My wonderful horse loves warm weather and jumping so once again he hitched a ride with his trainer, Meghan Michaels, and went off to Wellington, Florida, to compete at the World Equestrian Festival. The horse show that draws 7,500 or more horses to its facility between January and April. The location attracts the best of the best riders – both dressage and jumping. SF, short for Super FLashy, his nickname, competes under his registered Thoroughbred name of Carni’s Last Stand. At 13, he is entering his prime for showing. And this year he started earning his keep – literally. Thanks to an organization called the Take2 Thoroughbred League which is an organization created by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Breeders , and the Racing Association to promote second careers for retired racehorses. They give monetary rewards to the horses who win ribbons.
SF’s new jump rider, Miranda Scott, suggested we put him straight into the thoroughbred classes. She had only ridden him three times and he came in sixth which meant a green ribbon and a small amount of cash. The next day he went up to a fourth. By the fifth day of competing he had a first and some “swag” which was a box of horse treats in addition to his winnings. The 6th day brought two blue ribbons, a box, of treats, and a new horse blanket, plus his winnings. Such a good team!
Watching Miranda and SF learn each other is a delight in itself. Obviously, I am fond of animals, but a horse and human together when they mesh are truly magnificent to watch. A jump rider has to know how the horse thinks and when he needs help or when he needs the rider to just get out of the way and let him fly. And in Jumping, one wins by no knockdowns and time. Miranda and SF cleared a course in the jump off in 30 seconds. I almost couldn’t watch it was so powerful. A 1,000-pound animal of pure muscle flying through the air with a diminutive human perched on his back is the ultimate trust on both sides. For him he knows she will not intentionally guide him wrong, hurt his mouth, or ask him to do something he can’t. Or her side, she knows he will never intentionally hurt her, throw her off, or refuse to do his best to accomplish anything she requests. Miranda and SF found this balance in such a short time. I was very impressed.
She is going to continue to show him so we will see where he goes next – to Upperville this summer most likely after he leaves the warmth of Florida and heads back to Maryland mid-month. In the meantime, SF will show again next week so who knows what more swag he’ll bring back to DC!
Thank you again to Team Super FLashy – Meghan who cares for him everyday and is his primary trainer, Miranda who has now joined the team officially (the team shirt will follow soon) and Sandy Lytle who started him down his jump path. Then there is Bonnie in Maryland who daily makes certain he is fed and watered and blanketed when needed. Colin, Meghan’s 5-year-old who is SF’s wonderful friend and who is known for singing to SF as he leads him to his turnout field, His support cheerleaders at shows are also greatly appreciated since SF loves an audience! So thank you to Lois, George, Mary Grace, Joann, Val, Tina, James, Amanda, and Don Dean, who took such good care of him when SF was racing. Super Flashy and I love you all.