Show Reports: NACHS 2017 & Winter Tournament 2017-18 #1, Driving

Driving Thursday
Mr. Whizbang enters warm-up at National Academy. Coach Courtney has the reins. The purple shadow on the right is me waving them in.
Photo by Diagonals Magazine. Used with permission.

National Academy Championship Horse Show
Tennessee Miller Coliseum
Murfreesboro, TN USA
November 2-4, 2017
[Show Report]

Friday Morning
16. Academy Pleasure Driving–Horse or Pony, 4th of 8
Saturday Morning
45. Academy Pleasure Driving–Horse or Pony Championship, 3rd of 8
With HB Whizbang, courtesy of the Alvis family.

I also drove.

I don’t understand the criteria for Academy Driving. I understand when someone makes a mistake: trotting during the walk, cantering during the trot, or failing to achieve an extended trot. (I’ve done all three.) Absent these obvious errors, the placings seem a bit of a dice roll. Unless, of course, the result is in my favor, then I think the judging is brilliant.

Therefore, I don’t tend to sweat the driving results.

The classes were about learning traffic management as much as anything else. The entries were mixed, from horses to ponies to a VSE. Imagine eight student drivers all going at different speeds. On Friday, I kept trying to get out of the way. On Saturday, I got better at waiting instead of always trying to get ahead of traffic jams.

In the second class, one fellow cut in front of me, to the point that I had to pull Snippy to a halt to avoid a collision. Twice. Did I get points for being aware of my surroundings, or demerits from not being aware enough to avoid the situations all together? Who knows. My ringside advisory panel said that I might possibly have avoided the first, but no one could have predicted the other driver making a sudden right turn directly in front of me. Everyone stayed safe.

When we managed to pay attention to our own driving, Mr. Whizbang and I continued to improve.
Alabama Winter Tournament 2017-2018
ERA Stables/Elite Riding Academy
Arab, AL USA
Saturday, Nov 11, 2017
[Show Report]

26. Academy Driving with Alvin Ailey – 1st of 2
Thank you to the Wamble family

Alvin loves to show. On Saturday, we stormed into the ring on the edge of who’s-in-control-here. While I had to apply a fair amount of whoa-there-horsie throughout the class, it was great to see the old man in such a good mood.

A grand time was had by all.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott


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