Saturday night was the Houston Dressage Society Awards banquet. I knew that Faxx and Faeryn had each won ‘something’ in their year end awards.
I had also applied for the Bushager Grant, which is awarded by an anonymous selection committee. One must apply for the grant, and the money is to be used for training/clinics. The recipient is announced at the banquet, but according to the email I received when they received my application, the winner would be notified Jan. 31. Since I had not heard anything, I assumed I had not gotten it. There’s no specified monetary amount for the grant, other than it’s more than $500.
The banquet was held at the Sam Houston Race Park in a private room. The food was great, but we were so busy talking, we never even got around to watching a single race, much less betting! And I’d even brought extra cash for betting!
They announced the winner of the Bushager Grant first, and as the presenter was describing the recipient, I heard “she is the first to admit she is not a naturally talented rider, but has moved up the levels through persistance.” My head snapped up at that – and I started thinking, “that sounds a little like my grant biography.” Then I thought, no, it can’t be. And then I heard “she works full time, has a two hour daily commute, yet rides three horses.” I think at that point I started crying! And yes, it was me. And even more amazing – the grant is almost $2,000! It turns out that the annual grant comes from half of the annual $10 horse/rider registrations – and they had nearly 400 this year! I am thrilled. No more wondering how I am going to afford monthly clinics with Debbie Bowman and regular lessons with Marie!
Next they announced the year end awards in each division and Faxx was Champion at Training level amateur for recognized shows, with an average of over 70%. And Faeryn was reserve champion at First level amateur for schooling shows, also with an average over 70%. I got a director’s chair with our names/title embroidered on the back for my win with Faxx, and a nice coat bag, also embroidered, for Faeryn’s award!
It was a great weekend and more than made up for the fact I didn’t win anything in the office Super Bowl pot. 😉
And I am very happy it’s not hideously cold – it’s going to be cold for the next few nights, but not 24/7 like it was last week!