All the excitement (and busy-ness) of Thermal totally overshadowed the fact that while I was gone, USHJA finally produced their long promised award for Prairie's Stirrup Cup Zone Championship from 2013.
For those who aren't familiar, the Stirrup Cup program was started to promote attendance (and point-whore-dom) at smaller B and C rated shows. Like all the normal Year End awards for zones, it's based on your total points from the season, but doesn't count any A or AA rated shows toward the tally. All sorts of bonus points are handed out at the Stirrup Cup Finals (which happened at Octoberfest) but even without, Prair was firmly in the lead for our zone.
If anyone is keeping track of the (rapidly growing) list of Year End Awards handed out, that means that Prair was definitely the best-Pre-Green-Hunter-who-didn't-really-spend-any-time-in-the-big-leagues. If you look at the traditional standings, Prairie finished maybe 11th in the Zone? I forgot...
I think it's pretty cool the USHJA came up with an award program that recognizes the weekend warriors who don't necessarily have the time or resources to have their horse (or themselves) on the road at 10-15 week long shows a season. There was lots of overlap with the A circuit horses for sure (the horse that took reserve to us, was a top 5 Pre-Greener in the zone. So the competition isn't necessarily slouchy, it just definitely targets a different competitor, and ends up rewarding a lot more amateurs.
Since about half of our shows last year were B or C (we hit three A and AA shows) It was neat to have a viable award opportunity for our (then) budget and (former) commitment level. (note, last year I still joined the USDF anticipating some rated Dressage shows, and somehow never joined our State H/J Association...oops)
So, ta-da! a pretty ribbon and a nice pewter julep cup to celebrate our season. I, of course wanted to immediately fill said cup with a delicious fancy cocktail, but alas, the baby said no.
The cup is the first piece of "silver" (cough cough) that I've ever won as a prize with a horse, so that's kinda cool.
Currently both ribbon and cup have a place of honor in our living room in my designated "horsey corner"
Star, my first pony and is one of my prized possessions. When I was still living in NYC one of my roommates at the time put it together for me and it's been hung in every home I've lived in since.