Once in a while, you do something unusual and get an unexpected reward. Last weekend at the Shallowbrook Show was that: unusually lovely and unexpectedly rewarding.
My student Sophie Cohen is about to leave for a summer abroad and we decided to fit in one last show before she left. Boy, was that the right decision!
We arrived at the Showgrounds in Somers, CT on Thursday, June 4 and found a small but beautifully laid out venue: three grass rings and also one sand ring. There is a large indoor arena in case of bad weather, but Mother Nature had picked a perfect week for the show.
Our warmup on Friday went well, with Que Sera winning both of his Performance Hunter classes. Davita van Der Hernebos, Sophie's jumper, also won a class.
On Saturday it was Sophie's turn; she began by winning all three of her amateur owner hunter classes with Que Sera as well as a jumper class with Davita. For me it was not the blues but the quality of the performances which were rewarding. Every time Sophie went into the ring she nailed it, with both horses. This is extra fun for me as Sophie and I have been working together for over eight years. Together we have picked out and produced Que Sera, as well as the jumpers she has had over the years.
Sunday was even better, with two nice wins to clinch the amateur-owner hunter championship with a clean sweep of the classes.
The best, however, was yet to come; the USHJA National Hunter Derby. Both Sophie and I were a bit nervous as neither she nor Que Sera had much experience in these classes. No need for nerves, the team again produced two perfectly ridden rounds for the win.
I will always have fond memories of our return to the Shallowbrook Show, my first time there in many years