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- Written by Randy Byers
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Wow!! The Haras folks know how to put on a show!And I thought Vagas was a hoot. Many of you have been asking to see some new videos of Lisa riding Carbon and me riding Solferino. I finally have some new videos of the speed phases thanks to Kevin Kidder of Andalusianworld.com. This was the second annal WE championships in Magnolia Texas. Its nice that we only live about 10 minutes from there. With 88 riders battling over $100,000 worth of prizes, this was the biggest WE event to date in the USA. This sport is growing by leaps and bounds. I have two things that I am thankful for: I have a special person to share it with and being at the dawn of a new sport here in the USA. I think it is safe to say that most of the competitors were in shock about how much this venue as changed in the last year. I can’t name all the additions and changes that were made; new huge covered arena, with state of the art underground watering system to name just a couple of the huge improvements. The weather was great up until the left over of hurricane Patricia a Cat 5 storm out of Mexico came through Texas during the show. What a mess.. Even with bad weather, new construction, the biggest attendance in WE, I am extremely happy with all the hospitality and organization. Big Kudos to all the Haras folks that made this come to life. I could not be happier!!
We arrived Tuesday to acclimate the boys. It was a great decision because there was still a lot of last minute construction going on. What better way to have a training opportunity, right? You got to hand it to this sport, we make really broke horses. At Vegas Tiago (Head Haras trainer) pulled Lisa aside and invited her and Carbon to ride at the international/master level. If you know anything about Working Equitation, Masters or International level is the highest level you can achieve; its equivalent to Gand Pix of Dressage. The big difference at this level from the other levels is the expectations and a freestyle in the dressage phase. Up to this point in USA, only Iberian horses and non US citizens have competed at this level. For the last few weeks before this show, Lisa was debating whether she was ready to compete at that level. "At the last minute" a few days before the Haras Cup she finally gave in to peer presure to go for it. She would be the first female, she would have the first non Iberian horse, and she would be the first American to compete at the highest level of working equitation in the US. To say the least, it was quite the honor.. The pressure was on. She was competing against not only the best in the USA but Miguel Fonseca (the world champion from Porugal). I was so happy to see all the folks that cheered and rooted for the under dog, not that Lisa is a dog. Haha When you watch the video below, you will see the crowed egg her on. Over all I am very proud of Lisa and Carbon. She left no doubt in the minds of the audience and spectators that this is where both Carbon and she belongs. She gained the respect from the international judges and her peers. What better person could have this honor. Lisa has worked hard, it was not given to her without hard work. I knew they could do it from the first day I saw Lisa ride Carbon.
What about Solferino? Have you ever had someone come up to you and say something nice about your childern? It makes your heart rejoice when other people acknowlaedge your hard work and take the time and show an interest in what you do. You know when you are doing something right when folks come up to you and say how nice he looks and is turned out to be a nice horse. Remember this was his first full consistent year under saddle as a 4 and 5yr old. I took him on as a project with the intent to aid in his confidence and maturity, and find him a new home. My goal with him this year was to give him a job and get him off the couch. I am really glad that we succeeded in this endeavor. We gave him time that he needed time to grow, build a work ethic, muscle, balance, and bravery. He had a lot to learn and I had a lot to learn about training Spanish horses too. This was Frat boy’s second go in the bridle one handed. We are still working through the bugs of one handed riding. I am hoping to find him a good home soon. I do not plan on riding him next year, but if I do, watch out because I will be ready to win some ribbons. He will make someone a great partner. After a year of training he has really come into his own, and we couldn't be more proud, just watch the video below and you form your own opinion.
All-in-all it has been a big and busy year for both Lisa and I. We made lots of new friends, made lots of new memories, and ended this show season on a good note. I hope that Lisa and I have inspired you to reach higher levels in your horsemanship.. Its all in vain if we can't help others..
Thank you for the photos