Our trip to the 2015 Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse National Championships

Trainer Liz Petty and owner Cyndi Craig with Faeth, Reserve Champion, Sport Horse in Hand, Half Arabian Mares, Dressage Type, at the 2015 Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse National Championships.

Trainer Liz Petty and owner Cyndi Craig with Faeth, Reserve Champion, Sport Horse in Hand, Half Arabian Mares, Dressage Type, at the 2015 Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse National Championships.

Competing in the Arabian/Half Arabian National Sport Horse Championships has been a dream of mine for a long time. Back when I had Faxx, I went as a spectator to the championships in 2011 when they were held at the Kentucky Horse Park. I was planning to take Faxx to compete the following year. But, those plans were dashed when I got laid off my job of 21 years two days prior to making the trip.  I got a new job quickly, but it was a 106-mile round trip commute, and I had to move my aging parents into a retirement home, and, instead of 4 weeks of vacation, I now only had two. I had less and less time to ride, and no way to keep three horses ridden, so I reluctantly sold Faxx, the best horse I’ve ever owned. And, then, I bought Faxx’s full sister, even though I had no idea how I would have time for her. I just had to have her. If you’ve read previous posts, you know that Faeth was unhandled and not weaned at 15 months, and has huge scars on her ack legs from getting hung up in a fence at 3 months old. But she is a wonderful mover, just like Faxx. And so, after Faeth won both her amateur and open in-hand classes at the Region 9 Sport Horse show in June, I had a wild idea. In July, I texted Liz Petty, my Arab trainer, asking if she had any clients going to Sport Horse Nationals. With two weeks of vacation a year – and even less now, since it was June, there was no way I could make the 4 day round trip haul AND the 5 day show. I would need someone to haul Faeth to North Carolina, where the show was this year, and I would have to fly in a meet them. Yes, Liz did have a client going. So, I took a big breath, and asked her to send me the cost breakdown for hauling and caring for and showing Faeth. It was a big chunk of money, but I still had most of the money I got for Faxx. It was fitting some of it would be used for this dream.  So, it was on. I filled out my entry forms and sent them to Liz for her signatures, and started planning and packing.

Liz and crew left Dallas on Saturday, Sept. 12, and arrived at the showgrounds in NC Sunday evening. It was very, very hard for me to send Faeth off for that long trip without being there with her. I worried every minute they were on the road. I am a very hands on owner, and I rarely send a horse off for training, so this was new to me. I was very relieved when I got the text saying they arrived. The show started Tuesday, Sept. 15 and ran through Sunday, Sept. 20. Faeth endured the two day, 23-hour haul just fine. I flew in Tuesday – as I only had 4 days of vacation left – I had not planned on this when I planned my vacation days back in January!! It was a very busy place, but Faeth was incredibly good for a 3 year old!  Liz showed her on Thursday in the open classes, and I showed her Friday in the amateur. I was hoping Liz would do well so it would take the pressure off me! LOL! At Nationals, they split the sport horse in hand into dressage type and hunter type. I entered her in both classes, in both open and amateur, since that’s all she could show in.

And Liz and Faeth DID do well, capturing Reserve National Champion in Half Arabian Mares Sport Horse in Hand, Dressage type! Quite the Cinderella story!! You can still see the massive scars on he back legs from her ordeal as a foal. Some judges would totally discount her just because of those. There were two judges judging each class, and the senior dressage judge had her placed first, but the second judge had her placed lower, which brought her down to Reserve CH – but I was not complaining! I showed her Friday, and was Top Ten in the amateur class. I just cannot run fast enough as Liz, to show Faeth’s really good trot!  I still can’t quite believe it.  I’m already thinking of taking her back to North Carolina in 2017, when she will be 5, and well under saddle. They have dressage at the Nationals as well. I’m not ruling it out. Hopefully I’ll still have some “Faxx money” to finance the trip!



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