Last night was the PVDA Annual Awards Dinner, up outside Baltimore. I drove up in the dark, rain, and fog, but it was well worth the trip. Since this was the 50th anniversary of the PVDA, there were several very good speakers to celebrate it, especially Sally O’Connor, one of the founding members, who gave a great recounting of the early days of the organization. I put a bid in on one of her books as part of the silent auction, but while I was the winner when I went out to check during dessert/coffee, apparently I got outbid.
But the highlight of the evening was the awards. They do give out a pair of Thoroughbred specific awards, for highest score at rated and at schooling shows, but we weren’t quite competitive enough to qualify for those, as their scores were well into the 70%s. But its something to keep in mind, if we happen to do particularly well somewhere, and it’s even nicer to know there are quite a few TBs out doing dressage, besides the two who won USEA test awards. Our award came at the very end, and we were awarded USEA Beginner Novice Amateur Year End Champion. The ribbon’s longer than my torso, and we also got a plaque that has a picture frame in it, and a saddle pad proclaiming our win. I’m going to use the pad, obviously, but need to figure out the tactful rules on using it. I’m thinking at non-PVDA shows?
Most of all, though it felt wonderful to know that all the years of hard work are finally paying off with success. We’ve had a lot of folks helping us along the way, from trainers to barn workers to friends cheering us on, and it feels good to know that it’s worth it. I want to try to qualify next year for one of the “real” dressage levels, though I’m undecided which yet. Obviously Year End Champion is unlikely, but I certainly think we can earn ourselves a Year End ribbon placing if we keep up our hard work.