Wow, what a year it has been! After what was a very long and difficult 2020 for us all, it felt amazing to get back into the swing of things and return to my normal competition/travel schedule.
In January, the team and I ventured to Florida where we spent the first quarter of the year training and competing on the east coast. Here, Bravio and I had the chance to really hit our stride, placing 9th in the Ocala Winter I Open Preliminary, 9th in the Rocking Horse Winter II Intermediate Rider, 7th in the Rocking Horse Winter III
Open Intermediate, and 10th in the Carolina International CCI3-S.
In June, a few clients and I traveled to Washington to compete at the Aspen Farms Horse Trials, where Bravio and I placed 3rd in the CCI3-S. Next up was my favorite weekend of the entire year, Rebecca Farms! There, Bravio and I did our first CCI3-L and took home 4th.
To wrap up the 2021 season, Bravio and I traveled back to the east coast in September to compete at Plantation and the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Unfortunately, Bravio did not handle the trip out there as well as he usually does, and we ended up pulling out of Plantation. We spent the next several weeks taking it easy and nursing Bravio back to his normal self. He made an incredible recovery, and we went on to place 5th internationally and 4th nationally in the CCI3-L at Fair Hill. This show was a dream come true for me, and such an encouraging and exciting way to wrap up the year.
It wasn’t just the time spent traveling and competing that made this year so special, though. In June, I welcomed a new and impressive member to the Aspire string, Bacana. She is a 3yo KWPN mare who comes in a small package but has all the makings to be a true star. She is as confident and talented as she is gorgeous!
I also got to spend invaluable time learning from the best of the best. I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity to work with Mariano Bedoya, Buck Davidson, Christian Garweg, and Sue Martin. With their expert guidance, I have felt myself and my horses grow so much throughout this past year.
I have also had the absolute privilege of watching my students grow leaps and bounds in their own riding journeys. Nothing makes me more proud than to see my students’ accomplishments, which have been bountiful! Team Aspire had many successes this year while competing all over the country with me and while training here at home in Colorado.
At the end of November, my husband Jeff and I flew out to Argentina, where Bravio and a promising young client horse, Caloo, are from. After realizing how special these horses are, my supporters and I decided we may need to add a few more Argentinians to the Aspire string! There, with the help of Mariano, I found a few incredible horses who will hopefully be joining me here at the farm in the new year.
To end the year, Jeff and I will be hosting our annual Aspire Eventing Holiday Party. After missing it last year, due to Covid, we are more excited than ever to have everyone together. As always, our holiday party will include a silent auction with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. My sponsors will be generously donating items to be a part of the auction, giving Team Aspire the chance to get some amazing products while giving back. It has been a truly rewarding and fulfilling tradition. I can’t wait to see the positive impact we can make this year!
Although it has been fun to look back on what an incredible year it has been, I am also eager to get to work on the goals I hope to accomplish in 2022. I am looking forward to a rigorous competition schedule next year with my superstar, Bravio, moving up to Advanced and the 4* level. With Bacana and the horses coming in from Argentina, I am excited to continue building a relationship with them and begin their new careers as Aspire event horses! I am also looking forward to continuing my training with each one of my clients and hopefully giving them the opportunities to make their own dreams come true.
Lastly, and this goes without saying, my sponsors, trainers, clients, grooms, working students, and supporters have all been the cornerstone of my success this year and every year. An enormous thank you to each and every one of you for all of your support, guidance, and encouragement. I can’t wait to make you all proud in 2022!
For now, I hope you all enjoy a happy and peaceful holiday season.