I’ve been announcing shows in the south Florida market for a long time and have flown to many, but for some reason I’ve never really given it much thought but if you are a judge that travels every weekend…or almost every weekend, to do this you must either be glutton for punishment or really love what you are doing. I’ve always respected horse show judges for their talent and taking time to share knowledge and keen eye for what is correct and what is not. It’s not an easy job and often thankless.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to announce the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society’s High Prairie Dressage show in Parker, Colorado. I met some wonderful people and had an opportunity to get to know better people that I’ve previously met and respected. One of those people is Dolly Hannon, and I am singling Ms. Hannon out because it is wonderful to see such a respected judge (S) USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist, and clinician, actually out and showing on a regular basis. She is a true example of what it means to practice what you teach. Dolly Hannon and Electra were an outstanding combination and in their first time out in the Freestyles presented two beautiful performances. In 2015 this horse and rider combination were the RMDS Champion in Mares, RMDS Open Training Level 1 Champions and the RMDS Reserve Grand Champion at Training Level. Dolly offers some great pointers to exhibitors in the article below.
One of the brightest stars of the show was La Reina HU ridden by Rachael Chowanec for Anne Sparks, owner of Horses Unlimited Albuquerque NM, and her improving scores with every test leads me to believe this rider was getting much more comfortable with the show grounds and finished very comfortable indeed. Day one they put a great score of 76.700, day two a 78.200 and day three was 81.800. Each score topping all their previous top marks and the highest score for the entire three days of all tests. So a BIG Congratulations to Reina, Rachel and Anne.
The FEI Jr’s really put on an awesome show in the Freestyles. All had scores of at least 75 from at least one judge, if not the final score and with all being personal bests, each was a winner. The class was ultimately won by Westpoint CB and Jackson Gillespie who are now officially qualified for the Region 5 FEI Junior Team for the NAJYRC. He is very thankful to have “such an incredible team and support system that has helped get me here! Thank You also goes out “to Gigi Brittain for being such a supportive coach and giving me great guidance both at home and at shows! As always, thank you to Kathy Jackson Gillespie for being the best show mom”. Jackson would also like to let everyone know how thankful he is for the support and investment that top riders are taking in the young riders/young rider program. As a side note, Ms. Dolly Hannon also judged Jackson’s very first show.
Also, In an effort to recognize some of the people and horses that put in some great tests, I have decided to start a new recognition process. If you score a 75% or better from a judge on a test, Horse Show Announcer and SeeYouAtX will recognize you. We will call it the 75 Club, and if it happens at a show I’m not announcing, send the information to me and I will make sure it gets added.
So in our first ever 75 Club installment, I am recognizing riders from the RMDS and it’s very impressive indeed:
Class 149 4&5 y/o mares
La Reina HU/Rachel Chowanec 76.700
Class 225 FEI Freestyle
Eeltsje F/Nicole Glusenkamp @C: 75.250 @B: 79.375 total 77.313
Class 224 USDF Freestyle (Tr-4th)
Electra/Janet (Dolly) Hannon @C: 72.333 @B: 77.000 total 74.667
Class 215 USEF Third Level Test 3 (Open)
Elnieta/Margo Gogan 76.158
Class 209 USEF First Level Test 3 (Open)
Baltic 6/Jenny Baldwin 75.441
Fortissimo/Sabrina Bablitz 75.294
Class 249 4/5 Yr Old Mares
La Reina Hu/Rachel Chowanec 78.200
Class 206 USEF Training Level 3 (Open)
Dark Star/Petra Warlimont 78.182
106 Baltic 6/Jenny Baldwin 76.591
Class 331 USEF 4 Yr Old Horse Test (Markel/USEF)
Dark Star/Petra Warlimont 84.200
Class 340 FEI JR Freestyle (NAJYRC/USEF Qualifying)
Westpoint CB/Jackson Gillespie @C: 78.000 @B: 78.875 total 78.438 (nbs)
Palermo SW/Kate Sotiroff @C: 78.500 @B: 75.750 total 77.125 (nbs)
Mojito Rh/Gaylen Davis @C: 74.750 @B: 77.500 total 76.125 (nbs)
Bailar/Dallas McCullough @C: 73.750 @B: 76.500 total 75.125 (new best score)
Worthington/Maia Knowles @C: 75.870 @B: 70.250 total 73.063 (new best score)
Welkin/Paige Smith @C: 76.000 @B: 68.625 total 72.313 (new best score)
Class 324 USDF Freestyle (Tr-4th)
Electra/Janet (Dolly) Hannon @C: 77.997 @B: 76.333 total 77.000
Class 332 FEI 5Yr Old Young Horse Final (Markel/USEF)
Benettona/Petra Warlimont 78.800
Class 349 4/5 Yr Old Mares
La Reina Hu/Rachel Chowanec 81.100
Class 307 USEF First Level Test 1 (Open)
Electra/Janet (Dolly) Hannon 75.370