to all the riders, grooms, family, friend, and support teams who contributed to the success of each of our riders this weekend. We love hosting you all and look forward to 22 more years.
|Jimmy demonstrating how to gather your reins after a drop fence.|
Congratulations to the 2013 Marlborough Horse Trials division winners:
- Open Preliminary A — Katie Domino/Rush W
- Open Preliminary B — Lisa Mendell/Hokus Pokus
- Open Training — Courtney Olmstead/Young Lad
- Training Horse — Rosa W Lehnig/PL Irish Thunder
- Training Rider — Amy Boccia/Whisper Lea
- Novice Rider A — Suzy Gehris/Taking a Taxi
- Novice Rider B — Sherry Stephenson/Pygmalion Prince
- Open Novice — Skyeler Voss/MTF Cooley Caliber
- Beginner Novice Rider A — Wendy Wentorf-Owens/Landrada
- Beginner Novice Rider B — Kelsey Ann Quinn/Private Benjamin
- Open Beginner Novice — Michelle Warro/Ave Ravina
- Intro Rider — Michaline West/Double Exposure
- Open Intro — Myra McMichael/He’s My Beau
And last but not least, I want to extend a huge thank you for the tremendous efforts of the Marlborough Horse Trials board, officials and army of volunteers. Thank you for making this event possible for more than 20 years.