New in 2013, for FADS dressage shows held during the spring and summer, three unique awards were offered in memory of three very special horses. I sponsored the awards in memory of three horses she had the honor and privilege of knowing for many years. They were special creatures that represented themselves well and deserved to be remembered. Winners in each division were selected based on the highest average score in at least four classes judged by at least two judges.
Cowboy Charisma was an Appendix Quarter Horse mare owned I used to own. Charisma loved the spotlight of being the only one in the dressage ring and was very successful through first level before her untimely passing. However, as a mare, she did pose challenges for me, particularly under saddle. The purpose of this award is to acknowledge the partnership that must exist between mare and rider for the combination to be successful.
This award went to Deborah Lomb of Middletown, Maryland on her purebred Arabian mare, Mazurka MHF. Debbie showed her mare training level, and has partnered with the 21-year-old chestnut since 2001. When told she was the winner of this award, Debbie said that she was very excited and that it “made my day”.
The Mo Rafi Bey Award – Mo Rafi Bey was a Crabbet-bred Arabian last owned by Sue Hull. Sue purchased him as her first horse and he was very personable, charming and trustworthy. He epitomized everything that is good in the Arabian, was a stunning dressage mover and an outstanding teacher. The purpose of this award is to showcase an Arabian that excels in dressage.
This year that award went to Lisa Feit of Silver Spring, Maryland and her gelding Rockin Raja that she showed at intro level. “Raja” was adopted by Lisa from Days End Farm, and they were able to affirm that he was a purebred Arabian. Lisa had this to say about her equine friend. “Thanks so much for honoring Raja and me with this award. He’s been such a wonderful horse and really my special buddy. Every morning, when Raja finishes his breakfast, he stares at me through the stall bars waiting for me to play with him. He’s really sweet.”
The Copper Challenge Award – Copper Challenge was the favorite horse owned by Col. Alfred R. Kitts, an Olympic alternate, respected “S” judge, instructor, horseman and my equine mentor. A lifelong thoroughbred fan, Col. Kitts was well known to say that “A thoroughbred can do anything another breed can do, only better.” Unfortunately there were no submissions for this award.
All three awards will be offered for FADS shows again in 2014. I wanted to do these to recognize people showing “alternative” breeds or mares in dressage. Choosing to do it at the schooling show level gave me a chance to honor the adult amateur who rides for fun and self-improvement – the backbone of the dressage industry.