Our season has officially begun and it got off to a rare sunny start at the NWEC May Classic. The dressage and cross-country footing were great for the two hundred-plus competitors who got to shake off the winter cobwebs! The Event ran smoothly with just a bit of rain on Sunday for show jumping.  It was a well-deserved treat for the Turner family to finally get a lovely dry weekend to host their Event.

Some of the winners were:  Open Intermediate – Karen O’Neal and True Avenue, Open Preliminary – Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair, Preliminary Junior – Ashlynn Meuchel and Morning Star, Open Training – Anne Carr and Lexi Freedom, Training Junior – Alexandra Ahearn and Mai Baum, Open Novice – Sarah Lorenz and Uptown, Novice Junior – Mikeala Mulahill and Pele, Open Beginning Novice – Samantha Higginbotham and Astoria, Beginning Novice Junior – Katie Youngblood-Besel and Captain Morgan.  A full list of results can be found on our Area VII website.  Congratulations to everyone in the placings!  Our show season is now successfully underway!


ADULT RIDER REPORT: “Organizing the Adult Rider Camp”

I remember way back when the then-Area Chair and good friend, appointed me Adult Rider Coordinator.  We chatted, “What should we do?” I don’t know, have an Adult Rider Camp?”  And so it started: Lincoln Creek, 3 days of rain, but a ton of fun!   I figured I was doing something right when most of the folks at the inaugural camp signed up for the next one I did and some have been to almost as many as me!  I did take a couple of years off from organizing and this year will also mark another break.  I love doing it but it is time to bring in some fresh ideas and energy.

This year’s camp was at the Turner’s Northwest Equestrian Center over Memorial Day weekend.  We seriously lucked out on the weather with rain on either side of our 3 days.  This was the best weather ever at camp which had seemed destined to be a ‘bring your rain gear’ event!

Holding camp at NWEC meant no restrictions on numbers because of ample stabling and we ended up with over 50 riders and 60 + horses.  This year I ran a clinic in conjunction with the camp, which allowed us to bring back Leslie Law.  This worked out well for the lucky ones who signed up early to ride exclusively with Leslie.  If you signed up for just for camp, you were at the whim of my scheduling as to whom you rode with!  Not that you could have a bad lesson with the caliber of instructors.  It was a pleasure to have Leslie’s wife, 4* Rider Lesley Grant along to keep Leslie in line 🙂  We also had Canadian Olympic Rider Sandra Donnelly for her first Area VII camp experience.  Hopefully it won’t be her last (she seemed to have a good time) as she was excellent with all levels of horses and riders.  Then of course it would not be camp without our own Jean Moyer.  Jean has given generously and worked so hard for AR and now if a much-loved ‘fixture’ at camp.  All clinicians worked very hard and were super about ‘going with the flow’. I have learned that I need all the clinicians to be self-sufficient and ready to adapt to an ever-evolving schedule – often being asked to take a group out on XC , have an abbreviated 15-minute break if they are lucky, then teach a dressage lesson.  Scheduling is a challenge every year and having campers who are equally self-sufficient and flexible.  This year I had 4 cancellations the day before camp started.  I had changed things around so much I wasn’t sure if I had sent out, or printed, the correct schedule.  It all worked, as it always does in the end.   Because of the cancellations I was able to accept some ‘future Adult Riders’ who were all great young ladies.

In order to keep costs down, we went with a potluck Thursday night, one catered dinner on Friday, and a pizza on Saturday night.  We have some very good cooks and the potluck was excellent.  I was going to give a prize for the best dish- I forgot- but I would have been hard pushed to choose!  Thursday night we had a very eye-opening talk from equine legal expert Rachel McCart from www.equinelegalsolutions.com.  She informed us why contracts, releases and insurance are all SO important.

Friday night  a lovely catered  was served.  Fortunately for our salads, the wind died down at eating time!   Before dinner our education program was ‘Feeding the Event Horse- What to look for at the Feed Store’ given by Natalie McGowan, Equine Nutrition Specialist, for CHS Nutrition.  After dinner Dr Christine Finn. DVM (equisportmedicine.com) did an excellent talk on ‘Anatomy and Functions of the Back’. Complete with props that required tight leashes on the canine members of the audience!

On Saturday evening, awaiting the delivery of 18 large assorted pizzas, we had a presentation from our own Area VII AR member, Jordan Linstedt, (www.jordanlinstedteventing.com) describing her adventures and successful journey to compete at Rolex.   While the pizza was being devoured, we discussed the how’s and wherefores of competing in the Classic Format.  I did the “Why it is so much Fun” part and Dr .Aimee Witherspoon DVM did the “How to Condition Your Horse” part.

After the children were sent to bed…. we started the Pink Elephant Tack exchange.  You just had to be there!

Camp is a success because of a team effort.  I couldn’t do it with out my many right-hand friends.  Huge thanks as always to Lou Leslie, Nancy Rodriguez, Heidi West, Aimee Witherspoon and John Meriwether.  The latter two have agreed to take over next year’s camp so the tradition can continue- yeah!   Also a big thanks to those campers who helped out with set up and tear down, setting fences and seeing that the clinicians were fed and watered.  As well as those that pitched in with 2-year-old, baby Law, wrangling and entertaining! We had a great group this year. Thank you!
I would also like to thank the Turners for all their help in allowing us to have fun on their lovely property and to Gallops for supplying the buckets to carry off the goodies donated.



By the time you are reading this, June will be long gone.  The scavenger hunt at Aspen will have been completed, Inavale HT will be complete, the mandatory outings for those headed to Kentucky will both be finished, the team will be making plans to head east and our wonderful summer camp will have been completed.  Hopefully you will have gotten to participate in any or all of these activities. 

As everyone gears up for Rebecca Farm, we are busy gearing up for Rebecca Farm, NAJYRC in Kentucky and our benefit Horse Trials, to be held at Lincoln Creek Aug 3-5, 2012.  Two years ago we moved venues to continue the growth that had maxed us out at Donida Farm.  In this third year, more changes are planned and we are well underway with designing and building, though the fields are still under water.  The fields still being under water at the beginning of June is what makes our footing so good, even by August.  Our event is quite unique in that we run all three phases on the grass, luckily the venue has some of the best footing in the area, so our horses benefit from running on grass. 

Competition starts Thursday for the event with the YEH 4 and 5yo competitions.  Please consider bringing your young horses for some exposure to the venue and the sport of eventing.  We will also offer Dressage schooling tests on Thursday for $20 a test, any event tests will be offered, but to be run in the short court.  Please note on your entry if you wish to participate, and which tests.  Tests will be judged, so you will receive feedback.  Next year we hope to add Show jump schooling rounds as well.

Saturday night brings our annual dinner auction, complete with great food, offered this year by Gina Erskine who does all of Aspen Farms volunteer food.  She also does YR camp and I know there are girls that come back to camp just for the food!  We have lots of exciting items being donated to the silent and live auctions, including a 3foot tall Ceramic one of a kind bell and other fun items.  Music will be provided by local band I for Eye, who is simply amazing!

For those of you young riders that haven’t volunteered yet please contact Jackie Markham @ Jackie@digitaldimensia.com, she is our volunteer coordinator for 2012.  Julie Vachon is in charge of the desserts and auction, so questions about donating to those can be directed to her @ julieva7@yahoo.com.  Any other questions or if you would like to sponsor, please contact Organizer Anni Grandia, (253)225-3672 or youngridersvii@hotmail.com.  All young riders are expected to be there, gather sponsorships and come help!

So plan on coming out to enjoy Lincoln Creek with us the first weekend of August, complete with good footing, great friends, great food, and a little friendly competition!  We looking forward to seeing everyone as we kick off our third year at the new facility.