We had a decent year in 2008 - not a banner year but not a bad year.
We qualified 4 animals for the 2008 SportPony Star Search at the Royal Winter Fair:
(yearling Half-Welsh/First Premium Premier ASPR filly - *Stockham Commander M X Shades of Spring) first as a 2nd place winner behind an already qualified pony and then in her own right. She was also Reserve Junior Champion at Twinholm Open Sport Pony Show and Champion 2 & Under Half-Welsh at Erin Fall Fair. At the Royal she went a very respectable 3rd in her class.
(2 year old Half-Welsh/First Premium ASPR gelding - Rocko's Gold X Shades of Spring+. Again firstly as a 2nd place winner behind an already qualified pony and then in his own right. Junior Champion at Twinholm Open Sport Pony Show. Plus renowned Western judge Pat Carter placed him 3rd at the Arthur Fall Fair in the Open Western Show
Gelding and Stallion class agains mature animals. We did get him backed but that is all due to the muddy year and no solid ground to work ponies on.
Kintyre El Mateus
(26 year old Arabian stallion - El Nazyek X Highland Christy). Both his qualifications were behind already qualified ponies - Stallions and the Dressage Suitability. This is the second year he has qualified for the Royal.
Modern Major General
(3 year old Half-Welsh/First Premium ASPR mare - *Stockham Commander M X Shades of Spring+) also showed this season. Didn't qualify for the Royal but was Reserve Champion 3 & Over Half-Welsh at Erin Fall Fair. Again backed for the second year in a row - argh! - the weather is killing us.
(4 year old 3/4 Arabian mare - Xceptshahn X Shades of Spring+) Showed almost all season. Always in the ribbons but not qualifying for the Royal. She needs to muscle up with work under saddle. Again backed for the second year in a row. Hopefully going well in 2009.
Shades of Spring+ again produced us a fabulous foal by Rocko's Gold. This time a chestnut gelding named Gold Braid. A much better pony when compared to full brother, the buckskin Kolonel Mustard.
Sold my pair of full sister Hackney Horses, Canadian Empress and Canadian Goddess, to Indiana in early October.
A week later, I was competing at the 2008 AERC/AHA National Championship 50-mile Endurance Race in Henryville IN. Placed a respectable 63rd out of 114 starters of the best of the best in North America - World, Pan-Am and other top level riders and horses on trail with us - truly awe inspiring.
And a first for me - I completed a 13 mile Introductory CTR on a MULE!!!! A gaited molly mule to boot. Thanks to Don Boakes for lending me Kate. What an experience! How to get a mule who isn't fussy on strangers riding her to cooperate, how to discipline bad behaviour without pissing her off and how to get used to a "pace" when you've never ridden one before.
All in all a decent season wtih those we took out and about. Many more sitting at home waiting for their turns.