Team USA won the Nations Cup and it was a really cool experience since it was my first US team! Rosa was a little tense – she’s a different ride at this level, and it’s a different ballgame with so much collection in the small tour tests. Still, she was good enough to contribute to the team effort; with Adrienne Lyle winning the special and Tina Konyot third today we were fortunate to be on a very strong team.
I got so much help from Debbie and Robert and having them as coaches is awesome, they are very positive and supportive and make you feel comfortable in a team situation. It was so exciting to be on the podium – it felt like a big deal, and I hope the first of many similar experiences! I can’t thank the syndicate enough for helping Rosa and I make it to the big leagues. It’s so exciting that I’ve had her for her whole life and she did so well under so much pressure.
We still have work to do and I’m always hard on myself, but for her age and her experience level Rosa couldn’t have done better. I talked do Debbie for a long time after today’s test and because I have so much quality and cadence and expression in the trot it’s hard for her to hold it; in the canter she got a little tense and even though the quality was better, sometimes in the corners we had a little mistake where she switched behind once or twice.
She still is very young and we are on the right path. I feel like I understand it and Rosa understands it, it’s just a matter of putting it all together in a competition ring. It’s a big venue and the international ring was filled with people in the VIP tent and it was windy and the flags were going but that didn’t bother her. She’s very focused; I think she gets tense from the pressure of the work, but she’s very brave and never spooks at anything. I never have to worry about the environment which is really nice, that gives me a lot of confidence.
It was so cool being on a team -- and it was a really great team! It was really nice to meet Adrienne Lyle, she’s a great girl and rode beautifully, and Tina has been on so many teams and has a lot of experience. Shawna has been out of competing for a while but she’s excited to be back and everyone was supporting each other 100%. Usually we are just competing for ourselves and it was fun to have everyone cheering each other on and supporting each other. I really enjoyed it.
Rosa has a Freestyle tomorrow because the top 50% from today have to do the freestyle , which is exciting, but she’s pretty tired. There will be a lot of people and I think it will be fun but I hope she sleeps in a bit tomorrow morning! Some of the syndicate members are coming tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing them.
We don’t have that many weeks left here and I want to get as much help from Debbie at home and at the shows as I can here, so I’m going to shoot for next week as well, when I'll compete Rosa at the Palm Beach Derby, also in the small tour.