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January 2019 CPEDI3*

A couple weeks ago, Taco and I wrapped up our first CPEDI3* of the season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The couple months leading up to the competition were rough for me physically with pneumonia, a few double ear infections and sinus infections, bronchitis, and a little surgery that ended up having some complications. I hadn’t ridden for a couple months prior to coming down to Florida and had been flat on my back from the surgery right before coming down. Plus, this was Taco’s first major CPEDI3* in the main stadium at Global. I wasn’t sure what the outcome of the show was going to be.

Fortunately, I was able to get back to sitting up once coming down to Florida and worked on building up my stamina. The warm weather definitely helped! Sara also helped get us back in shape with our training rides and we were feeling great.

Since the Judges Forum was scheduled at the same time as my show and Sara had to attend that for her license, Maggie O’Leary came down from New Jersey to help us at the show. Roz Kinstler also offered to come help out to answer any of the questions about the para rules and timing since this was Maggie’s first CPEDI. Janice Turner was there to help as my groom, and anything else we needed.

Everything came together wonderfully, and I couldn’t be more proud of Taco for how calm and focused he was from the first day we got there on Wednesday to school. He acted like he had been to Global a million times before. We won our classes each day of the competition, with our scores improving every single day. We ended up with a 68.22% on the final day of competition for our freestyle!

The judges gave us constructive comments and we’re already working on ways to improve our rides for the next CPEDI3* in March.

I can’t thank Maggie enough for coming to her first CPEDI, staying on top of everything to coach me through it, and helping Taco being in the best shape. It’s a lot to handle but she did a great job. Also thanks to Janice for stepping up and being super groom and taking care of Taco (and me). She was always ready to head to the barn if we couldn’t be there to make sure everything was taken care of, push me around the show grounds, and step in to do whatever was needed.

And even though Sara couldn’t physically be there, she did an awesome job getting us ready all year long for this show and being one text or phone call away with any questions we had. We all couldn’t have been more prepared!

Thanks also to all the show organizers, stewards, TD’s, sponsors, USPEA, and USEF that made this show possible. And to everyone that came out to support me and all the other riders!

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