|Tracy Kok Jr/YR Region 8 Coordinator and NEDA volunteer|
|Taylor and Cookie Award Ceremony|
|Taylor and Katelyn Victory Gallop|
As the summer show season comes to a close it is fun when things finally come together at the right time in the right place! Congratulations to Taylor Lindsten and Raoul "Cookie" For a job well done at the Region 8 Championships at the NEDA Fall Festival.
Taylor's journey has been fun to be part of. She and Cookie came to The Ashby Stock Farm just a year ago with dreams of creating a trained Prix St. George and qualifying for the Young Rider Championships in the following summer. Sometimes it is good to be naive, taking an event horse that is green 3 rd level and an event rider and turning this pair into a polished dressage pair. I was not as lucky as Taylor, I knew the job was not going to be an easy one! But, hard work and perseverance paid off and a reluctant dressage horse became a willing partner and qualify they did for Young Riders and for the Regional Championships.
Each show step by step has been a learning process. The Young Rider Championships were a highlight in Taylor and Cookie's show season with two very accurate and well ridden tests. Although they ended up in the middle of the pack Taylor beat some extravagant horse and rider combinations with good scores, and gained alot of confidence in Cookie as he stood up to the atmosphere and pressure.
The Regional Championships brought more nerves. Not only for Taylor but from what I saw all of the Jr's and YR's were a bit on edge. Maybe riding on a team is a confidence builder and then being an individual against your team members nerve racking? I am not sure, but the first day of the Regionals definitely did not bring out the best in everyone! Taylor learned a valuable lesson about timing and partnership. It does not matter how bad you want it, you have to go in the ring with your partner and convince him to want it too. Cookie has matured and instead of telling Taylor to bugger off he just said "not sure what you mean!" This polite behavior kept them in the 60 % and Reserve Champion in the Young Rider Team test. But the lesson needed to be learned. The next day they did not only win the warm up, but they won the Championship as well. And what is one of the best parts of the championship? The judges actually noticed Taylor's good timing and feel and mentioned it on the test! YEA!!! That is a wonderful reward for a long, hard job well done! Congratulations to Taylor Champion 4 th level YR and to Katelyn Kok Reserve Champion.