2013 YEAR END AWARDS PROGRAM - PRELIMINARY DIVISION RIDERS & HORSES FEATURED
Preliminary – Open
Brittany Yard and Divine Comedy aka Dani
Standing at a mere 15.1 ½, Dani is pure heart. She tries her hardest in any given situation and loves to be the center of attention. Brittany and Dani have been partners since Dani’s birth, June 23rd 2007. Dani is a product of Hello Dolly, Brittany’s first Event horse, and Donarweiss GGF, a Hanoverian out of Donnerhall. Ultimately, Dani was an experiment Brittany conducted with her lame ex-eventer, Dolly, while studying English and Secondary Education at The College of New Jersey. Since her birth, Dani has been an integral part of Brittany’s life. Brittany broke Dani herself in the summer of her three-year-old year; and they began their competition endeavors in the Spring of 2011, winning their first event ever at the Beginner Novice level on a 26.4.
Dani competed at the Young Event Horse Four Year Old Championships in the Fall of 2011 and went on to finish out the year winning the Radnor Hunt Horse Trials at the Novice level. In 2012, Dani debuted at Training level, once again posting solid performance after solid performance. Although not totally confident in her “baby’s” ability, Brittany (coached and supported by Melissa Fox) introduced Dani to the Preliminary scene in June of 2013. One day shy of her sixth birthday, Dani once again welcomed a challenge by trucking around Surefire’s challenging course, easily sailing over the “wider than Dani oxers” and the “there is no way we are getting over that ‘wall and brush’.” After developing confidence in their partnership, this pair went on to capture six top five finishes throughout the summer season, including a win on a 29.5 at the Maryland Horse Trials in the Open Preliminary.
Brittany is thankful to have such a great partnership with this awesome mare and is grateful to her mom and Melissa for always believing in her and Dani. Here is to a successful 2014 and Dani’s hopes to be an Intermediate pony!
Photo credit to GRC Photography
Preliminary – Open
Mardi Herman & Go Gilda
Gilda was really fun this year. She always enjoys the jumping so much and eagerly looks for the next fence. Gilda is a home bred by Carrig View (ISH) out of my TB mare Our Last Waltz. She is a grand daughter of my first TB mare and I now have a weanling out of Gilda's cousin Zoe who won this award three times. I want to thank my coaches Sally Cousins and Phoebe Devoe- Moore who have really helped me so much. And my husband and daughter who put up with my scrambled eggs/ frozen pizza dinners!
Photo credit to A K Dragoo
Preliminary Adult Amateur – Champion
Sandy McCormack & Aphrodite
I started riding at the age of five doing Hunter Shows. As an adult I foxhunted, and was a whipper in for four years. My husband was always worried that I would get hurt galloping in a herd, across fields with ground hog holes. At 35, I told him about this great sport called eventing. The horse & rider’s go one at a time over the fences in fields that have been checked for holes. Until 1991, I was living in Brookline, MA happily competing at Novice.
We moved to McLean, VA for a job opportunity. I soon discovered that the Mecca of eventing was one hour west of our new home. I started taking weekly lessons with Jim Wofford. In 1993, I found a lovely mare to allow me to ride at the Training & Preliminary levels.
In 1994, I became very active with River Bend Pony Club, where I was the District Commissioner for several years and I have been a volunteer for many years.
Over the years, I have worked with many different instructors and my goal has been to do a CCI*. I have qualified five horses over the years but something always happen to prevent me from competing in a CCI*.
In 2004, I went to Southern Edition Farm to board and train with Stephen Bradley. Stephen is not only a fabulous rider, he is an excellent instructor. Stephen does not over face the horse or rider. He builds their confidence and makes sure they are overly prepared before telling them they are ready to move up a level.
In 2006, Stephen gave me the opportunity to travel with him and his Rolex star, Joshua for the 2006 World Game Selections.
In 2007, I became a Board Member of CDCTA, where I do many hours of volunteering to enrich the sport of eventing and dressage.
I have had several horses while being with Stephen that I competed at Novice & Training level. Knowing my goal to be going Preliminary and to do a CCI* Stephen found me a horse that is safe and more than capable of allowing me to fulfill my goal. In 2007 Aphrodite, my lovely grey mare, allowed me to meet my goal of completing and placing in a CCI*.
I have been so lucky to have such a wonderful horse as I have in Aphrodite. She is sweet and gentle and has lived alone in my backyard for years. We are best friends and a major part of each other’s day every day. She is a talented athlete who loves her job. She make eventing fun and rewarding.
Over the past seven years of competing at the Preliminary level we have completed two CCI*s. We have done well at the American Eventing Championships and the Area II Championships. We have been awarded the end of year USEA Area II Champion and CDCTA Champion several times.
I am looking forward to many more years of riding Aphrodite at the Preliminary level, with Stephen as my coach. We are getting ready for the 2014 competitions to begin.