Hertzler's Farm and Feed in Powhatan, VA, is hosting a Purina Horse Owners Workshop and Shelly is giving a talk and showing photos and video from her trip to Denmark in 2007 to the World Pony Driving Championships where the US team won the Bronze Medal. Tuesday, March 11 at 7 PM. Purina rep will talk as well. See www.hffinc.com for more info.
Well, we are home from our world travels and slowly catching up on our work and home lives. Cooper is enjoying a well deserved vacation although he does look a little bored :). I will post photos as I get them in and time allows.
Our trip to the World Pony Driving Championships was a fantastic experience! Our plans to keep our website updated were smashed when my wireless internet hardware decided it did not want to cooperate. Please forgive our delay in updating this site!
The short story is that the US Team - me, Suzy Stafford, Randy Cadwell, Tracey Morgan, Laurie Astengiano, and Lisa Stroud, won the BRONZE MEDAL in the team competition! It was a very proud moment when we all stood on the podium and received our medals, and watched the US flag raised along with the German (1st place) and Dutch (2nd place). Richard Nicholl from the US, the head of the FEI Driving Committee, gave the awards along with the Princess Benedictine of Denmark.
Overall our placings were Singles: Suzy, 9th and me, 10th, Pairs: Randy GOLD!, Teams: Lisa 4th and Laurie 7th. Unfortunately Tracey missed a gate in the first hazard and was eliminated.
I placed 2nd in dressage, less than a point from the leader, which was the second best score of all competitors in all classes. Tracey placed second in dressage in the pair class. Randy won the marathon in the pair class and had a double clean cones, as did Lisa Stroud in the four in hand class, who placed third in cones in her class. Here is a link to the photos from dressage, where you can see us: http://www.wdch-pony-07.dk/en/about/press/press_photo_01.htm
Many thanks to the following who helped us in so many ways:
My parents, Bud and Carolyn Temple, Sophie Shamblen, who groomed for us, Dottie Paul, who also groomed and rode with me in dressage and cones, Nancy Tomlinson who braided and provided moral support, my daughter, Kana Grogan, who helped take care of us AND Cooper, Katrina Becker and Jennifer Matheson, who "lent" Sophie to us and paid her way, Suzy Stafford for her help, moral support, cheerful attitude and social director skills, Lisa Singer for her help, support, advice, packing help, Nicke and Lotta Palsson for their advice, assistance and hospitality, Boyd Excell for his coaching advice, Chester Weber for his "Chef" skills, Phil Needs and Judy Fryer for cooking those great ribs for the Nations Night party and for us back at the US camp (with assistance from Bill Allen), Central Virginia Bank (www.centralvabank.com) for their support, and Stephanie at the bank for her help, Equilite and Stacey Small, www.Equilite.com , Hertzler Farm and Feed www.hffinc.com , Dawn Cooper for her assistance in SO many ways www.equinemyotherapy.com , Dr Scott Anderson and Woodside Equine Clinic www.woodsideequineclinic.com , Dr Jennifer Wright at Three Oaks Equine Clinic www.threeoaksequine.com , Dennis Pickenpaugh, my farrier (you need a website, Dennis!) , Bob, Nancy and Merry Fetters for their help and support, James River Driving Club, Old Dominion Morgan Horse Association www.odmhamorgans.com , Sharon and Stuart Smith, Catherine Sutton (www.dressageforbeginners.com), Jody Swartz, the American Morgan Horse Institute, and so many other people who donated time, money, help, and moral support so we could live our dream and compete at the Championships!! If you are not listed here, please believe me, we know who you are and could not have done it without you!!
We are still accepting donations as the bills continue to roll in. If you can help, please send a check to: World Championship Fund 1690 Capeway Rd Powhatan, VA 23139
Record rains continued on until the last few days, causing major flooding and closing roads and bridges. We've kept on driving throughout, getting a lot of water hazard practice in the puddles everywhere and dealing with a lot of wet harness and clothes. Finally the sun came out yesterday, although it is cloudy and rainy again today.
Ponies are all doing well and Lisa Singer, one of the team coaches, is set to arrive tomorrow so I'm sure she has a plan for us .
We've gotten to do a little sightseeing visiting some nearby towns. Last night we went to Bastad, which is holding a huge tennis tournament, the Swedish Open, in their beautiful new tennis stadium. We had dinner by the water and did some serious people watching. Lots of tennis fans here and a very chic town, also very expensive to stay there.
Fritz Grupe and his wife Phyllis have had their horses here at Nicke's while trying out for the US Pair Horse Team which will be chosen shortly. They all left for a show yesterday and unfortunately won't be back until the day we leave for Denmark. It has been nice getting to know them a little and we wish them luck at their selection trial at Risenbeck, Germany. You can check on their results this coming weekend on www.hoefnet.com.
We have a good group of friends and supporters coming over to root for our team, we are looking forward to seeing everyone!
Not much luck getting on line until now. We had to go into a nearby town and use an internet cafe. Finally I am able to get on line from Nicke Palsson's place in Sweden, where we are staying. "We" means Suzy Stafford, Claudia DeLorme (Suzy's navigator), Tracey Morgan who drives a pair of Dartmoor ponies, and Kenny Cox, her SO and navigator, and of course me! Fran, my husband and navigator, will arrive tomorrow.
Our trip over was uneventful and the ponies traveled well and settled in easily. Nicke's place is set up well for our purpose with lots of places to drive, two dressage rings, some hazards and a cones field. There is room for the ponies to get turned out each day.
We each had a lesson with Nicke last week before leaving for a show at Flyinge, about two hours away. Flyinge was the former national stud for Sweden and now a training center and agricultural school for training horsemen, with a two and three year program for all disciplines. The facility there is incredible, and the nicest place I have ever seen. They had a number of indoor rings, two as large as a large driving dressage ring, with stadium seating for 2500, and a number of beautiful barns. Some buildings date back to 1661, and the whole place is beautifully kept and immaculate. There are top stallions standing at stud.
We arrived at the show on Thursday afternoon, got settled in, and checked out the grounds. This show is the largest national level show in Sweden and put on by the largest driving club in Sweden. They were very happy to have visitors from overseas and they really made us feel welcome. We were featured in their show program and they were very helpful in every way. They have some different ways of doing things that were very interesting and some good ideas for the US.
Friday was dressage day, and Suzy and I went early in the day. I had a good test but could have been more accurate and more forward, and ended up with a 42+ to win. Suzy had a good test as well for a 44+, for second place. Tracey won dressage in her class as well.
Fran was not here to navigate so I did not do the marathon and had a chance to watch. Suzy had a strong marathon, and the bronze medal winner (and marathon winner) from the last pony championships was in her class, and another quite good pony as well. Suzy kept her second place position going into cones, and drove a super course to win the cones class and finish second overall, winning some nice prizes. I was clean in cones but had two time penalties, having gone wide in a few spots, which I won't do next time :). Tracey had a good marathon and cones but a few balls cost her an overall placing - they only award the top two overall placings but give ribbons for dressage, marathon and cones placings, so lots of chances for a ribbon. Their first place ribbon was blue and yellow, the Swedish national colors, and second place was plain blue. We stayed right on the grounds in student housing (the horsemanship students are off for summer break) and our rooms were right at the end of the dressage ring. There was a very nice competitor's party on Saturday night, and they gave out dressage and marathon awards then. We thank our hosts for such a warm welcome.
I met a driver of a Swedish Morgan at the competition, he was most interested in my pony and in telling me about his horse.
We are back now at Nicke's, have set up a cones course for practice tomorrow, and are working between the raindrops. It has rained here alot, which is unusual for this time of year. Temperatures are in the low 60's mostly. We did have a sunny afternoon yesterday and went to dinner in a town about 20 k away, on the ocean, where we sat outside on the deck overlooking the ocean and had a terrific dinner. Life is good :).
We are busy packing and organizing and getting ready for our trip. The fours have been chosen, Lisa Stroud and Laurie Astegiano will be team members. Although we had hoped that our alternates could go to the Championships as individuals, the show decided they were too full and so will not take individual drivers. Hopefully the alternates will come and support the team. We haven't met Laurie before so are looking forward to getting to know her.
Dottie Paul will ride with me in dressage and cones, and Sophie Shamblen will be our groom thanks to help from Jennifer Matheson and Katrina Becker. All other friends and family attending will be pulled into camp for harness and carriage cleaning, so be ready!
The NBC station in Richmond sent a sports reporter out to interview us this afternoon and taped Cooper galloping around through some cones. The spot will play tomorrow afternoon, hopefully we will be able to figure out how to tape it!
I SO appreciate those who have contributed to our trip, and as important as raising money has become, the wonderful notes we have received have really made this experience wonderful. The driving community is great! We also have received terrific local support from drivers AND riders. The James River Driving Association gave a generous contribution, Jody Swartz, Bill Hartenstein and Catherine Sutton (www.dressageforbeginners.com) organized a clinic and Jody and Bill donated use of their place and Catherine donated her lesson fees, and the participants also gave individual contributions. I am so appreciative and touched by their help! Hertzler Farm and Feed, our local Purina dealer (www.hffinc.com) is supporting us with feed for the trip, Central Virginia Bank gave a contribution (www.centralvabank.com) and CXPress Trucking and CXPress Container Sales gave a very generous donation. We feel your support and it makes everything worthwhile. Thank you!! Dawn Cooper (www.equinemyotherapy.com) has been a tremendous help in every way, and is holding a clinic for the Old Dominion Morgan Horse Association (www.odmhamorgans.com) as a fundraiser. Dawn does great work and I highly recommend her! We have joined Equilite's Ambassador Program (www.equilite.com) as I have used their products for years and am a huge Sore No More fan. They have many other great products as well. I am truly grateful for their help.
I would really like to list the individuals that contributed, but when I ran the idea past a few friends, they felt that some people may prefer not to be listed. What do you think? Email me at email@example.com and let me know!
Shelly in very hot and steamy Virginia (99 degrees today)
We just got the call! We made the team! Yeah! Singles have been picked, me with Cooper and Suzy Stafford with Bouncer. Jennifer Matheson is first alternate. Pairs are Tracey Morgan and Randy Cadwell. Fours are being chosen next Monday as some fours are competing in Europe this weekend.
We have begun our fundraising efforts. See our fundraising letter to see how to support our trip to Denmark. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
Stay tuned, we will post updates as they become available!
www.ponyteamusa.com will also post updates, and is where you can buy great Pony Team USA clothing which helps support our team.
Many, many thanks to Dawn Cooper, who has been terrific in helping with fundraising and keeping Cooper feeling frisky. Dawn's website is www.equinemyotherapy.com
6/1/07 Pony World Championships News - Denmark, July 18-22, 2007
All the North American selection trials are complete for single and pair pony drivers. The four in hand candidates have another selection trial in Europe that will be attended by several candidates. The European selection trials were open to single and pairs but only one pair driver is competing in Europe right now.
The team selection date is on or before June 19 according to the selection criteria. All selection information can be seen on www.usef.org , go to High Performance, then Driving.
Education in Carriage Driving for Horse and Driver
Education in Carriage Driving for Horse and Driver