Most Northwest eventers are a hearty and challenge oriented bunch. In that spirit, one hundred and twenty Area VII members braved the aftermath of our January snow and ice storm and made their way down to our annual meeting held January 21 at the quaint and beautifully restored farm complex that is home to Edgefield McMenamins inTroutdale,OR. Jumping into Head-of-the-Lake at Rolex somehow seemed less risky than skiing down my own snowy driveway in a Subaru on my way to the meeting!
Barb Barke did a marvelous job of putting our meeting together – space accommodations, sound and video, speakers, lunch and dinner. We had a very large building all to ourselves with espresso and many pubs just a few steps out the door. Outgoing Chairman Luigi Meneghelli kicked off the meeting and set the agenda very efficiently. I am happy to report that Adult Riders, Young Riders, and Area VII in total, were all in the black last year and everyone is already in gear for early activities in 2012. Our invaluable and intrepid Area VII Treasurer, Lorilee Hanson, just informed me that our annual meeting was also a financial success! With the fees of our paying member attendees and the silent and live auctions, which brought in over $8600, we made a respectable profit of over $4000. I am also thrilled to report that our Washington State Horse Park is on track with it’s fundraising goals and our cross-country courses are now about to start major construction along with other competition amenities. There is a lot of excitement out there now as a bona fide event is looming out on the horizon.
Lou Leslie and Malcolm Hook gave us an update from the national meeting on the One Fall and Elimination rule which currently stands at all levels. There is a rule change bouncing around several committees to modify it to allow riders at Beginning Novice, Novice, and Training to get back on their horse after a fall and continue on to complete the course. Organizers appear to support the rule in place but many riders feel it is unfair, especially at the lower levels, to have a “pop off” and are eliminated for the rest of the event at quite a cost to participate. This is a very murky area with falls in warm-up and in the barn area possibly coming into play. Safety is of utmost importance and we will see if some version of this proposed rule change actually comes to a vote within our national and international governing bodies.
Dr. Katja Zellman and Dr. Erica McKenzie from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the latest research and options available for many types of sport horse injuries. Many of the treatments are still considered experimental and there is a curious lack of large data studies but generally positive results have come from Stem Cell, IWRAP, Platelet, and Shock Wave therapies, most notably in limb injuries. No matter what treatment is chosen, both vets felt TIME to heal is still the most significant factor for a horse to be able to come back to full work. A well thought-out rehab program in addition to one of these treatments gives you the best shot at bringing your horse back into riding form. Oregon State does all of these treatments as well as conducting some fascinating studies involving a horse treadmill that helps diagnose several unique kinds of injuries. Their services are available to anyone in the horse community.
Our keynote speaker at the meeting was Buck Davidson Jr. As all of us were struggling to recover from the winter storm and get to the meeting, Buck flew in from Ocala, Florida after competing the night before in a celebrity Derby Cross, a sort of hybrid cross-country and show jumping competition that is very spectator friendly and gaining popularity on the East coast and beyond. His dark tan contrasted with our pasty complexions as he gave a rousing and humorous recap of the Pan American Team gold medal performance that occurred last October in Mexico. The amount of unity and chemistry between the team, coaches, and support staff was unprecedented in Buck’s mind and might have been what was missing in our team performance at WEG in 2010, where he was a team rider as well. He strongly felt that individual honors will come along in the path of the more important great team performance. Buck said Coach Mark Phillips was tremendously inspired by the whole preparation, performance, and victory at the Pan Am Games and is banking on this kind of cohesiveness, from the selection process on, to carry forward to the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in London later this summer. The stakes are even bigger there with the best competitors from all over the world planning to compete and this is his swan song as US Coach. David O’Conner takes hold of the reins in 2013.
Luigi doled out year-end awards during dinner, ably assisted by Anni Grandia. Jordan Linstedt was Champion Rider of the Year with Suzy Elliot as Reserve Champion. Jordan’smountRevitavetCapato, owned by Barbara and Gary Linstedt was Champion Horse of the Year and Karen Laidley’s Snow Globe Effect received Reserve Champion Horse of the Year. All of the horses and riders that picked up a year-end award are listed on our Area VII website and a big congratulation to all of them.
On that note, I am excited to announce that we will have a new Area VII website debuting in March. I have corralled a great group of volunteers to get it up and running, give it a new look, make it easy to use, and very interactive. Luigi has toiled away and run our website for years and I now know how much work there is to do to keep it up to date. It was time to give him a break so he can focus on other things, including his growing event at Inavale. Please bear with us during the change-over as we are working quickly to have it up and running smoothly in time for competition season.
ADULT RIDERS REPORT
The Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet was a lot of fun and anyone who missed it because of inclement weather is probably thinking about taking up dressage full time. It is always great to catch up after such a long break and even more fun to honor all The Adult Riders End of Year Individual and Team winners. The Individual winners and their prizes were: 1st Lou Leslie, $500 Gallops Gift Certificate; 2nd Lorilee Hanson, $400; 3rd Terese Russell and Loiuse Reulbach, $200 Gallops Gift Certificate each; 5th Dot Hamilton, Terrie Hook and Maya Black, $100 Gallops Gift Certificate each.
First place in the Meriwether Saddlery 2011 Adult Rider Teams went to Team Las Amaonas, who each received a Jeffries Padded Halter and Meriwether Saddlery Gift Certificate: Liza Linde, Dawn White, Betsy Kunert, Kit Maret, Jessica Jimenez, Karen Hensley, and Jackie Burch. In second place was Team Wild Women and Wine who each received two pairs of Back on Track Pillow Wraps: Lorilee Hanson, Anni Grandia, Whitney Weston, and Erica Graff. The winners of third place and a pair of Back on Track Polos and a Meriwether Saddlery Gift Certificate was Team Even Event Girls Get the Blues: Chris Gianini, Lisa Eppley, Tamara Greene, Karen O’Neal, and Bridget Brewer.
Winners of the volunteer drawing for $250 Educational Bucks: Chris Gianini, Dawn White, Kit Maret, and Becky Mathews.
Jessica Jimenez and her husband, Gorgio were honored for the wonderful spirit they both bring to our sport. Jessica received the Robert Leyen/Large Marge Memorial as the Adult Rider who really captures what Eventing and Adult Riders is all about. Gorgio was named Spouse of the Year for the incredible support he gave to his wife and helped her have another great year. Only some of his exemplary contributions apparently were fit to be cited at the meeting. I think we may have to get Jessica to open up the next time we see her.
YOUNG RIDERS REPORT
The annual meeting was a hit and many riders were awarded year end awards for 2011. Lizzie Snow was awarded Champion at the Intermediate level and Mackenna Shea was awarded Reserve Champion. Florence Miller was awarded Preliminary Champion and Ashlynn Meuchel received Reserve Champion. Katherine Cole received Champion at Training level and Olivia Chandler was awarded Reserve Champion. Mara Campbell was the Novice level Champion and Ryley Sinclair was the Reserve Champion. At the Beginner Novice level Ellen Chandler was awarded Champion and Olivia Schatz was Reserve Champion. We also awarded volunteer of the year awards to the following volunteers: the young rider adult volunteer of the year was Wendy Carpenter and the young rider volunteer of the year was Jordan Beckingham. Thank you for all your hard work volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do it without you, and congratulations to all of the riders who received year end awards.
Some important dates are just around the corner: April 1st: young riders wishing to be considered for the Developing Rider Team award program at the Beginner Novice through Training levels must be members of the Area VII Young Rider Program.
On April 7th and 8th we will have our annual spring camp at Tulipsprings. Also June 26th-29th is the summer camp at Aspen Farm. If you want to be a part of the exciting opportunities that the young rider program holds re-register as soon as possible. Join our Facebook page so you don’t miss out on exciting news or important updates. Show season is just around the corner!