Today would be Day One of their two weeks in Texas. This week, the Show Jumping Classic, with Tara defending her 2019 Grand Prix title. Next week, it would be the Southwest Classic, with Elizabeth aiming for her sixth consecutive Grand Prix win. These shows, postponed since March, seemed to be lost for 2020. Last week, the show management received clearance from the state for the two shows at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. With a revised schedule, the Show Jumping Classic would be staged this coming weekend, May 16-18. The Southwest Classic will go as scheduled, May 20-24.
If you asked my daughters two weeks ago, four weeks ago, six weeks ago, they were convinced the 2020 season would be lost in its entirety. A restarted season, this soon, seemed highly unlikely. With many, many riders locked out of their barns, and having no practice time over the last 6-10 weeks, competitiveness would be an open question. Those who kept riding and practicing, including my daughters, during the lockdown would have a distinct, competitive advantage.
Elizabeth and Lilith: flat work exercise (North Ranch, May 2020)
Deborah and Comet: sizing up the 1.45m practice course (North Ranch, May 2020)
Earlier, the girls had received an invite to enter a pair of shows in upstate New York. Among the first shows in the northeast, the show management actively pursued professionals and ranked adult amateurs to participate. An added enticement, the show management is prepared to underwrite the transportation costs of the daughters’ horses. Considering the distance between Colorado and New York, air transport would be the best option. We would trailer the horses to the airport for their flight. Before the show management would underwrite the round trip expense, the girls would have to make the two-week commit. Further, the complement would need to be a minimum of 6-8 horses. It is a generous offer to say the least. But, it comes with strings.
Since the show management oversees both the New York and Texas shows, they are very hopeful the girls will compete at both venues. They have called them the best kept secrets in show jumping. “I wouldn’t want to be riding against any of them, especially Elizabeth. They will find a way to win. And, often, they do.”
The girls have pretty much decided Texas is out of the question. New York, that’s a maybe or maybe not, but they have time to decide.
study in concentration: Tara riding a 1.45m jumper course at the Del Mar International Welcome Week
(Del Mar Horse Park, Oct 2017)